Winds of Change

Plans for a wind farm in west Franklin are progressing, according to project manager Jeffrey Nemeth. In 2009 and 2010, Horizon Wind Energy erected two 198 foot meteoro- logical towers on properties off Russell Road and Herklotz Road. (Horizon is a wholly owned subsidiary of EDP Re- newables Company, headquartered in Spain.) Data from these towers show that winds in Franklin “are sufficient to support the development of a wind farm.”

Current plans include 28 towers 260 feet tall, with blades 130 feet long and a total generating capacity of 50.4 megawatts. They would be sited on the higher hill tops and close to the two power lines that run east/west through Franklin. The project is estimated to cost $100 million.

The Franklin Wind Farm is planned to be entirely within the drainage basin of the Susquehanna River and will not extend south into the watershed of the Cannons- ville Reservoir which stores water for New York City.

The company has signed leases for a third of the 150 acres required. Unlike the Constitution Pipeline Company, the Horizon Wind Energy will not be granted the power of eminent domain, and therefore all leases must be with willing landowners.

Construction of the Franklin Wind Farm is planned to start no earlier than 2015. This would follow construction of the Constitution Pipeline, which is planned for 2014. Fortunately, the areas of the two projects do not overlap. The wind farm would be sited south of State Route 357 on both sides of County Route 21, along the drainage divide between the Delaware and Susquehanna River Basins. In Franklin, the pipeline would be north of Route 357, along the divide between the Ouleout Creek and the Susque- hanna River.

Horizon plans to hold a public informational meeting, yet to be scheduled.

This project will need to go through the New York State Environmental Quality Review process. Back in 2007, the Town of Franklin passed local law 2007-1 to regulate wind energy facilities. However, Franklin has no local law to require bonding against damages to local roads. Instead, like Blanche DuBois, we “have always depended on the kindness of strangers” to reach an agreement. Horizon expects to negotiate such a road use agreement with county and town.

Brian Brock