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Iberdrola Renewables withdraws from Hammond wind leases

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HAMMOND — Iberdrola Renewables has pulled the plug on its leases with landowners for the Stone Church wind project.

Iberdrola Renewables spokesman Paul N. Copleman stopped short of saying the project was permanently abandoned, but said the company has decided to pursue other opportunities.

“We are removing the meteorological towers and no longer developing the project,” he said. “It’s not to say we don’t believe it’s a good site for a wind farm, but we won’t be pursuing it.”

Mr. Copleman said regulatory uncertainty and the wind energy market were factors in the company’s decision. He could not immediately say how many lease holders were affected.

“We have to right-size our pipeline of projects under development and figure out what our best opportunities are that we can push forward at this point,” he said.

Mr. Copleman said development of other Northern New York projects, including those in Clayton and Parishville, are not affected.

He said opposition to the project by town officials and residents was not a reason.

“Certainly there were people who raised objections, and we worked hard to address their concerns, but I wouldn’t say that what we faced or what we saw in terms of people raising questions about the project was necessarily unique,” he said. “We don’t go into any community expecting that everyone will love the idea of wind power.”

Resident Michele W. McQueer, a lease holder who was part of a lawsuit challenging the town’s wind law as overly restrictive, said the issue is far from dead.

“There are other wind companies, and we are talking to them,” she said. “Nobody can stop us from signing new leases with other companies.”

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