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National Grid powers up Cape Vincent milking parlor following delay

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CAPE VINCENT — Following months of waiting, the installation of a three-phase power line was finished Tuesday by employees of National Grid to turn on electricity for a new milking parlor built at Woods Farm.

In June, operation of the $1.5 million parlor was put on hold because of National Grid’s concerns with the project. But co-owner Lyle J. Wood said Tuesday that National Grid addressed those issues during the past two weeks so that the power line, located 175 feet from the parlor on County Road 9, could be installed.

The project was started at the farm with National Grid in February, but unanticipated requirements from the energy company repeatedly delayed the construction. During the past six weeks, the farm has been losing about $500 to $1,000 a day due to the delay, Mr. Wood said. Generators powered by diesel fuel have been used to power the plant for the past three weeks. But the farm, which recently added 120 milking cows, will soon be milking its whole 900-cow herd at the parlor to generate more revenue from milk production.

Mr. Wood said that, in spite of the delay, he was pleased with how local employees of National Grid solved problems.

“Calling the local guy to come up and be kind of a mediator helped us out,” he said. “The guys went above and beyond to get the job done to get us power. We were working with a guy in Boston before, but working with local people has made the difference.”

National Grid in July made changes to improve its approach on projects in the region, following a June meeting of officials from the utility in Watertown with local developers to gather feedback. Local National Grid representatives will now meet with developers to review project criteria before construction begins.

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