Johnstown’s Wesson Group managing construction of two wind farms, one in North Country
Wesson Group active across state
A local construction firm will break ground this month on a wind farm in the North Country after just last month breaking ground on a wind farm in the Southern Tier.
The timing might be closer than normal, but work is not unfamiliar: By its own estimate, the management of The Wesson Group has been involved in 80% of the onshore wind projects in New York, either with Wesson or with other firms.
The actual erecting of towers and affixing of turbine and blades falls to specialized contractors and their supersized cranes, but Wesson performs much of the other design and build work.
“We do a lot of the road work and foundation work,” said Ashley Delaney-Olson, director of human resources and administration at the firm.
Wesson began site work on Bluestone Wind Farm in late winter, when the snow was still hip-deep and broke ground July 8. The project will total 26 turbines on several ridgelines totaling 6,000 acres east of Binghamton. Canadian-based Northland Power will be the owner-operator of the facility, which is targeted for October 2022 completion.
Wesson will break ground in August on Number Three Wind Farm near Lowville, which will be an Invenergy property and is benefiting from funding through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to help meet the state’s clean-energy goals.
Delaney-Olson said Wesson considers all of New York state “home,” but one of the closest projects to its actual home base has been a joint venture with Harrison & Burrows that produced the Adirondack Welcome Center on the Northway outside Glens Falls.
The wind power projects have been mostly farther away because the areas with the most wind potential are mostly north, south and west, she explained.
Highway construction and alternative energy are specialties of The Wesson Group.
President Tim Delaney has been in the construction trade for decades, founding Delaney Construction Corp. in 1982. The company grew to $20 million a year in revenue and earned a substantial role in the construction of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm, a $520 million project that erected 195 wind turbines with a combined 322-megawatt capacity, the largest wind farm in New York.
The company — known by then as the Delaney Group — was acquired by Tetra Tech in 2007. Delaney stayed on with the new firm, then retired, then unretired after a year. The lifelong Mayfield resident started his new firm in 2,000 square feet of rented space in the old Johnstown Hotel in 2013.
“Delaney” was already taken, so he named his new venture The Wesson Group, after his daughter Ashley’s new son.
Since then, the company has expanded to 10,000 feet of the hotel and has a full-time staff of 40 managers and engineers, plus a seasonal complement of construction workers that currently number 60.