First Wind Holdings Inc. (First Wind) has said that its Cohocton wind farm construction is in progress. The wind farm has 50 wind turbines. First Wind, previously known as UPC Wind Management, LLC, has started developing the project in 2005. The town board also approved to contract the monitoring to Tech Environmental at the board meeting on November 17, 2008.

Cohocton town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus said, several large banks needed bailouts from the federal government this fall, including some that fund wind developments, causing some projects to be shut down or delayed indefinitely including the project First Wind is considering in neighboring Prattsburgh.

While Zigenfus was confident the project would continue, he prepared a contingency budget that did not include the payment from First Wind, just in case.

In 2006, the Cohocton town board has approved two laws regulating wind energy.

“It’s my understanding they are indeed selling power to the grid,” Zigenfus said.

The project’s operational status also means the town received almost $1 million from developer First Wind.

“By the end of the day (Wednesday), they transferred the money,” Zigenfus added.

The payment came as promised, he said, but there was a fear it might not come.

“I was a little nervous,” the supervisor said. “Nervous as the economy kept going downhill.”

“I always like to have a backup plan,” he said.

If the project were not online, First Wind would not have had to make the payment. On the other hand, he said, the company would have lost much of its subsidies from various agencies — the subsidies that helped bring the project to town.

As the blades spin, Zigenfus said he wants to look at what the town can do to improve its revenue stream.

“Now we’ll look for other things to fix up,” he said, adding the town highway department shop is under an engineering review to see what improvements can be made, or if a replacement is needed.

The town and county highway departments also are getting ready to fix the last of the roads damaged by trucks carrying the huge turbines, Zigenfus added.

“The remainders of those are going to be done in the spring,” he said, adding many repairs to roads were completed this summer on First Wind’s dime.

“We’re going to set up our noise-monitoring system,” Zigenfus said.