Governor Hochul Announces 79.7-Megawatt Roaring Brook Wind Farm Now Operational in North Country
New York (STL.News) Governor Kathy Hochul announced the 79.7-megawatt Roaring Brook Wind farm is now operational in the North Country, representing the latest large-scale wind facility to enter commercial operation in New York and pushing the state’s installed land-based wind power to nearly 2,200 megawatts – enough to serve more than half a million homes. The Roaring Brook Wind farm is helping to spur approximately $167 million in private investment and created more than 200 construction jobs to help grow New York’s green economy. When combined with the dozens of large-scale renewable energy projects under development and the state’s robust pipeline of distributed solar projects, this project accelerates progress towards New York’s goal to generate 70 percent of state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 on its path to a zero-emission grid.
“Renewable energy has a critical role to play in both rebuilding New York’s economy and combatting the very real threat of climate change,” Governor Hochul said. “Large-scale wind energy projects like Roaring Brook Wind not only move us one step closer to a zero-emission future, but bring vital investments, good-paying jobs and community benefits to the state at a time when New Yorkers are still recovering from the financial challenges caused by the pandemic.”
Located in the town of Martinsburg, Roaring Brook Wind was developed by Avangrid Renewables and is comprised of 20 wind turbines spread across approximately 4,700 acres. After starting operations in October 2021, the project will generate more than 229,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy annually, enough to power over 31,000 homes, reducing emissions by 114,000 metric tons annually – the equivalent of taking nearly 25,000 of cars off the road.
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Roaring Brook Wind is another example of New York’s commitment to growing our clean energy economy and highlights a North Country wind project that is powering thousands of upstate residents and businesses with clean, renewable energy. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, the State remains steadfast in its commitment to work with local governments and community stakeholders throughout the development of all our large-scale renewable energy projects to ensure they proceed in a way that supports community goals, brings economic benefits, and avoids significant impacts to wildlife and the environment.”
Jose Antonio Miranda, Onshore President and CEO, Avangrid Renewables said, “AVANGRID and Avangrid Renewables are proud to partner with the state of New York in its efforts to source 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Every wind turbine and solar panel we bring online to harness the power of our natural resources gets this state and our nation closer to a clean, sustainable energy future.”
New York’s advancement of renewable energy has resulted in significant private investment and new jobs and economic development for local communities in more than 30 counties across the state. Through a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with the Lewis County Industrial Development Agency for this project, Avangrid Renewables will make annual payments of more than $600,000, escalating over 30 years to more than $1 million, to be shared among the Town of Martinsburg (30 percent), the Lowville Academy and Central School District (37 percent), and Lewis County (33 percent). The project will also deliver an estimated $22 million in total landowner payments to 35 landowners over the next 30 years. Roaring Brook Wind complements efforts by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council to encourage and support economic growth in the region’s small cities and rural communities.
NYSERDA strongly encourages and supports the responsible siting of renewable energy projects to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to wildlife and wildlife habitats. During the summer of 2020, in consultation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Avangrid installed a specialized metal cave gate across a large entrance to the Barton Hill Mine in Essex County to mitigate potential impacts to bat habitats from the wind project. This cave gate, which prevents human interference and provides adequate space for bat access to the abandoned mine shaft, will protect several species of bats including the federally endangered Indiana Bat, the federally and New York State threatened Northern long-eared Bat, as well as Little Brown, Big Brown and Eastern Pipistrelle bats in support of DEC’s mission to protect threatened and endangered bat species throughout New York.
In July 2019, Avangrid Renewables, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Fort Drum established an agreement that will limit any adverse impacts from the project on weather radar systems during critical weather events, thus supporting Fort Drum’s national security mission.
Roaring Brook Wind was one of 19 projects awarded as part of NYSERDA’s 2018 Renewable Energy Standard Solicitation and adds to New York’s robust pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects moving towards operation, comprised of over 100 solar, land-based wind and offshore wind projects under development that will deliver over 12,000 megawatts of clean power to the grid when completed – enough to power nearly five million New York homes. The State’s commitment to building out new green energy transmission, led by 250 miles of new major upgrades already underway throughout the state, with recently announced Clean Path New York and Champlain Hudson Power Express green energy infrastructure projects, will allow the current pipeline of renewables to power over 60 percent of New York’s electricity from renewable sources once operational.
Assembly Energy Chair Michael Cusick said, “The Roaring Brook Wind Farm, which is now operational, brings us another step closer to achieving our state’s renewable energy goals. This project is a perfect example of the benefit of building out our wind power infrastructure. This project has created hundreds of jobs, assisted in our state’s economic recovery, and will now deliver clean energy to more than half a million homes. The Roaring Brook Wind Farm perfectly demonstrates the progress we are making in working to build the energy grid of the future.”
Senator Joseph Griffo said, “I have and continue to believe in a diversified energy portfolio that includes renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric, wind, solar, and zero-emission facilities such as nuclear. This project will produce clean energy that will power thousands of homes, further reduce emissions and support economic growth in the region.”
Lewis County Chairman Larry Dolhof said, “Lewis County has long understood that clean energy projects can be mutually beneficial to our community, and the developer. We congratulate Avangrid on the completion of another project in Lewis County. We continue to lead the state in wind energy production.”
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York stated, “We appreciate all the thousands of hours of work it took the construction team to bring this project to life. The new Roaring Brook wind power project is great news for New York, as evidenced by last week’s record-breaking wind power generation. We are one step further towards the clean and modern grid that New York needs.”
Katie Malinowski, Executive Director, Tug Hill Commission said, “With the addition of the Roaring Brook project, Tug Hill wind farms now or soon will be name-plated for almost 600 MW of wind-generated clean electricity. The Tug Hill Commission supports the region’s towns and villages and their ability to guide renewable energy development with appropriate siting and adherence to local zoning and law requirements in a way that aligns with New York’s ambitious clean energy goals.”
Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said, “New York needs to take bold action to reduce emissions, and this new wind facility will serve more than 500,000 homes with clean energy and create good-paying green jobs. New York isn’t just talking the talk but walking the walk to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. NYLCV is excited to see clean energy projects like Avangrid’s nearly 80 megawatt wind farm in the North Country come on line to help us achieve 70% renewable energy by 2030 and a zero-emission grid by 2040.”