A permit application for the construction of a wind farm in Delaware County was approved by Delaware County Supervisors, Jan. 11, after the action was tabled in previous meetings.
The application for CED Manchester Wind, LLC was approved after project officials with Con Edison agreed to drop their request for variances on the project that would not have complied with county code.
The plan calls for three turbines to be built along driveways from 230th St. All turbines are on land secured with long-term lease agreements. The turbines will be connected with an underground collection line that follows east along 230th St. to 167th Ave.
The supervisors had told Con Edison officials in previous meetings they were reluctant to grant variances for the project to move forward.
At previous meetings, Con Edison officials had requested a variance on the county’s blade height clearance requirement when the blade is positioned at six o’clock. The county ordinance specifies a clearance of 75 feet. Con Edison officials had asked to be able to use a blade with a 72.2 feet clearance, citing the fact at a meeting with supervisors last November that they had already purchased a turbine with that length of blades.
In addition, officials with the company were reluctant to agree to a performance bond requirement of 130% of the project costs. At the November meeting, supervisors told Con Edison representative Sean Waslow they would not waive the performance bond requirement.
Con Edison again addressed supervisors, Dec. 21, about the variances. At that meeting, Waslow asked supervisors to “consider lowering the scope of the performance bond.” After supervisors denied that request, Waslow asked the supervisors to reconsider the blade length requirement. Again, supervisors held firm on their position.
At the Jan. 11 meeting, Con Edison officials dropped the requests for the variances.
“After the last board meeting, we thought we heard pretty loud and clear about the minimum ground clearance and that it would be held firm at 75 feet,” Waslow told the supervisors. “We were able to go back to our engineers and ask what we could do. Turns out we could increase the height of the pedestal for the wind turbine by three feet to bring it into compliance with the ordinance.”
According to Waslow, Con Edison will also meet the performance bond requirements and sent a letter to county officials to say so. “After hearing the discussion last meeting, again we heard pretty clearly there will be some sort of performance bond required. We will comply and won’t ask for a variance anymore,” he told supervisors.
Supervisors moved to approve rescinding the variance requests and approved the permit application for the wind farm.