Share this article

print logo

Town receives federal grant for two new wind turbines; Construction to be completed by October

Town officials recently secured funding to construct two wind turbines near the town sewage treatment site on Lower Lake Road, in hopes of saving the area about $3,700 a year in energy costs.

With about $135,000 from a federal-stimulus grant, administered by the New York State Energy Research Development Authority, the turbines will be constructed by October at the latest, with a cost to taxpayers of about $15,000, Supervisor Richard Meyers said.

"We have some of the best wind in the entire state," Meyers said. "We want to take advantage of it."

Bid specifications will be out by July 13 to construct the turbines, Meyers said, which should produce about 20 percent of the sewage site's electric power, about 135,000 kilowatts.

The residential turbines are not much bigger than what some might install to power their own home, he said.

Commercial turbines are larger and more expensive to build, but can produce much more energy. "Until that becomes a feasible project," Meyers said, "we're going to start here."

Producing power using renewable resources like wind, sunlight and water is energy efficient and can save money, said Jeffrey Gordon, spokesman for the state research agency.

Small municipalities can apply for the grant, which covers 90 percent of the total project cost, Gordon said.

The grant is not typically issued when plans are to power a sewage site, so initially Meyers wanted to build near, and power, the Town Hall. But residents, including James Hoffman, opposed the idea, concerned about environmental impacts on a nearby wooded area.

The location also wouldn't produce as much power as the sewage site, Meyers said, a difference of 14,000 kilowatts.

"We went through the proper channels," Meyers said. "We were able to get a variance. With the increase in output, I think we made a pretty good case."

Building the turbines is a quick project, he said, but by the time planning and bidding are complete, things may not be under way until September.

Too much later than that, and wind currents could become a problem.

"It's kind of the curse of the turbine," Meyers said. "You can't put them up when it's windy."

e-mail: niagaranews@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment