New $3.3M facility planned in Bath will recycle wind turbine blades and other materials

By Paul Ploumis

The final destination for retiring massive wind turbine blades across the state, and perhaps the nation, may soon be located in Steuben County.

Momentum of Western New York is launching a $3.3 million material recovery and recycling facility on Industrial Park Road in Bath that will bring a dozen new jobs, paying close to $60,000, to the area.

Momentum will specialize in windmill blade recycling, and the new company is exploring the recycling of additional renewable energy materials such as solar panels and lithium-ion batteries. Momentum is taking over the windmill recycling operation of T&R Environmental, a sister company based on state Route 415 in Bath.

Owner Brian Polmanteer said Momentum’s recycling operation will make the industry more environmentally sustainable and help reduce space shortages in landfills — a growing concern regionally and across the country.

“Even here in Steuben County we’re going to hit a cap very quickly,” said Polmanteer, a Bath native. “We routinely receive phone calls from other states and local manufacturers that they have zero landfill. We could see a serious need for recycling (and) waste minimization."

Momentum is working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation on obtaining a Part 360 permit that governs solid waste management. Permitted waste streams will include non-hazardous liquids, sludges, soils and solids, as well as non-hazardous absorbents. The facility will not be permitted to accept hazardous wastes.

“It’s essentially being brought in, processed in different variations and then shipped back out,” said Polmanteer.

“It sounds like we might be one of the first ones in the country to write policy and protocol for windmill blades.”

How Momentum project will impact local tax rolls

Construction is expected to start in October and Momentum anticipates the new facility being fully operational in the third quarter of 2023, likely by September. Three jobs at T&R Environmental are being reallocated to Momentum, which will hire for 12 new positions paying an average annual wage of $58,750.

Momentum has an agreement under consideration with the Steuben County IDA for tax incentives to aid the project. The savings for the company total around $319,000 in sales and mortgage tax relief and a 10-year PILOT agreement.

Real estate taxes on the site currently stand at around $4,300. The estimated assessment in Year 1 of the PILOT is $1 million. Under the PILOT agreement, tax revenue split between the town, county and school district would gradually increase from $2,646 in Year 1 to $31,622 in Year 10.

The agreement will be subject to a public hearing before the IDA votes on final approval later this month. The IDA evaluation of the project noted that Momentum will be collecting waste from across the state and the country, which will result in new revenue entering Steuben County’s economy.

“It’s exciting to work with a company that is on the cutting edge of this technology,” said IDA Executive Director Jamie Johnson. “We’re hopeful as the technology and company evolve, they’ll continue to grow in our community.”