Genesee County planners recommend approval of Darien wind turbine plan, two referrals in Batavia
For Padma Kasthurirangan, a national expert in wind energy distribution, a project being promoted by Whitecap Electric, LLC, of Amherst, in the Town of Darien can’t begin fast enough.
“We would like to start, like two years ago, but our construction will probably be in 2023,” said Kasthurirangan, responding to The Batavian’s question about a starting date for the installation of two wind turbines of up to 2.5 megawatts each on farmland at 2311 Bennett Road.
The chief engineer and president of Buffalo Renewables, she was in Batavia tonight -- along with three colleagues – at the Genesee County Planning Board meeting at County Building 2.
County planners recommended approval of the site plan and special use permit, with a few modifications pertaining to decommissioning, visual impact and bird analysis studies, and stormwater prevention.
As reported on The Batavian yesterday, the $6 million project calls for the wind turbines, which would be connected to the grid under the Community Distributed Generation program, to be about 450 feet high.
During the meeting, Kasthurirangan informed planners that her company has been working on this for quite some time, and is committed to meeting all requirements put forth by the Town of Darien.
She said utilities will be placed under the ground and that the company is not requesting any variances.
John Hannon, a partner with Triad Recycle and Energy in Buffalo, added that they’re waiting for National Grid to determine where it wants the connection, and will restore any disrupted land to agricultural use.
Also representing the project at the meeting were Vasu Primlani, business development manager at Buffalo Renewables and a renowned environmentalist, and engineer Kenneth Rawe Jr.
Hannon said that Triad Recycle and Energy has two wind turbines at its facility in Tonawanda and that “Padma has put up more turbines than anyone in New York State.”
On the subject of noise complaints from wind turbines, Kasthurirangan said that most of the noise complaints “are not usually backed by actual noise issues.”
“It can make noise when there's a problem with the turbine, but the turbines that we pick will be certified to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards, and they go through a whole acoustic testing process," she said.
In other action, planners recommended approval of:
- A revised site plan for exterior changes at 99 Main St., Batavia, an historic building that is being renovated as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
- A zoning map change from Planned Development to Residential for homes at 145 and 147 Pearl St., Batavia, to enable the placement of a shed at 147 Pearl St. The matter now will go to the City Planning & Development Committee.
GENESEE 2050 TALK SCHEDULED
County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari announced that a presentation of the Genesee 2050 project, encompassing the county's Comprehensive and Recreation plans, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Old County Courthouse. Citizens can attend in person or via Zoom. Contact Oltramari at 585-815-7901 for more information.