to the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative
Cornell To Buy Black Oak's Wind Power
Cornell University announced on December 8 that it will purchase all 11,9 megawatts of electricity produced by Enfield’s Black Oak Wind Farm
The purchase will provide about 20 percent of Cornell’s annual electricity use and it will reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 5 percent, Cornell Sustainability Management Specialist Sarah Zemanick said.
The university aims to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2035. “We really like that the money for our electricity purchases will go right back into the community,” Zemanick added.
Black Oak, New York’s first community-owned wind farm. will construct seven, 1.7-megawatt turbines on Black Oak Road in Enfield. The wind farm will generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes.
Zemanick added that Cornell plans to save money on its power bills from the agreement.
“It’s hard to find a project that makes sense environmentally, from a social and community aspect and also makes good business sense — this project does,” she said.
The Town of Enfield Board accepted the project’s final environmental impact statement on November 12.
Enfield Town Supervisor Ann Rider said the project was a “Godsend” for the town. Rural towns are under pressure from New York state to cut their tax levies, and tax revenue from the project will greatly help Enfield’s tax base, she said.
“We could work for the next 20 years and not get this much economic growth out here in this town,” Rider said.