A proposed industrial wind farm that is looking to locate in four towns here in Cortland County is facing a critical deadline of November 1st. If the environmental review process doesn’t advance the project is finished.
That’s the word form the project developer T-C-I Renewables, the project calls for the installation of nearly 50 500-foot tall wind turbines in the Towns of Truxton, Solon, Cortlandville, and Homer. T-C-I claims the $200 million dollar project will generate 72 megawatts of energy, enough to power 30 thousand homes.
Over the past few months the county which is serving as the lead agent for the environmental review has been going back and forth with T-C-I over the companies draft environmental impact statement which lays out potential negative impacts of the project and how the company will mitigate or deal with them. Earlier this week T-C-I submitted its latest revisions for review. Now the company is saying if the draft document is not deemed adequate for public review and released by the Legislature before November 1st the entire project is in jeopardy of falling apart.
Gareth McDonald with T-C-I says they’re looking for lawmakers to release the draft document in order to get additional feedback and keep the process moving in order to comply with regulatory deadlines.
Last night, residents both in support and those opposed to the project weighed in, opponents argue that T-C-I is rushing the review and urged the county to take all the time it needs and do a thorough job. Supporters like Jeff Zarnowski of Truxton say this is not a final decision on the project it is one step in the process, he urged lawmakers to ignore the emotional rhetoric around the project and take a reasoned approach.
In response to T-C-I’s request County Legislative Chair Mike Park has called a special Agriculture and Planning Committee meeting for next Tuesday at 4pm so the committee can decide if the document is ready for public review, Park has also called a full legislative session for the same night to act on the recommendation. Park acknowledged that T-C-I is placing a lot of pressure on the legislature to act quickly.
T-C-I says if the review does not advance not only will this source of clean renewable energy be lost; but also so will the jobs and additional revenue that could come to this community. T-C-I say this project will create 300 direct and indirect jobs and will pump between $17 and $21 million dollars into the community.