From the Post-Journal - Jamestown, NY

North Harmony Approves Turbine Construction

Nicholas L. Dean -
POSTED: June 2, 2008

STOW - The answer to Peter & Kathy Wiemer's power problem is literally blowing in the wind. As the result of a decision made Wednesday by the North Harmony Zoning Board of Appeals, the Wiemer's will soon have power at their provided by a 155-foot wind turbine. "We don't have a gas well, but we'd like our own source of energy," Wiemer said after Wednesday's meeting. "That's why we pursued wind turbines."

First proposed in February, Wiemer's request for a special use permit has been discussed by both the Zoning Board and Planning Board in recent months - and meetings have included a public hearing and State Environmental Quality Review hearing. After reviewing Wiemer's proposal and finding that the project had little opposition and will have little impact on the area, Zoning Board members granted Wiemer a special permit for two 155-foot tall wind turbines (140 ft. guy wired Tower with a 10 kW Wind Turbine from Bergey Windpower.

"We're happy," Wiemer said after the Zoning Board rendered its decision. "This first wind turbine will be used to power the larger of the two homes. Eventually we plan on building a second turbine. The payback would be seen for 20 years, though we'll build the second one within three years if we can afford it."

Helping pay for Wiemer's Bergey wind turbines is grant money from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Wiemer's wind turbines will be built by Sustainable Energy Developments Inc. of Ontario, N.Y. Representatives from the business were in attendance at Wednesday's meeting to answer questions about installation, noise and other topics. According to one representative, turbines like the one to be built emit slightly more noise than the existing ambient noise in the area. However, he said one would hear the wind before hearing the wind turbine. According to Meaghan Schulte of Sustainable Energy Developments Inc. of Ontario, N.Y., the company has more than 20 Bergey wind turbines currently up in New York state - with plans to construct 10 more this year.

"In my opinion, this is going to be leading edge," said Zoning Board Chairman James Levesque after the meeting. "Especially for a town like this. And resident by resident, you never know where it could head. Good luck with this."

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