ELLENBURG - The wind will rage on, but for now, the potential energy it could produce will go untapped.
Horizon Wind Energy, the Houston, Tx.-based firm behind the proposal of a wind farm in the towns of Ellenburg and Clinton, has delayed construction for the multi-million dollar project. However, according to project manager Gary S. Davidson, plans for the Marble River Wind Farm development are still under way.
"We had, at one point, thought we could begin construction as early as this year, but have since taken a look and decided to not build, not only this year, but in 2009 either," said Davidson. "We're still working, still doing our diligence. There's still some engineering work to be done, basically getting ready for construction, but it's just not going to happen in 2009."
"It's not, in any way, an indication of backing away from the project," affirmed Davidson.
The principle issues behind the slowdown, said Davidson, include the initial delay in the project receiving the proper permits for construction. The majority of permits have since been obtained, said Davidson, though the corporation is still working to receive one final permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.
Other factors are also responsible, he added, such as the decline in wholesale power rates in New York State and a higher estimated return on investments in other developments in Oklahoma, Iowa, Oregon and Minnesota.
"The thought was concentrating, as far as construction goes, on some of the projects where the economics are a little more attractive in the short run," said Davidson. "As a development team, we would have loved to have seen the project built, but when you look across the country and where we're developing other projects, the economics kind of pushed us to go to where the returns for those projects are greater."