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VN 6/12 - Prudent Delays

Last week an Evidentiary Hearing was conducted by a Public Service Commission (PSC) Law Judge in Bath. The hearing was held because two groups advocating for the proper siting of industrial wind turbines had objected to the request by UPC Wind for a certificate of necessity from the PSC. The Town of Naples and NYSEG were also involved as intervenors. The two central issues addressed were 1) the proposed Clipper Liberty 2.5 MW turbines and their certification and reliability to provide safe energy, and 2) the design and layout of the substations and 115kv transmission lines for the Cohocton Wind project.

What evidence was presented at the Evidentiary Hearing?
- Under oath UPC stated repeatedly that the project is still in the design stage with many unresolved issues with different components.
- Permission from landowners for the overhead transmission lines is causing problems with the layout. There may also be a problem with turbine leases not being obtained and filed in a legal manner.
- UPC was lacking many of the documents that PSC staff had asked for. At one point the issue of a report possibly being too costly to provide was discussed by Mr. Swartley.
- Wind data as well as turbine reliability information is confidential according to UPC, who also claimed that the results of geological tests conducted at the turbine sites were not available as requested.

The hearing apparently raised more questions than answers. Since the project is not yet finalized it would seem many more site plan reviews and public hearings may yet to be conducted. Wisely, our Planning Board has postponed further decision-making for the time being.

At Cohocton Free we believe in the old adage that "the wheels of God grind extremely fine." In other words, man plans but ultimately divine justice will prevail. Browse our main website; check out some of the other items in our "Updates" section; read our recent Proposal for breaking the deadlock; and then contact us for a yard sign if you agree!

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