Fourth wind farm proposed in Lewis County, solar included

The sun sets on a wind farm outside Lowville. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

The sun sets on a wind farm outside Lowville. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

A fourth wind farm — this one with an additional solar component — is now being planned in Lewis County on the Tug Hill Plateau.

The Number Three Wind Farm, being proposed by Invenergy Wind North America, Chicago, Ill., is to include 35 to 50 turbines and up to 100 acres of photovoltaic solar panels, according to a Public Involvement Program plan for the project. The project would be located in the towns of Harrisburg, Lowville and Denmark.

“InvEnergy is planning the Number Three Wind Farm for an area of Northern New York with excellent wind potential and interested landowners,” Eric Miller, director of business development, said by email. “With over 6,000 acres leased, the project should be able to generate up to 105 megawatts that will help New York meet the governor’s 50 percent renewables goal. We look forward to continuing development of Number Three Wind in furtherance of this goal and for the benefit of the local community and landowners that support it.”

Target completion is set at 2019, although officials say that obviously could change as the project is still in its preliminary stages.

The proposed wind farm — to be sandwiched between the 195-tower Maple Ridge Wind Farm to the south and the proposed Copenhagen Wind Farm to the north — would also feature a substation, meteorological towers, operation and maintenance building and electrical interconnection facilities, including a roughly five-mile overhead line to a new 115-kV switchyard in the town of Lowville.

Based on payment-in-lieu-of-taxes arrangements at other wind projects in the state, Invenergy estimates a 126-megawatt project would provide roughly $1 million per year to Lewis County and the towns, school districts and fire departments within the project area.

Company officials have begun talking with local officials about the project and are tentatively planning a public meeting sometime this fall.

More information on the project may be accessed at

At Wednesday evening’s Lowville Village Board meeting, Mayor Donna M. Smith reported that she had been contacted by project representative Marguerite Wells about the plans, even though none of the proposed wind farm would be within the village. Some officials expressed concern with truck traffic damaging village streets, particularly West State Street, which was just repaved last year.

Village attorney Mark G. Gebo said that if the project were to come to fruition, the village should make sure it is included in any road-repair agreement between Invenergy and the involved towns. He added that Brooklyn developer Own­Energy, which is working on the 40-turbine Copenhagen Wind Farm in the town of Denmark, plans to build a bypass road so trucks don’t have to go through the village of Copenhagen.

Along with that wind project, Iberdrola Renewables, part-owner of the massive Maple Ridge Wind Farm, since 2007 has proposed a 39-turbine project called the Roaring Brook Wind Farm on 5,280 acres in the town of Martinsburg. And, the Oregon company earlier this year started work on a second Lewis County project called the Deer River Wind Farm in the towns of Pinckney, Harrisburg and Montague; a public session on that project was held Thursday evening.

Invenergy has developed more than 60 wind farms in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including three in Western New York: the 75-turbine High Sheldon Wind Farm and 58-turbine Orangeville Wind Farm in Wyoming County and the 10-turbine Marsh Hill Wind Farm in Steuben County.

By Steve Virkler, Watertown Daily Times