Library filed under Impact on Economy from New York
The financial boon from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County is undeniable. ...the Maple Ridge Wind Farm fell within an Empire Zone, which allows businesses within the zone to be reimbursed for their property taxes and make the projects more affordable to developers. The reimbursement enabled the several local governments to receive tax benefits and payments higher than might be expected. But wind farm supporters in Jefferson County will be disappointed if they expect to see similar benefits to their municipalities and school districts. The proposed projects are not in any Empire Zone now.
The City Council Monday was asked by Assessor Frank E. Krakowski to approve a correction of the adjusted base proportions of the 2008-2009 assessment rolls because of a computer error that did not assign an assessed value to one of the eight new wind turbines off Route 5. ...Krakowski said the computer miscalculation had the effect of inflating the city's taxable value by more than $1 million. ...[First Ward Councilwoman Andrea] Haxton also complained the Steel Winds wind farm project was supposed to lowertaxes for ratepayers in the city. "With the windmills here, it's ridiculous that taxes have to change," Haxton said.
High costs aren't the only problem facing New Yorkers. They also must worry whether the lights will stay on. Recently, the state's power-grid operator predicted looming shortages unless the state builds more power plants over the next decade to meet rising demand. That's no easy feat. With the 2003 expiration of Article X of the Public Service Law, which streamlined the permitting process for building large power plants, it now can take more than five years for a proposed plant to get built. Consequently, few investors are lining up to build the plants New York needs. The Spitzer administration favored an extension of Article X but with a green twist. The law, Spitzer said, must exclude nuclear and coal-fired plants. Such provisions may please environmental groups, but it won't do anything to help add the 2,750 megawatts needed to maintain the reliability of the New York grid by 2017.
UPC Wind, developer of two Steuben County wind farms, has agreed to pay $14.5 million in lieu of taxes over the next 20 years. The company announced the agreement with the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency on Monday. The county agency will administer the payments, which will go to the town of Cohocton, the Wayland-Cohocton Central School District and the Avoca School District, UPC Wind said in a news release. The agreement covers payments in lieu of taxes on the developer's Cohocton and Dutch Hill wind power projects. Construction of the Cohocton project began last fall. ...James Hall, a spokesman for windmill project opponent Cohocton Wind Watch, said the figures in the new agreement conflict with earlier information provided to the group by the Industrial Development Agency.
Mohawk Valley power rates would eventually fall because of the proposed New York Regional Interconnect line, but not before they rise, company officials said Friday. That's a reversal of the company's prediction in 2006 that upstate power rates would go up even as downstate rates would fall. ...That assertion was met with skepticism from local politicians and economic-development officials, who continue to see the planned, 190-mile, 1,200-megawatt power line as a threat to the Utica area's economy. "I think that's part of the misinformation that we have continually been getting from NYRI," said U.S. Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-N.Y. "There isn't an hour that goes by in Congress that we don't talk about alternative energy and the high cost of energy. No one expects the cost will decrease."
Lawmakers in Jefferson County are about to get a crash course in wind farms and the revenue they generate. Tomorrow, the Board of Legislators will meet with Syracuse attorney Kevin McAuliffe, who specializes in payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreements relating to wind projects. Because there are a number of wind farm proposals in the county, lawmakers are looking into ways PILOT programs can be structured. In any PILOT deal with a wind farm developer, money is paid to the county, school districts and municipalities where the turbines are located. Legislature Chairman Ken Blankenbush said he'd like to see a uniform PILOT deal - a one-size-fits-all package for every wind company.
“I’m not sure everyone knows what they are voting on,” Bono, District 11, said prior to the vote. ...information included guidelines for the contract negotiation, which include a proposal for a payment in lieu of taxes of $8,000 per megawatt, for a total of $640,000 on an 80 megawatt project. The information also said that the county would receive a one-time payment of $360,000 to $400,000 in its general fund for use on other projects such as the construction of a new county correctional facility. “One of my main concerns is how can I justify an 85 percent tax break for this company and not for anyone else,” Bono said. “We want to attract businesses to Herkimer County, but we cannot give 85 percent tax breaks to everyone. We need to continue to work with the numbers.”
When LIPA ...first proposed the offshore wind project in 2003, costs were estimated at $200 million. The company said it would have little to no impact on electricity rates. That was the last published cost estimate until fall 2006, when under a Freedom of Information Law request from Newsday, the power authority released the original, winning bid from FPL Energy of Florida: $356 million. The price increases didn't stop there. ..."Long Islanders shouldn't believe for one minute that any major form of renewable energy is going to be cheaper than traditional resources produced by oil or natural gas," Kessel wrote.
Lingering hard feelings over negotiations for wind-farm-tax agreements last month may lead Franklin County to create a planning department. ... Thursday, when IDA Executive Director Brad Jackson came before the County Legislature's Economic Planning and Development Committee, he was criticized for not doing enough to look out for the county's interest at the negotiating table. Saranac Lake Democrat Timothy Burpoe said legislators thought Jackson was supposed to be the county's representative in the room. Burpoe said higher megawatt figures could have been obtained with a tougher stance against Noble and the towns. But because a deadline was imposed to reach the deal quickly, Burpoe said, he and some other legislators felt pressure to settle for a deal even though the county ended up with the smallest share.
Members of several area labor unions plan a protest today against UPC Wind, a wind farm company developing projects in the Cohocton area. Tom Stephens, business development specialist for the International Union of Operating Engineers in Rochester, said the protest concerns what he called "UPC Wind's plan to use non-union, out-of-state labor" to construct the wind farms.
This letter was sent to the Steuben County (NY) IDA in response to UPC Wind's decision to hire outside contractors and construction workers to erect the Cohocton Wind facility.
As a matter of introduction I am Mike Altonberg, Business Agent for The Ironworkers in Rochester. Four or five months ago I was told by UPC Wind management that there general contractor for the wind turbine projects in Cohocton & Prattsburgh would be hiring all local people for the building of the towers. At a meeting last Tuesday, in Cohocton, we were informed that things have changed and now all the workers will be brought in from out of state. The company, Mortenson Construction from Minnesota will bring workers from out west and local construction workers are locked out of all that work. All those wages paid will not be invested in our local economy but instead sent out west. Is that a slap in the face to all the hard working unemployed construction workers in our area? I've been told that UPC promised local governments (as they promote on there website) that it's important to hire locally but obviously not in our case! Now that the project is a go & they've been caught in a lie, how many more lies have they told? UPC should be escorted to the state line & told not to come back.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. --In the end, it was the cost that blew away the wind farm. Long Island Power Authority Chairman Kevin Law confirmed Thursday that the utility is scrapping plans to create a $700 million wind energy park with 40 turbines in an 8-square-mile area in the Atlantic Ocean, not far from Jones Beach. "It's just too expensive," Law told The Associated Press. "It's not going to work. ...This is an economically based decision. We didn't even have to consider environmental or aesthetic concerns."
Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. (R-Merrick) expressed concern that the cost figure, which has nearly doubled since the winning bid of $356 million three years ago, won't stop at $700 million. "I'm estimating this project will be nearly $1 billion by the time it's said and done," Fuschillo said. "That's too high. We collectively say, 'Enough.'" He called on LIPA chairman Kevin Law to shelve the project. Yesterday Law said, "I share Chuck's concerns with the costs of this project and look forward to discussing it with him soon." Fuschillo and others at the gathering stressed that a stand against the project was not a stance against wind power, or renewable energy. "While I really believe that renewable energy sources have to be part of our future, they have to be economically feasible, and I don't believe this project will be," he said. LIPA has commissioned a study examining the costs of the project and contrasting them with other such projects around the globe. LIPA chief executive Richard Kessel on Wednesday said he respected the senators' comments on the matter and believed the study would examine some of the issues. It's due out in coming weeks.
The town of Carrollton has joined the growing list of places in which energy companies are thinking about building electricity-generating wind turbines. Five local communities have been approached by wind energy companies that want to put up wind turbines. The turbines are giant windmills perched on steel towers 300 to 400 feet high. Many area residents have spoken out against the turbines as a blight on the skyline, create noise pollution and are a danger to migrating birds. But in Carrollton residents say they'll welcome the large electric windmills as long as they generate cash for the town that will help cut taxes.
MALONE "" Two wind-energy facilities under review in Franklin County would pump between $25 million and $75 million into the local economy during construction and $1.45 million to $3.8 million a year after that.
Town officials who want to find out about wind power should book a room at the Flat Rock Inn in Tug Hill, in the midst of New York's largest wind plant, which has more than 150, 400-foot-high turbines. If they like the look during the day and the sound at night, they should come back and tell their constituents that the current proposal for wind power is just perfect. We, however, disagree. Yes, wind power is a wonderful solution to our energy problems but, like many good things, it can become a bad thing when used irresponsibly. Wind power plants must be carefully and responsibly sited and operated. The proposal as it stands is unsatisfactory and would seriously harm our community.
The debate over wind turbines for Meredith is already an emotionally charged one. It is an issue that pits neighbor against neighbor; for a landowner, receiving payment from a wind company to erect these monstrosities on his property effectively does so at the expense of his immediate neighbors. Therefore, I find it hard to understand the assertion from members of the town board that this is good for Meredith. This is, in fact, tearing our town apart, and one need only attend a town board meeting to realize the anger that is being generated will be with us for a very, very long time.
Even the most basic research will reveal the life-changing impact of the turbines on nearby communities. Of course, you will find some who speak well of them, but they are very much in the minority. Most people who live close (and, according to the feeble 1,000-foot setbacks, some people will be very close) speak of lives ruined by vibration, flicker and so on. Let there be no misunderstanding, those who sign up to take these turbines will inflict misery on anyone else close by.
A proposed payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with a wind farm developer is on the agenda for the Madison County Industrial Development Agency's Thursday meeting, though there's no guarantee board members will discuss the matter again after county supervisors previously rejected the six-figure offer.