Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Zotos wants to build 330-foot-tall wind turbines

GENEVA — Zotos International Inc. wants to build four 330-foot-tall wind turbines behind its Forge Avenue plant in the city’s industrial park.

Representatives of the hair products manufacturer presented modified plans for the $2.5 million project to the city’s Planning Board Monday night. In August, the company proposed 22 130-foot-tall turbines around the plant, but it was determined that four taller ones could generate more power, company officials said.

Anthony Perdigao, Zotos’ vice president of operations, told planners that the 330-foot-tall turbines would produce a total of 750 kilowatts of electrical power, compared to 150 kilowatts for the 22 shorter ones.

The company hopes the turbines will generate 60 percent of the plant’s power by the end of next year and 100 percent by the end of 2011.

Zotos would then offer the city 5 percent of the power produced, enough for more than 1,000 street lights, Perdigao said.

Planning Board member Larry Campbell said he was glad to see Zotos go for taller turbines and that he supports them as an alternative power source. He also noted that the 330-foot turbines would be as visible as Guardian Glass’s nearby smokestack.

“I thought going higher, you’d be getting more energy,” Campbell said.

Company representatives said studies would address such issues as ambient noise levels, ice throw from the blades and their impact on bats and migratory birds.

They’d be located in an industrial zone, with the closest residences about 1,300 feet to the north.

Pre-Emption Road resident Andrew Flynn told planners he has a number of concerns about the project, including noise levels in his neighborhood, comparing it to having four lawn mowers running constantly near his home.

“You’re trying to promote tourism,” he said, adding that the turbines would never be allowed to be built near the farmers on White Springs Road. “I don’t think this is in the best interest of Geneva. Let’s put it right on the lakefront and let’s everyone see it.”

During a recent visit to a wind turbine site near Rochester, Campbell said, he stood at the base of the tower and heard only a hum.

After the presentation, Planning Board Chairman Jeff Rokow said he wants to see what the community thinks about the project.

The project would have to go through a series of approvals, including the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Federal Aviation Agency and the Federal Communications Commission.

Company officials hope to submit a site plan application for December and that at least one turbine would be in operation by July.

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