High Bridge Wind LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Calpine Corporation, on Jan. 24 filed with the New York State Public Service Commission a preliminary scoping statement (PSS) regarding the company’s proposal to build the High Bridge Wind Farm Project in the Town of Guilford in Chenango County, N.Y.
As noted in the filing, a PSS generally provides an outline and summary of what will eventually become the company’s formal Article 10 application, which High Bridge hopes to file in the summer. The PSS and related “scoping” process are designed to gather stakeholder input at a relatively early stage before a project sponsor has a fully developed proposal so that issues and resources of particular concern to the community can be identified and incorporated into final project design.
Once the Article 10 application is submitted, the filing added, certain state agencies have 60 days to review the application and identify any deficiencies that the project sponsor would need to address. Once the agencies determine the application is complete, the siting board will have one year to make a decision on the application, the filing said.
The application will contain an estimate of capital costs of the project, including development costs, construction design and planning costs, equipment costs, and construction costs, the filing noted.
High Bridge is proposing the wind energy generating facility of up to 100.8 MW that would be located on leased private lands that are rural in nature. Those parcels under, or being pursued, for lease – or other real property interests – with High Bridge for the location of all facility components – referred to as the facility site – collectively total about 28,000 acres, the filing added.
The facility’s footprint would be substantially smaller than the facility site and would have only minor impacts on land use, the filing said, noting that the facility is being designed to avoid or minimize impacts to wetlands, sensitive wildlife habitat, archaeological resources, waterbodies, visibility and visual effects on adjacent areas, as well as other sensitive resources.
The High Bridge wind project would include the installation and operation of up to 30 wind turbines, together with the associated collection lines, access roads, permanent and temporary meteorological towers, laydown area, as well as an operation and maintenance (O&M) building. The filing also said that to deliver electricity to the state power grid, High Bridge proposes to build a collection substation that may include up to 5 MW of battery storage, as well as a short, 115-kV, overhead electrical transmission line – less than five miles long – connecting the collection substation to the New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) 115-kV line and a point of interconnect (POI) substation that would interconnect with NYSEG’s Jennison to East Norwich 115-kV transmission line in the Town of Guilford.
The filing noted that the proposed facility would, for instance, help the state achieve the broad goals of the 2015 State Energy Plan (SEP), which contains a series of policy objectives to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and diversify the state’s energy portfolio, while stabilizing energy costs, as well as encouraging economic development and innovation. Through the SEP, New York has committed to achieving a 40% reduction in GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, and reducing 80% of total carbon emissions by 2050. The filing added that the SEP also calls for 50% of generation of electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
According to the filing, the facility could provide enough energy for up to 45,000 households in the state, representing a significant addition to New York’s incremental renewable capacity in the short-term, as larger-scale options – such as offshore wind – are presumably unavailable until at least 2023.