ELLENBURG — The New York State Public Service Commission has approved modifications to the Marble River Wind Farm project, paving the way for construction to begin soon.
The decision will allow Horizon Wind Energy and EDP Renewables to install 492-foot-tall turbines at Marble River in the towns of Clinton and Ellenburg.
They will be the tallest turbines in New York state.
"The changes we are approving to the Marble River wind farm will help maximize project efficiencies to reduce construction and operational costs while continuing to minimize environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable," Commission Chairman Gary Brown said in a press release from the Public Service Commission.
"The installation of these state-of-the-art turbines will maximize energy production while significantly reducing the number of turbines needed due to the more efficient use of the region's wind resource."
Based on Thursday's approval, Horizon Wind Energy will operate 72 three-megawatt turbines along Route 190 in both Clinton and Ellenburg. The original plans called for 190 2.1-megawatt turbines.
"The project area has been reduced from 18,500 acres to 11,500 acres, with corresponding reductions in impacts from roads and facilities associated with the facility," said Roby Roberts, spokesperson for Horizon Wind Energy.
"Since we're reducing the number of turbines from 109 to 72, we believe this is an improvement to the visual impacts from the project."
How the project would impact the community was a major part of the overall approval process, Roberts added.
LAUDED BY TOWN
Ellenburg Town Supervisor Richard Pearson applauded the news.
"It's beneficial on the basis of less surface, less footprints on the ground," he said. "The larger turbines are taller but not that much taller. You're not going to really see the difference (in height between the new turbines and those at other area wind farms) because of the way they'll be laid out."