Library from New York
Congress is reviewing a bill that aims to prohibit federal tax relief for wind energy projects located within 40 miles of an active military air base. ...Clayton Supervisor David M. Storandt Jr. and Orleans Supervisor Kevin R. Rarick said that enacting the bill would ensure the safety and viability of military base operations at Fort Drum from potential impacts of wind energy facilities such as Apex Clean Energy’s Galloo Island Wind farm and Atlantic Wind LLC’s Horse Creek Wind Farm.
The project isn’t without detractors. Some worry about storms damaging the turbines. Others wonder whether the foundation can actually break ice. The project is getting international scrutiny, too. Environmental groups in Spain and the United Kingdom recently condemned it.
The Ball Hill Wind Energy Project is one step closer to becoming reality after Tuesday’s special meeting of the Hanover Town Board, during which council members narrowly passed a resolution that would effectively advance the plan.
The combination of a federal push for big industrial wind projects, the New York State mandates for 50 percent renewables by 2030 and tax incentives, tax subsidies and other financial carrots have created a strong corporate drive for industrial wind projects all over rural New York.
“We are very afraid we are going to lock up an area of the bottom that is definitely favorable for scallop settlement,” said James Gutowski, a scallop fisherman from Barnegat Light, N.J., and chairman of the Fisheries Survival Fund.
The Town Board agreed Tuesday to join a growing number of municipalities across the state to fight for local control of solar and wind energy projects.
The shortage stems from the PSC’s arbitrary rules, under which only renewables that came online on or after January 1, 2015 are eligible to generate credits. The PSC had inconsistently included in its estimates of available renewables such sources as rooftop solar panels and other behind-the-meter, “customer-sited tier projects” that actually wouldn’t qualify to sell RECs.
Congressman Collins said in a press release, “I cannot condone any activity which puts the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station’s (NFARS) future operations and viability at risk. This air base employs over 2,600 people and contributes over $200 million a year to Western New York’s economy. Massive wind turbines built in such close proximity to military installations, such as the ones being proposed in Western New York, can negatively impact a base’s potential new missions and its future operations.
The petition, filed Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C., said the plan to build as many as 194 turbines in a 127-square-mile section would hurt fishermen who now cruise the area looking for scallops and squid and others who harvest fish species including summer flounder, mackerel, black sea bass and monkfish.
“I know this is an important project for many people in the county. I’m certainly not happy that I have to stand in opposition to people I respect, but the bottom line is if I’m going to represent my constituency and do what is fiscally responsible, I can’t support this,” Borrello said. “When it comes to industrial wind projects, the only green part about these projects is the money made.”
During a Friday meeting in Jamestown, the board approved an environmental quality review statement and a final resolution to authorize a payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreement for the wind project. Six members gave their approval, while Dennis Rak, vice chairman, abstained and George Borrello, board member and county legislator, voted no.
Mr. Engert said during the meeting, the supervisors and their attorneys announced their proposed “coalition of the willing” and its two proposed initiatives to have the state Legislature abolish or revise ...Article 10, which provides for the siting review of new and repowered or modified major electric generating facilities in New York state.
The filing alleges that the leasing process for BOEM did not adequately consider the impact the proposed New York Wind Energy Area would have on the region’s fishermen. According to the FSF, the site is in the waters of the New York Bight on vital, documented scallop and squid fishing grounds, which serve as essential fish habitat and grounds for other commercially important species, including black sea bass and summer flounder.
Jefferson County Planning Board member Clifford P. Schneider, a retired wildlife biologist, said in a letter to the PSC that Apex Clean Energy used studies from the first Galloo Island proposal, filed by a different company, to minimize the potential environmental impacts of the project. And he attacked his former agency for altering report results to diminish their importance.
Commercial fishing companies, trade groups and seaport communities in four states have asked a court to stop the federal government from auctioning off the rights to develop a huge offshore windfarm in the Atlantic Ocean between New York and New Jersey.
Cuomo is treating “upstate New York like we are second-class citizens,” Engert said. The Lighthouse Wind project “is not wanted by more than 75 percent of the residents of this community . . . ." But Apex, he said, is “hellbent on ramming a project through here."
"Massive wind turbines built in such close proximity to military installations can negatively impact a base's potential new missions and its future operations," Collins, R-Clarence, said, adding that he can't condone "any activity which puts the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station's future operations and viability at risk."
Congressman Collins introduced the “Protection of Military Airfields from Wind Turbine Encroachment Act” in an effort to ensure that any new wind turbines located within a 40-mile radius of a military installation will be deemed ineligible for renewable energy tax credits. Full text of the legislation can be read here. A companion bill was introduced in the United States Senate by Senator John Cornyn, R-TX.
Existing wind farms, hydropower plants and biomass generators want New York to pay them for their contributions to meeting renewable energy targets. If not, they may sell the power they generate to other states or, in the case of wind farms, shut down entirely. ...Theoretically, the price signals sent by New York policymakers would support the company "dismantling the existing wind turbines and selling their respective sites to new generators which could re-erect similar turbines" and get state incentives.
Wildlife groups are concerned the turbines could disrupt a major flyway for migrating birds. Local lawmakers worry about flight operations being compromised at a nearby military base. Residents fret about potential health threats from noise, which are still being studied, and say views could be dominated by structures taller than any skyscraper in upstate New York.