N.Y. board OKs large wind farm despite local prohibition

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A New York board has approved plans to build a 27-turbine wind farm despite a new local law intended to block the project.

The state’s Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment approved the 124-megawatt Calpine wind farm in eastern Broome County yesterday. It’s the fourth wind farm approved by the board in the past four months, representing 577 megawatts of renewable energy generation.

A new zoning law adopted by the town of Sanford effectively banned the project, but Siting Board Chairman John Rhodes said environmental impacts would be minimized, based on plans by developer Calpine.

The state Public Service Commission says the decision to approve the Bluestone wind project demonstrates how the state is working to achieve Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040.

The Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society sought to stop the project, saying it poses an unacceptable risk to bald and golden eagles that are concentrated in high numbers in the area. Some local residents raised concerns about aesthetics, property values and health impacts.

Rhodes said compromises were reached on noise and shadow concerns and measures would be taken to minimize harm to eagles.