Board to discuss rehearing for wind company

Julie Abbass/Watertown Daily Times

LOWVILLE — The decision-making board in the Article 10 process will meet next week to discuss Number Three Wind Farm’s petition for a rehearing.

When Chicago-based Invenergy’s wind farm project was granted the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need on Nov. 12 by the Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, a number of conditions were placed on the certification. Those conditions must be met in order for the company to begin constructing the project.

Although Number Three disputed the legitimacy of some of those conditions in its Dec. 12 document requesting the rehearing, they will have to prove the Siting Board made a legal or factual mistake or that new circumstances should change the board’s findings in order to be granted a rehearing according to state law.

“For applicants, Certificate Conditions are the central focus because they determine how much time will be required to complete construction; how costly construction will be; and the revenue potential of the Project once built and placed in service,” Number Three’s 39-page petition said.

Some of the conditions Number Three questions relate to the project’s impact on threatened and endangered birds, noise and the role of the Site Engineering and Environment Plan, or SEEP.

Number Three’s petition also accused the Siting Board of providing insufficient explanations for some of the decisions handed down and of not giving the company’s information the same consideration as that provided by other parties in the process, such as the DEC.

Rebuttal statements to Number Three’s petition were issued by the DEC, the Tug Hill Alliance for Rural Preservation (THARP), a residents’ group involved in the process, and the Department of Public Service, which all called into question Number Three’s facts and accusations.

They also all urged against a rehearing, with THARP asking “the record be reopened and discovery and evidentiary hearing” be held if new information is to be introduced into the process.

Number Three said compliance with the conditions as they stand “would be impracticable and unreasonably and unnecessarily costly.”

The company claims the federal Production Tax Credit, which requires the project to be completed by the end of this year, could lose value and impact the project’s finances because of the delays the conditions would cause.

The 105.8-megawatt wind project would consist of 31 turbines, 13 in the town of Lowville and 18 in the town of Harrisburg.

The Siting Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 13 in the 19th floor board room at the Department of Public Service, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, and video conference with the DEC’s Watertown office at 317 Washington St., Fifth Floor, and the department’s New York City office.

The meeting will also be shown online at http://www.dps.ny.gov/Webcasts.html.

To read the full documents filed in the Article 10 process for Number Three Wind, go to http://wdt.me/DxHRL8.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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