Cortland County Wind Project Faces Critical October Deadline
A proposed industrial wind farm project here in Cortland may finished, unless the developers can get more time from a regulatory agency and county lawmakers can move the environmental review process forward.
The wind project involves the installation of as many as 44 500-foot tall wind turbines at locations in Cortlandville, Homer, Solon, and Truxton. When complete it is supposed to generate up to 72 megawatts of electricity, enough power for 30 thousand homes.
The developers TCI Renewables an international company that has developed theses types of projects elsewhere has been working for the past five years to bring the project forward. Recently the company completed its draft environmental impact statement, which outlines the tower locations, identifies the project impacts and offers solutions to mitigate potentially negative impacts. The document was presented to lawmakers last week.
T-C-I is now facing a critical deadline, it needs to have the draft environmental document reviewed and deemed complete in order to comply with regulatory agencies reviewing the project. T-C-I is asking lawmakers to deem the environmental document sufficient for public review and to release it for public review in order to keep the process moving.
Brett O’Connor from T-C-I said that review needs to happen before October 8th or the project may be dead in the water. O’Connor says the draft impact statement is not meant to address every issue, it’s a starting point from which further comments and concerns can be addressed.
After some debate and after hearing from the County’s hired engineer, legislators have agree to vote on the release the document at the end of October to allow lawmakers the next few weeks to review and comment of the document.
Mike Barylski a staunch opponent of the project says the county should not rush their review just to meet T-C-I self created hardship, he feels there is too much at stake.
O’Connor says if this project does not move forward the county stands to lose over 300 short and long term jobs as well as 15 to 20 million dollars in local economic investment.
The County Agriculture committee is expected to meet on October 11th to register its comments of the document; the committee will hold a second meeting to consider releasing the document with the Legislature voting to release the draft impact statement release on October 27th. Once it is released the public will have between 30 and 60 days to comment on review.