Your comments by April 6th can make a difference

Heritage Wind Project Preliminary Scoping Statement: Your comments can make a difference.

We have a second wind project in the area to pay attention to.  This project is about 10 miles south of Lake Ontario and just east of the Iroquois Wildlife Management complex. Your comments can make a difference in being confident that appropriate surveys are being done to determine impacts to bird species so close to a major wildlife management area.  The Preliminary Scoping Statement for the Heritage Wind Project in Barre, Orleans County, an Apex project, was published to the website on March 16th.  All comments on the Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS) must be received by no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018. Case Number 15-F-0546 will connect you to the PSS documents.  The document and appendices for wintering raptor and avian surveys and the list of T&E species from the DEC and FWS are all available for review.  Since the southwest edge of their facility area overlaps with Oak Orchard wildlife management area the list of rare species is long.

The Facility will consist of up to 47 ~600 foot wind turbines, with the total Facility capacity up to 200 MW. Other proposed components will likely include: access roads, underground medium voltage collection lines, collection and point of interconnection (POI) substations, permanent meteorological (met) tower(s), construction staging, and an operations & maintenance building.  Currently, the proposed total length of access roads is approximately 15 miles. The proposed length of underground collection lines that will collect power from the turbines to deliver to the collection substation is 57 miles.

Do you think enough information will be gathered to adequately evaluate impacts to birds and habitat?  Is this a good location for a wind project? Voice your views.

All comments on the PSS must be received by no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018.  Comments may be filed via e-mail to Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary to the Siting Board, at [email protected], or by mail or delivery to Secretary Burgess at New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350. Comments must refer to “Case 16-F-0546 – Heritage Wind.”  All comments must also be served on Heritage’s, Cat Mosley, Apex Clean Energy, Court Square Building, 310 4th Street NE Suite 200, Charlottesville, VA 22902; Phone: 434-234-4405; E-mail: [email protected].

More information:  They have a Bird and Bat Conservation Strategy (BBCS) with input from the NYSDEC and USFWS that avoids or minimizes impacts to bats to the extent practicable, and monitors the effectiveness of these measures during operations. This will be summarized in the Article 10 Application but no data will be released before that.

To evaluate avian activity within the Facility Area, the Applicant has coordinated with NYSDEC and USFWS in developing work plans for the following studies:

  • 2016-2017 Wintering Grassland Raptor Survey dated March 25, 2017
  • 2017 Breeding Bird Survey dated September 26, 2017
  • 2017 Spring Migratory Raptor Survey dated October 30, 2017
  • Year 1 (December 2016-November 2017) Avian/Eagle Use (Ongoing)
  • 2017 Fall Migratory Raptors (Ongoing)
  • 2017-2018 Winter Grassland Raptors (Ongoing)
  • 2018 BBS (Ongoing)
  • Year 2 (December 2017-December 2018) Avian/Eagle Use

The studies were conducted by E&E and the methodologies were developed in consultation with the NYSDEC and USFWS and in accordance with their guidelines. Study Plans and reports compiled to date are included in Appendix E.

Rochester Birding Association has already signed up as a Party for the Heritage project as well as being a Party for the Lighthouse project just north of this new one.

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