The developer of the proposed $550 million Alle-Catt Wind Farm hasn’t given up on the project after Farmersville and Freedom town boards introduced new wind laws earlier this week.
“Alle-Catt still has the support of hundreds of residents, and we look forward to working with them and our host communities to make this project and its vast environmental and economic benefits a reality,” Invenergy spokesman Eric Miller said Wednesday in an emailed response to the town boards’ actions Monday night.
The company hopes to work with the new town board members, Miller emphasized.
The Alle-Catt project would span five towns, Farmersville and Freedom in Cattaraugus County, Rushford and Centerville in Allegany County and Arcade in Wyoming County. The 340-megawatt wind farm would have up to 117 turbines.
After the November elections, both northern Cattaraugus County town boards have 3-2 majorities that would appear to favor more protective wind laws than were approved the past two years.
The 2018 Freedom law has been overturned by a state Supreme Court judge, but that decision has been appealed.
On Monday, the Farmersville Town Board voted to void the town’s 2019 wind law after receiving a lawsuit from Farmersville United calling for the 2019 law to be voided.
New wind laws were introduced in Farmersville and Freedom Monday night. Both town boards will conduct public hearings on the proposed laws this coming Monday night.
In the meantime, earlier local laws in both towns remain in effect. The biggest difference is that the existing laws have a 450-foot height limit for turbines, while the recently-passed local laws conform to requests by Invenergy for 600-foot (ground top blade tip) turbine.
“The wind law proposed by the Farmersville town board reflects height limits that were in line with turbine technology in 2009,” Miller said in the email. “Many Towns have updated their wind laws to reflect more than a decade of progress in turbine innovation and efficiency, which has allowed us to build turbines that can produce more power at a lower cost for ratepayers.”
Miller said negotiated host agreements would secure $9.1 million every year in economic benefits for the region.
“We hope that incoming board members consider their obligations to manage the town budget, minimize taxes on all residents, and fully investigate the facts of the project,” he said.