25,000 acre wind farm approved for Steuben County

Corning Bureau

CANISTEO, N.Y. (WETM) – The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) today granted approval to Canisteo Wind Energy, LLC (Canisteo Wind) to build and operate a 25,000 acre wind farm with 117 wind turbines in Steuben County.

“In keeping with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious goals for carbon reduction and for a clean-energy economy, we continue to develop clean energy resources in New York State to help all New Yorkers,” said Siting Board Chair John B. Rhodes. “With each Siting Board approval of a renewable energy facility we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and we demonstrate that renewable energy works in New York and helps create a clean energy future.”

The 290.7-megawatt (MW) Canisteo Wind project will consist of up to 117 wind turbines, with associated underground collection system and substation and related infrastructure in the Towns of Cameron, Canisteo, Greenwood, Jasper, Troupsburg, and West Union (Steuben County).

The facility will be located on approximately 25,000 acres of privately leased land and will enable landowners to continue with existing land uses. The project will provide economic benefits by creating direct jobs, will generate revenues for local governments through payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements, and will provide revenues for participating landowners through lease and other agreements. The next largest project approved to date by the Siting Board was the 242 MW Baron Winds project.

As described by the developer, the project would have a positive economic impact on the host communities, including an average weekly construction workforce of 200 workers for one year with an estimated total payroll of $20.3 million; non-payroll expenditures of an additional $7 million; creation of 73 secondary jobs generated by construction, and provided up to 14 permanent jobs during the operation of the facility.

Canisteo estimates that the project represents a major local investment, which will result in a significant increase to Steuben County’s taxable property base. In the first year, the wind farm estimates $4.562 million in direct economic benefits to host communities for the PILOT, host community agreement payments, fire district taxes, and participating leaseholder payments. Once operational, Canisteo says it will pay more than $49 million to local landowners over the life of the project through annual lease payments. This consistent stream of supplemental revenue can protect against fluctuating commodity prices and help maintain family farms. Overall, Canisteo Wind estimates that annual property tax and tax-related payments include $2.3 million per year in PILOT and host community agreement payments, and up to $60 million in local property taxes over the life of the project.

The project will connect to the electric system grid in the Town of Hornellsville, pending the Commission’s issuance of a separate approval pursuant to Article VII for construction of a 15-mile, 115 kilovolt (kV) interconnection line.

The Siting Board examiners determined that the wind farm will be consistent with the energy policies and long-range planning objectives and strategies contained in the most recent State Energy Plan. Based on this, and based on its consideration of other relevant social, economic and other factors, the Siting Board determined that the project will be a beneficial addition to the electric generation capacity of the State, and will also serve the goals of improving fuel diversity, grid reliability, and modernization of grid infrastructure.

Canisteo filed its formal application with the Siting Board in November 2018. The active parties to the proceeding included local municipalities, the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Inc; local individual residents; and several state agencies. The record includes more than two hundred public comments. The Siting Board held two public information sessions, two on-the-record public statement hearings, two procedural conferences, and conducted three days of evidentiary hearings at which expert and factual testimony was taken, all near the project area.

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