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Winds of change

Officials from General Electric Energy made their first public presentation to the town on a proposed towering wind turbine that would be built on company property off Interstate 890.

The turbine's 130-foot blade will sit atop a 250-foot tower. The tower will stand 397 feet from the ground when its construction is complete. If the project moves forward successfully, GE officials are hopeful that the turbine could be operational by the end of the summer in 2009.

GE officials said the tower will be built 800 feet from an access road running parallel to I-890 where a former Navy test facility and X-ray facility once stood.

At the Rotterdam Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, June 18, project development manager Ty Remington said the tower, which would generate 2,300 megawatt hours electricity each year and power 3 percent of GE's plant, would be the first in the Capital District.

This is a brand new project that has never been done in the Capital Region, said Remington. "Rotterdam's town seal is the windmill this takes that into the future."

The power generated by the turbine will be used to power GE's Renewable Energies Headquarters.

According to Remington, GE currently has 8,000 of the 1.5 megawatt towers producing clean energy around the world.

Remington said he would be interested in sharing a video at the planning commission's next public meeting in July that details the construction of an identical GE wind turbine erected at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Massachusetts.

That $3.9 million tower, called the "Zephyr," produces about a third of the total energy used at the ski resort.

The planning commission said they thought viewing the video would give the public a better sense of the construction process and total size of the turbine.

Planning Commission Chairman Larry DiLallo called the proposed wind turbine an "exciting new project." He said the town is taking steps to pass a new wind ordinance similar to one passed earlier this month by neighboring Duanesburg.

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