Bluestone Wind Farm project breaks ground after three seasons of preparation, gears up for installation of 26 turbines 

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Preparing the site for the Bluestone Wind Project, The Wesson Group Superintendent Kate Reyngoudt leads the team in snowshoes and ski poles. Photo © Dennis Lee Photography, DennisLeePhotography.com

The snow was hip-deep, but that didn’t stop The Wesson Group team, led by superintendent Kate Reydgoudt, from donning snowshoes and, ski poles in hand, heading to the site where they would begin clearing land. It was March 2021, and the team had until summer to prepare the ground for 26 wind turbines that would be built across 6,000 acres along several Broome County ridges in the towns of Sanford and Windsor, less than an hour’s drive east of Binghamton.

By June, the team had cleared the land needed for the project and widened the roads to bring in materials to build the project. On July 8, the official groundbreaking featured representatives from Northland Power, the Canadian-based owner-developer of Bluestone Wind Farm, and The Wesson Group, responsible for managing the construction of the wind farm.

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The Wesson Group and Northland Power teams at the Bluestone Wind Farm groundbreaking ceremony ©DennisLeePhotography.com

The Wesson Group has been involved as primary or subcontractor in an estimated 80 percent of the wind projects in New York State, according to Erich Brown, project executive for the Bluestone Wind Farm project.

In 2018, Bluestone Wind Farm was one of 26 large-scale renewable energy projects competitively selected to receive a contract award as a result of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) 2017 Renewable Energy Standard solicitation.

The Wesson Group’s involvement and commitment to renewable energy has resulted in real job creation in New York State. The Bluestone Wind Farm, for instance, currently has 80 employees working on the project. Mr. Brown estimates that at the height of the building and turbine-installation process, there will be 150 people, including subcontractors, working under the auspices of The Wesson Group on the Bluestone project. The Bluestone Wind Farm is scheduled for completion in October 2022.

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Clearing the land at the Bluestone Wind Farm © Dennis Lee Photography

“The Wesson Group’s experience with renewables and creating wind farms has helped to streamline the entire process,” said Brown from his office at The Wesson Group headquarters in Johnstown. “We have a solid team in place to work with the developer, Northland Power, to get the project done safely, on schedule and on budget.”

Northland selected The Wesson Group to complete the majority of work on the project in large part because of its extensive experience with wind in New York, its familiarity with the site’s complex terrain and its commitment to work with the region’s labor unions, local businesses and other stakeholders to maximize the benefit to the local economy, noted Chris Stanton, project development manager for Northland.

“The Bluestone Wind Farm project brings immediate investment and much-needed long-term revenue to landowners, municipalities and community groups in the Southern Tier even as it represents a major contribution to New York’s clean energy deployment targets,” said Mr. Stanton. “After six years of development, we would like to thank NYSERDA, the Broome County Industrial Development Agency, our participating landowners and the local and county governments for helping get us to this groundbreaking.”

The Wesson Group Bluestone Wind team assesses next steps at the Monday morning meeting. © Dennis Lee Photography

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