The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the construction and operation of the 100 MW Ball Hill Wind Farm.
The Renewable Energy Systems (RES) project, located in Chautauqua County, is expected to generate enough electricity for more than 28,000 average-sized residential homes.
“New York State has ambitious clean energy goals that require the smart, aggressive development of renewable energy. Appropriately sited wind farms are a necessary component of our clean energy future,” says John B. Rhodes, PSC chair.
Of the 29 wind turbines, 23 will be built in the Town of Villenova and six will be built in the Town of Hanover. In addition to the turbines, the facility will include an approximately 34.5 kV, mostly underground electrical collection system running 25.6 miles. A new substation will also interconnect with National Grid’s 230 kV system in Hanover.
According to RES, the facility is expected to infuse the area with sizable tax revenues and create up to 90 construction jobs and five to seven permanent jobs.
To secure PSC approval, the company demonstrated that the wind farm is financially viable and obtained all necessary municipal consents to construct and operate the facility. In December 2016, after the project underwent a local environmental review and approval process under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the towns of Villenova and Hanover issued permits to Ball Hill.
Given that the wind facility will be developed and operated on a merchant basis and will participate in the wholesale energy markets, the commission has also granted Ball Hill a lightened ratemaking regulatory regime that is similar to the regulatory treatment granted to other merchant generators. The commission’s approval, however, includes a condition that tightens the project’s decommissioning obligations.