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Wind companies apply for projects in Ellenburg and Clinton

That the towns have accepted applications doesn't mean the wind farms will be built, Spitzer emphasized. "This is just the very first step. The towns won't make decisions for many, many months. "In no way is this indication of approval of the project."

PLATTSBURGH -- Noble Environmental Power and Horizon Wind Energy both submitted wind-farm applications to the towns of Clinton and Ellenburg last week; those from Noble were accepted, while the town councils tabled action on Horizon.

INFORMATION NEEDED

If Horizon wants action on its Marble River Wind Farm application in January, the wind-energy firm must hand over completed paperwork to Ellenburg by Jan. 3 and Clinton two days later, said attorney Daniel Spitzer, who's handling the wind issue for both towns.

The Horizon application, he said, "was missing some property-owner signatures, some maps, some studies."

That information will be forthcoming, said Patrick Doyle, director of development.

"We didn't really expect our application to be studied in any great detail until the money was handed over. The process is going as expected."

The application fee and initial deposit to cover town legal and engineering expenses was put into escrow last week, and now Horizon is filling in the blanks.

Doyle was hopeful the firm's applications would win the towns' OK in short order. Over the past four years or so, numerous studies, from wind strength to noise, traffic and microwave impacts, have been... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
PLATTSBURGH -- Noble Environmental Power and Horizon Wind Energy both submitted wind-farm applications to the towns of Clinton and Ellenburg last week; those from Noble were accepted, while the town councils tabled action on Horizon.

INFORMATION NEEDED

If Horizon wants action on its Marble River Wind Farm application in January, the wind-energy firm must hand over completed paperwork to Ellenburg by Jan. 3 and Clinton two days later, said attorney Daniel Spitzer, who's handling the wind issue for both towns.

The Horizon application, he said, "was missing some property-owner signatures, some maps, some studies."

That information will be forthcoming, said Patrick Doyle, director of development.

"We didn't really expect our application to be studied in any great detail until the money was handed over. The process is going as expected."

The application fee and initial deposit to cover town legal and engineering expenses was put into escrow last week, and now Horizon is filling in the blanks.

Doyle was hopeful the firm's applications would win the towns' OK in short order. Over the past four years or so, numerous studies, from wind strength to noise, traffic and microwave impacts, have been conducted.

"We're getting that information together," he said.

'VERY FIRST STEP'

That the towns have accepted applications doesn't mean the wind farms will be built, Spitzer emphasized.

"This is just the very first step. The towns won't make decisions for many, many months.

"In no way is this indication of approval of the project."

There was considerable public input -- both positive and negative -- as Clinton and Ellenburg created the local laws that outline guidelines for wind-energy projects. As the process unfolds in the coming months, said Spitzer, public hearings will offer forums for further input.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

But first, the State Environmental Quality Review process must take place and a draft environmental impact statement has to be accepted.

"There will be positive declarations on both projects," Spitzer said.

"There's no question about that."

A positive declaration describes the possible impacts the project might have.

"The environmental impact statement explores all the social, environmental and economic impacts -- benefits and negative, short-term and long-term," said Spitzer.

It looks at such issues as traffic, aesthetics, noise and tax benefits/loss.

"It produces a record of investigation," he said. "It does not say a project is approved or disapproved."

The statement also examines mitigation of impacts, he added.
"If the rule was you couldn't build anything with a negative impact, you could never build anything. The law requires that you investigate and mitigate as much as possible."

STAY INFORMED

Last week, Spitzer asked both Noble and Horizon to create Web pages showing their applications.

"I encourage people to follow the process," said Spitzer. "Once the DEIS (draft environmental impact statements) are done, they should get ahold of them and take the time to read them."

The Buffalo attorney was recently retained to draft a wind-energy law for the Town of Altona, where Noble proposes erecting some towers as part of its project involving Ellenburg and Clinton.

ALTONA PROPOSAL

No application has yet been submitted to Altona by Noble, he said.
"There's no requirement they wait for Altona," the attorney said. "Each town stands alone."

Eighty percent of Horizon's project would be in Clinton, with 20 percent in Ellenburg.

Doyle didn't say whether lack of approval from one or the other would
jeopardize its construction.

"We've certainly planned on a project that would be in both towns," he said. "We'd like to see (it) generally being approved as we have applied for it."

And even with local approvals, both projects would have a long way to go.

"There are so many things to be done," said Doyle, listing such requirements as substantial bird and bat studies, as well as wetlands permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Environmental Conservation.

A system reliability impact study must be completed then reviewed and approved by the New York Independent System Operator Inc..
And, said Doyle, "you cannot deliver power to the grid without an interconnection agreement with the New York Power Authority and NYISO.

"That process is ongoing."

Could the projects of Noble and Horizon be approved for construction?
"In our view, there may well be sufficient capacity on the transmission lines for both projects," Doyle said.

"I suppose they can."

Source: http://www.pressrepublican....

DEC 31 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/891-wind-companies-apply-for-projects-in-ellenburg-and-clinton
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