COPENHAGEN: EDF Renewables plans to have its Copenhagen Wind Farm built by September 2018 and operational by November 2018 after several years of planning and development.
Project manager James Damon said Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. will begin building the 80-megawatt wind farm September 1 when it starts building access roads to the project site. The developer plans to build 40 turbines, each one two megawatts, throughout the town of Denmark, with about five in the Lowville Academy and Central School District.
Damon said he plans “to have energization” for the wind farm through its grid interconnection by September 2018, but the interconnection must be tested before the facility becomes operational. EDF signed an interconnection agreement with National Grid a few months ago, Damons said.
He said the facility should generate enough energy to power about 25,000 homes.
“All of the development work is done and we’re ready to do construction,” he said. “It’ll be exciting. I’ll be more excited when I see those turbines spin.”
The project team hosted an open house on Thursday at the Copenhagen Central School gymnasium to answer questions from residents about the project and its construction.
“I’m actually kind of excited about it,” said Lorilynn Kallen, Copenhagen. “[There are] opportunities for growth in the community.”
Once Renewable Energy Systems builds the access roads by November, Mr. Damon said he expects the builders to excavate for the turbine locations and pour the foundations in April and May. Renewable Energy Systems is expected to begin building the turbines in July when EDF receives the components for its turbines.
EDF plans to have the parts picked up at either Ogdensburg or Oswego and have them transported along Interstate 81, then to Route 177, Route 194 and finally the project location, but Damon said the delivery route is subject to change.
“They will be coming in on many trucks,” he said, adding that up to 11 trucks will be needed to transport all of the components.
Damon also said Renewable Energy Systems could start building the almost nine-mile-long overhead transmission line, which will run through the towns of Champion and Rutland, this winter depending on the weather conditions. Eddie Gara, the project engineering manager, said building the 115-kilovolt cable should take three to four months. Gara said building the transmission should “go smoothly as usual,” adding that building transmission lines are typically easy tasks for developers.
“We’ve already identified [the constraints]early in advance,” he said.
The wind farm project is expected to create seven permanent jobs and up to 250 temporary construction jobs.
Damon said EDF and Renewable Energy Systems plan to host a job fair at a later date to recruit temporary construction workers. The development team also plans to look out for potential employees to fill the seven full-time positions for the facility, which include wind technicians, a site manager and administrative staff, Damon said. Kyle Beats of Copenhagen said he attended the event because he was interested in applying for a part-time construction position and wanted to learn more about the project.
“Anything renewable is great,” he said. “I fell like it’s a great opportunity to get an awareness of global warming.”
EDF has a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement that will be administered by the Lewis County Industrial Development Agency, requiring the developer to pay more than $19 million over the 20-year-period. EDF will have to pay the Copenhagen Central School District, the Lowville Academy and Central School District, the town of Denmark and Lewis County.
The developer will also have to pay Jefferson County, Rutland and Champion full taxation for the transmission line on an assessed value of 70 percent of line construction costs. The Copenhagen Central School district would waive payments for the transmission cable for the first 15 years.