Arkwright town to again examine possible wind farm

ARKWRIGHT – After a several-year haitius, town officials are once again looking at having wind turbines installed in Arkwright.

According to a legal notice, Building Inspector Joseph Sorrento and Planning Board Chairperson Jami Sorrento have conveyed a wind energy lease and agreement to Picket Brook Wind Farm, now known as Arkwright Summit Wind Farm LLC, for property on Route 83.

Councilman Christopher Cannon has also conveyed a wind energy lease and agreement, as well as a license for a meterological tower to the same wind farm company for properties on Center Road.

Councilman Clinton Nagel and Supervisor Fredric Norton will be heading a committee to examine these proposals. They will be working with Renewables Project Manager Derek Rieman, who will work closely with the town to ensure the “best possible wind farm.”

According to town officials, more than 60 residents have come forward wanting their property leased for the wind turbines.

“This will benefit our town in the long run,” Nagel said. “After we get help from the state, we can set the project. We may see this happen in the next year or so. We are taking this one step at a time.”

At a recent town board meeting, Norton mentioned a meeting he had scheduled for July 10 with Assemblyman Andy Goodell and state Senator Catherine Young.

“I know people are wanting this wind turbine project,” Nagel said.

Rieman told the board he plans on looking at every angle of this project to make sure it meets the needs of the entire town.

Nagel added Rieman plans on making a phone number that would be open to the community 24/7 for questions or concerns involving this project.

“We are just hoping to get help from the state and see how far we can go from there,” Nagel said.

Goodell said he spoke with Norton briefly about the project.

“The local government is very supportive of moving forward with the wind farm,” he said. “It would bring in a significant tax base, and lower taxes for residents.”

Besides seeing reduction in taxes, residents who have wind turbines on their property would be paid royalties from the wind farm.

Goodell added he is in favor wind energy for three reasons.

“I support the wind project because of the tax base, lower rates, and a great source of energy,” he said. “There is no power production cost, since wind is free. You get tax credits from the federal government if you use wind energy. This makes it more attractive for investors. The largest wind developers are in New York state.”

Right now Renewables is looking at getting funding from NYSERDA to offset the cost of installing the turbines in the town.

“If they can guarantee they can sell all they can produce the market will go up,” Goodell said. “The wind guarantees the market, but not the rate. They want a guaranteed market and rate.”

“They also need a long-term commitment with a contractor,” he added. “If the company takes a risk and the rates go up, they are smiling at the bank, but if the rates go down they are frowning at the bank.”

There is a major wind project forming in Charlotte and Cherry Creek as well, according to Goodell. He said they are still in the early stages of development.

“I am very interested in following these projects,” Goodell said. “This will benefit the landowners.”

Goodell explained these small towns and villages are better off with marketing wind farms.

“They move forward at the same time; there is no competition, because they are all guaranteed selling their product,” he said. “For bigger areas, they have to bid every day on how much to sell their product.”

Over the last decade there have been many discussions about construction of wind turbines in Arkwright, but currently none have been constructed.

There will be a town board meeting in Arkwright July 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the town hall to talk more about this latest project.

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