2011-03-12 / Front Page

SCALED DOWN

Industrial wind project will now be built in phases

More than four years after an international energy company targeted wide swaths of northern Potter County farm and forest land for an industrial wind energy plant, the project has remained stalled by economic and political uncertainties, as well as a maze of government regulations.

AES Corporation recently scaled down its plan to adapt to changing conditions and now plans to build the electrical generation complex in phases.

Phase one would include 21 turbines in Ulysses Township and 12 in neighboring Hector Township. Each of the machines would stand taller than 400 feet and generate up to 1.5 megawatts of electricity that would be fed into the national grid.

Meanwhile, elected officials in the sparsely populated Hector Township are prepared to follow Ulysses Township’s lead in adopting an ordinance that will encourage location turbines in the township.

Hector Township Board of Supervisors will take action on a proposed Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance following a public hearing at 6 pm on Wednesday, March 16, at the township building in Sunderlinville. Township Secretary Basil Mc- Cutcheon reports that the proposed ordinance can be viewed by appointment. He can be reached at 334-5668.

Elected supervisors in both townships have been courted by AES and offered financial incentives, through proposed “host community agreements,” to adopt regulations that are accommodating to the industry.

AES turned to the townships for support after the Potter County Planning Commission and Potter County Board of Commissioners adopted an ordinance that restricted the amount of noise that the wind turbines would be permitted to emit to neighboring residences.

By enacting their own Subdivision and Land Development Ordinances, the two townships can adopt regulations that are more accommodating to the industry.

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