The New York State Public Service Commission on Feb. 8 said that it will hold a virtual public statement hearing at 6 p.m., on Feb. 17 on Number Three Wind Energy, LLC’s April 2019 petition seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a proposed solar electric generating facility in the towns of Harrisburg and Lowville in Lewis County, N.Y.
Number Three Wind’s petition also sought an order providing for lightened regulation for wholesale electric generators with respect to its facility.
The commission added that construction and operation of the project will be subject to the terms and conditions of the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment’s November 2019 certificate of environmental compatibility and public need, as modified in February 2020.
As noted in a Jan. 4 letter from the siting board to Invenergy LLC, the November 2019 certificate authorizes Number Three Wind, or NTW, to build and operate a 105.8-MW, wind-powered electric generating facility of up to 31 utility scale wind turbines in Lewis County — 13 of which are to be located in the Town of Lowville and 18 of which are to be located in the Town of Harrisburg.
The siting board added that the project consists of five GE 2.3-116 turbines with a total height of about 453 feet and 26 GE3.6-137 turbines with a total height of about 586 feet, as well as aboveground and underground transmission lines, temporary and permanent access roads, underground collection lines, a collection substation, an operations and maintenance building, and construction laydown yard.
The siting board said that in its December 2020 petition for amendment of the certificate, NTW sought approval to install fewer turbines — 29 — but to increase the turbine height for up to 26 turbines up to 650 feet, which will require one turbine to shift five feet to comply with local law property line setbacks.
According to NTW, the changes are necessary because the GE3.6-137 turbines are no longer commercially available and the proposed turbines — Vestas V150 turbines — are available and preferable to meet the “project parameters including targeted energy production and capacity and the limitations imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Army at Fort Drum.”
Among other things, the siting board said that the state Department of Public Service staff, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health, reviewed the amendment petition and concluded that the proposed modifications would not result in a significant adverse increase to environmental impacts as compared to the certificated facility.
The siting board said that since the proposed modifications are not expected to result in an increase in the environmental impacts, they do not constitute a “revision.”
In its Feb. 8 statement, the commission said that participants who want to provide a public statement at the hearing must register to do so by 5 p.m., on Feb. 16 at www.webex.com; call-in participants wishing to provide a statement at the hearing must register to do so by calling 1-800-342-3330 by 5 p.m., on Feb. 16.
On the date and at the appropriate time of the hearing, all call-in users should dial (518) 549-0500 and enter the relevant access code, the commission said.
To access the hearing electronically, participants should visit www.webex.com, and enter the event number, 179 034 6526, with the password, Feb17-6pm; to access the hearing telephonically, participants should dial 518-549-0500, and enter the access code, 179 034 6526.
While public comments will be accepted throughout the pendency of the case, comments are requested by March 1, the commission added.