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Horse Creek Wind Farm, NY

STATUS: In progress with opposition

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Citizens and town officials of Clayton; Fish and Wildlife Service

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND:  The Horse Creek Wind Farm is located near Clayton, New York.  It is a $234 million project that includes 62 wind turbines.  Iberdrola Renewables is the developer of the wind farm.  The turbines will generate 130 megawatts of energy, which is enough energy to provide power to the town of Clayton which consists of approximately 48,000 homes.

The development of the Horse Creek Wind Farm will employ 150 construction jobs and will create five to seven permanent jobs.

Horse Creek Wind Farm has encountered a great deal of resistance and opposition from Citizens of Clayton, who have expressed numerous concerns included noise and contamination of groundwater. The noise concern also prompted the Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if high bat mortality rates are associated with wind turbines.

 Serious complaints filed by residents prompted the Planning Board to hire an acoustic engineering firm, CTA, to evaluate the initial noise impact report conducted by CH2M HILL.  The completed report was withheld from the public by the Planning Board, citing that it was too complex for public viewing. On October 8, 2008, the report was released to the public.

In August 2009, Clayton's Town Council considered a recommendation from the wind committee that turbine setbacks be 31/2 times the height of the turbines, which Iberdrola said will be about 400 feet, from roads and nonparticipating residents' property lines.  Iberdrola said the setbacks would force them to eliminate 37 of the proposed 62 turbines. The setbacks from nonparticipating residents' property lines of 31/2 times the height of the turbine proposed in Clayton would eliminate all but three.

In June 2010, Iberdrola failed in a request for a third extension from the Clayton Planning Board. As of August 2010, the developer is planning to resubmit an application for the project, which was in the middle of the state environmental quality review.

SOURCES: Water Town Daily Times: http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20090528/NEWS03/305289933/-1/NEWS; http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20090921/NEWS03/309219981/; http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20080607/NEWS03/102092422;
Wind Action: http://www.windaction.org/faqs/18291;
Iberdrola Renewables: http://www.iberdrolarenewables.us/horsecreek/Text_and_Dividers/2007-02-26_DGEISaccpeted_05030.pdf;
All Business: http://www.allbusiness.com/government/government-bodies-offices-regional/14866276-1.html

Last updated November 22, 2010