Crown City Wind Energy Center, New York State

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CROWN CITY WIND ENERGY PROJECT DEIS DEEMED ADEQUATE

Status: The Crown City Wind Energy Project DEIS, submitted on February 28, 2013, was determined to be adequate for public and agency review and comment on March 28, 2013 by the Cortland County Legislature. See Press Release

Please click here for a copy of the DEIS Notice of Completion.
Please send written comments on the DEIS to Jeremy Boylan, 60 Central Ave. 3rd Floor, Cortland, NY

The Crown City DEIS is available at the following location www.cortland-co.org

The public comment period for the Project will begin on April 12, 2013 and will end on July 26, 2013. All substantive comments received will be addressed in the Final EIS (FEIS) for the Project.

A determination of adequacy by the legislature is critical to the project moving forward. It is not final approval of the project, it is the first part of the State Environmental Quality Review Act process, in that it enables the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to be issued for public review and comment. All substantive comments received will have to be addressed as part of converting the draft EIS to final EIS (FEIS).

Click here to listen to a call to action.

Animated Photomontages:
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Gridley Road looking Southwest

Heath Camp Road looking East

North Road looking Southeast

Route 13 looking South

Route 41 Looking Northwest

South Hill Road, McGraw looking North

Air Energy TCI Inc (TCI) submitted its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in support of the 72MW Crown City Wind Energy Project (the "Project") to the Lead Agency (Cortland County Legislature) on Monday 17th September 2012. The Project is expected to generate enough clean and renewable electricity to power 30,000 New York homes1. The DEIS contains detailed information and discusses the impacts, mitigations and benefits of the Project. The DEIS is now with the County Legislature for review and it is expected that they will release this for wider public review before the end of September.

A public Scoping process was conducted to determine the content of the DEIS prior to submission such that the document addresses local concerns and issues, that are relevant to the requirements of SEQRA. Prior to this, TCI had undertaken three public open houses and also undertook a door-to-door information drop across the Project area, during summer 2012, whereby over 450 homes were visited and provided with Project information.

Approval of the Draft EIS by the County Legislature, for public review marks the beginning of the public comment period and is not approval of the Project. The document will also be released to the relevant agencies (Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, involved Town Boards etc.) for comment at this time. It is anticipated that the County Legislature will also schedule a public hearing to provide an additional forum for the public to provide comment on the DEIS. Approval of the Draft EIS by the County Legislature, for public review marks the beginning of the public comment period and is not approval of the Project. The document will also be released to the relevant agencies (Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, involved Town Boards etc.) for comment at this time. It is anticipated that the County Legislature will also schedule a public hearing to provide an additional forum for the public to provide comment on the DEIS.

Please follow links above to view animated photomontages of the proposed project.

Further information will be posted on this webpage as the SEQRA process continues. In the meantime, should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Gareth McDonald, TCI Development Manager, Toll Free: on 1 888 842 1923 (US & Canada only) or by e-mail at gareth.mcdonald@tcir.net

1 www.eia.gov/consumption/residential

State Environmental Quality & Review Act (SEQR) Status:
In November 2008 TCI submitted a full Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) to Cortland County. Resulting from this Cortland County passed a resolution in December 2008 declaring itself as Lead Agency for the purposes of completing the environmental review required under SEQR regulations. A significant amount of ecology (bird, bat,, flora, fauna etc) data collection was undertaken during 2008 and 2009. Since that time TCI continued the development of the project and since the October 2011 Open House Public Information session has been working to finalise the project layout to enable commencement of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Together with our environmental consultants, EDR of Syracuse, we have recently finalised the draft project layout, based on recently introduced and updated wind turbine specifications. Following further consultation with the Lead Agency, EDR and TCI drafted and submitted a Project Description and Draft Scoping Document (which included a draft project layout) to the Lead Agency in June 2012. Please refer to the links below for copies of these documents, for ease of reference, the layout from the Project Description is extracted below (higher resolution is available on page 2 of the downloadable PDF).

At the June 28th Cortland County Legislative session the Lead Agency passed a Positive Declaration in accordance with the SEQR regulations, confirming that the Crown City Wind Energy Center would require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Following this, the Draft Scoping Document was published for public comment from 3rd July – 3rd August to allow the public to comment on the issues to be addressed in the draft EIS. A scoping document consultation meeting, chaired by the Ag/Planning/Environment committee acting on behalf of the Lead Agency, took place on the evening of Monday 23rd July 2012. Once all comments have been recieved and considered, we will post the finalised scoping document below, and the Lead Agency will mail this to the Involved Agencies, including the four involved Towns. In the meantime, TCI and our consultants are working in conjunction with the Lead Agency, their environmental consultants and legal advisors (the costs of which are refunded by TCI to the County in accordance with SEQR practice), with the aim of submitting the Draft EIS to the Lead Agency in late August. At this point the Lead Agency will consider the completeness of the document as to whether it is suitable for public review and comment. If deemed suitable, the DEIS will be made available for public review and comment (at Town Halls, local libraries, on this website, etc). As part of this process TCI anticipates undertaking a public open house information session in October 2012 to enable continued dialogue with the local community. This determination by the Lead Agency is not an approval of the project, it purely means that the DEIS can be made available for public review and comment. The process of converting the DEIS to the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is expected to take a further 9 – 12 months. In the meantime TCI wil update this webpage as the project progresses.

Should you require any further information regarding the project or the SEQR process please do not hesitate to contact Gareth McDonald, Development Manager, on 514 842 1923

Map

Public Information Open House 2011

Public Information Session 2008

Code of Conduct for Wind Farm Development
Air Energy TCI Inc (AET) is pleased to announce that it has re-signed the New York State Attorney Generals’ Wind Ethics Code of Conduct Agreement.

Air Energy TCI has always been committed to transparency and ethical practice during the development of its projects in each of its markets. AET welcomes the opportunity to participate in the Wind Ethics Code. We are committed to the continued ethical development practices and open communications with elected representatives and with the communities in which we are working.

To view a copy of the Code of Conduct Agreement, please click here

Relationships that AET holds with elected representatives:

AET Relationships with Municipal Officials

Memorandum of Option Agreement:

Location:
The proposed Crown City Wind Energy Center lies approximately 30 miles south of Syracuse in the centre of Cortland County. The project covers an area of approximately 10,000 acres. The land taken to host the project will be less than three percent of the total project area.

Summary:
The project will comprise up to 45 wind turbine generators and all associated underground cabling, designed to minimise the visual impact. The primary land use in the area is agriculture with a network of river valleys and ridges, some of which are used for growing hay and corn, some for cattle-raising and much of which is forested. The localised ridge topography helps to create steady wind conditions and this sparsely populated region is recognized by county legislators and planners as a good wind resource area. The local population is acknowledged as being a forward-thinking community and the majority of landowners approached have been receptive to this opportunity.

The turbine development has a projected life expectancy of around 25 years, generating electricity which will be fed into the New York State grid. Air Energy TCI have been monitoring windspeeds in the area since May 2008 and will continue to do so to “ground truth” the anticipated wind resource. A full Environmental Impact Statement is currently being compiled by Air Energy TCI and environmental consultants Ecology & Environment Inc. in support of the wind energy center. The Environmental Impact Statement follows strict guidelines imposed by the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

Environmental Impact Statement:
Many studies have been completed for inclusion in the EIS and some are still underway. It is anticipated that TCI will submit an Environmental Impact Statement for the development September 2012. A full draft of this document will be posted on this website and will be available for public review.

Public Consultation:
Public information sessions will be held throughout the development process to advise and update the local community, stakeholders and to gain community feedback. Please check this website and the Cortland Standard Newspaper for details of the next Public Information Session.

TCIR Development Manager Gareth McDonald working with local landowners at its proposed Crown City Wind Energy Center

Project Benefits:
The Crown City Wind Energy Center will produce enough renewable energy to power approximately 21,000 homes* - which means that all of Cortland County’s 18,210 households** could be powered with green energy – with plenty to spare.

References:

* Based on a typical US household usage of 11,000kwh per year.
Taken from US Dept. of Energy website

** Taken from the US Census Bureau - Occupied Housing Units