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Apex will focus on Barre for Heritage Wind project

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2016 at 12:00 am
Ben Yazman

Photo by Tom Rivers – Ben Yazman, Heritage Wind project developer, is pictured by the Barre water tower on Route 98 behind the firehall.

BARRE – Apex Clean Energy last week announced its plan for Heritage Wind, a 200 Megawatt project, the same power proposed for Lighthouse Wind in Yates and Somerset.

Apex put out a map that showed the project focused in Barre but also spreading out into surrounding towns, as far northeast as Fancher and south into Elba.

Apex said today the project will be focused entirely in Barre. Ben Yasman, Heritage Wind project developer, said Barre’s elevation is about 200 feet higher than most of the county. It has access to transmission lines and state roads.

It also is the least populous town in the county with lots of open farmland.

Apex is just beginning the public outreach process. The company expects to have many meetings with town officials and residents in a siting process that could take several years. Yazman said feedback from residents, landowners, town officials and other stakeholders will determine the location and size of the turbines.

“The locations will be dependent on the landowners who want to participate,” he said.

Apex has been meeting with Yates landowners for about two years. The company has fielded questions about the Lighthouse Wind project at its booth at the 4-H Fair. Apex officials were told by several Barre landowners said they would a support a project in Barre, said Taylor Quarles, Apex’s development manager.

The company sees the potential in Barre, which was eyed for a project by Iberdrola before the company withdrew its effort about a decade ago after concerns by the Pine Hill Airport.

Yazman said he wants to alleviate worries from community members, including the airport. It will be part of the company’s public outreach plan and later environmental studies and scoping documents.

“We want to involve the town in this potential project,” said Cat Mosely, Public Affairs manager for Apex. “We see it as a community owned project.”

Apex has already done its public outreach plan for Yates and Somerset, and also submitted a Preliminary Scoping Document. It is working to address environmental concerns and other issues raised for the Yates-Somerset project.

Mosely and Yazman said today the company remains committed to Lighthouse Wind.

The intent to develop the Heritage Wind project shows the company’s commitment to Orleans County and the region, Mosely said. (Apex is also working on a project on Galloo Island near Watertown.)

Yazman said the projects will take years of work. He welcomed residents and government officials to reach out to him. He can be contacted through the Heritage Wind website. Click here for more information.