New York State withdraws funding for proposed Sanfordville wind turbine

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:03

    Economic conditions cause state to decline support Warwick — The Warwick Valley School District announced this week that the state has withdrawn funding for the proposed wind turbine on the grounds of Sanfordville Elementary School that officials estimated could save 30 percent of the school’s annual energy costs. Warwick school officials anticipated receiving more than $152,700 in incentive funds from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as well as nearly $400,000 in New York State building aid for the wind energy project. No additional costs to Warwick taxpayers were expected. In a press release announcing the decision, the district said the State Education Department recently changed its policies regarding some energy savings projects. “Because of the changes, some projects that would have been approved under existing guidelines will no longer receive aid, including the proposed wind turbine included in the Warwick Valley Central School District’s energy savings program,” the district said. The state’s decision, the district noted, comes at a time of uncertain economics and sharply declining state aid to education. “I’m disappointed that we will not be able to move forward with the wind turbine project,” School Superintendent Dr. Ray Bryant said in the release. “The project would have helped reduce district energy costs, while providing our students and community with an opportunity to learn firsthand about green, sustainable energy.” Bryant noted that other district energy savings projects will still be supported, including lighting replacement and sensors, weatherization and insulation, energy and computer management systems, co-generation unit to generate electricity, replacement of transformers and more. Because the policy changes were made during the approval process, the State Education Department will reimburse the district any review and design costs associated with the turbine project. That figure was unable at press time. Background The wind turbine was viewed as a way to reduce energy costs at Sanfordville, act as a hedge on future rising energy costs and provide students with a first-hand opportunity to learn about renewable energy. The turbine would have had a tower height of 120 feet and a blade height (width) of 150 feet. It would be placed more than 1,200 feet from the school, 270 feet from the cross-country running loop and about 1,000 feet from the nearest residence.