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Maple Ridge wind farm, on the Tug Hill plateau.
Maple Ridge wind farm, on the Tug Hill plateau.

Article X raises local concerns

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The New York Power Act signed this summer includes an item called Article X. Article X creates a state-run process for siting large power plants.

The Innovation Trails's Emma Jacobs reports how the law meant to streamline new power generation has some local people upset.

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The legislature passed Article X because it's pretty hard to build a power plant in New York State.

"It's been tough. I think it's been very tough," says Matt Nelligan, legislative director for State Senator George Maziarz. His boss chairs the State Senate's energy committee.

"I think it's been very expensive," Maziarz said. "And what this does is provide a streamline process that allows plants to be sited."

Article X gives the state regulatory authority over power generators 25 megawatts and up—that's small enough that some municipalities will lose oversight of some wind farm projects.

Opposition to Article X has bubbled up in places where wind developments have come under fire, including the Town of Henderson in the North Country, which registered its opposition in a letter to the state this month.  

Local resolutions like these have been championed by the Coalition on Article X. Spokesman John Byrne is from another windy town, Cape Vincent, but says the campaign's not all about wind:

"They don't want Albany dictating their destiny," he says of its supporters. "And when [Albany takes] over that power plant siting it's got to make somebody wonder 'what's next?'"

Legislative director Matt Nelligan says the new process will make room for local input. There will be another chance to comment even sooner. The law's now being turned into regulations and that comes with a public comment period.

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