Documents from New York
The Department of Environmental Conservation has released for public review proposed Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Energy Projects. These guidelines inform potential wind developers of the information DEC needs about wind farm sites to assess impacts to birds and bats. The guidelines were developed through a stakeholder process sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority which included industry representatives as well as bird and bat biologists from government agencies, academia and non-governmental environmental groups. Comments will be received until March 7, 2008 via mail to Brianna Gary, NYSDEC Bureau of Habitat, 625 Broadway 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4756 or via email.
Environmentalist Jon Boone's introductory remarks presented in Westfield, NY. Jon Boone produced the video "Life under a wind plant". The full speech can be downloaded by clicking on the below link.
The NY ISO interconnection queue as of Oct 2007. Total megawatts for proposed wind generation now exceeds 6000MWs. Projects listed in the queue are not guaranteed to be built, but this list serves as an indicator of wind development activity. The vast majority of projects are proposed for western and central regions of the State.
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.
Wind Power Ethics Group v. Town of Cape Vincent ZBA et.al. Index No. 07-0789; RJI No. 22-07-0250
New York's Public Service Commission's decision to grant Jordanville Wind, LLC a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Pursuant to Section 68 of the Public Service Law. The PSC ordered Jordonville Wind (Iberdrola) to remove 19 turbines thereby reducing the tower count to 49, due to the adverse impact on areas of historic significance and the scenic quality of the setting. An excerpt of the decision (p. 18 of 35) follows.
The following report describes the research design, initiation and completion of the first year of postconstruction study (fall migration only) of avian and bat collision fatalities at the 120 turbine Maple Ridge Wind Power Project in Lewis County, New York. The work was conducted in accordance with the “Proposed Scope of Work for a Postconstruction Avian and Bat Fatality Study at the Maple Ridge Wind Power Project, Lewis County, New York” dated March 14, 2006, and agreed upon in mid-May 2006, after several revisions. People/agencies who reviewed the proposed scope of work included staffers from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), Environmental Design and Research (EDR), NYS DEC staffers, developers (PPM and Horizon), and others. Representatives from some or all of these groups have been included in a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which has the responsibility of reviewing and commenting on progress reports, annual reports, and other updates from this project.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reviewed the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) for PPM's Horse Creek wind facility proposed for the New York towns of Clayton and Orleans, Jefferson County. The project consists of approximately 62 wind turbines (130 MW) with 54 turbines in the Town of Clayton and 8 turbines in the Town of Orleans. The project scope also includes construction of two permanent meteorological (met) towers, an operations and maintenance facility, approximately 16 miles of gravel access roads and approximately 28 miles of buried electric collection lines, and an interconnection substation adjacent to the existing electric transmission line.
This brief paper reviews and evaluates key aspects of energy policies and plans announced by New York State officials, and contrasts their electricity plans with those of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) which is responsible for the reliability of New York's electricity grid. Both sets of plans have major implications for the people of New York.
This document includes studies in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
Large scale shadow flicker is a phenomenon, not experienced by people on an “industrial scale”, with football field-sized shadows moving across their home or through their local views. This report prepared by physicist Rick Bolton examines the problems with the shadow flicker modeling at a proposed site in New York State. A portion of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Two industrial wind turbine farms are proposed by parent UPC Wind Partners for the town of Cohocton, NY and will permanently alter the town. The large blades on MW scale turbines can at certain times produce moving shadows on the landscape or create distracting flicker on the scenery. To capture the wind these turbines are to be installed on hilltops around the town and thus have significant potential to create a shadow flicker nuisance at great distances from the turbines. All environmental effects of projects require consideration and possible mitigation. Siting selection is important since wind turbines are a permanent installation and may significantly impair resident’s enjoyment of neighboring lands or even personal health.
PPM's Horse Creek wind project proposed for the towns of Clayton and Orleans, Jefferson County, NY will include 62 wind turbines. The drawing available at the link below provides a graphical representation of the 500-foot and 1,250-foot setbacks from abutting residences.
Industrial wind turbine farms are proposed for the towns of Perry, Covington and Warsaw, NY that will permanently alter the towns. Large turbines create strong noise levels not only from wind through the blades but largely by the turbine mechanisms themselves. To capture the wind these turbines are to be installed on hill tops around the town and thus have significant potential to create a noise nuisance. Wind turbine noise added to the prevailing ambient background sound is an important environmental consideration when siting wind turbines since they are a permanent installation and may significantly impair resident’s enjoyment of neighboring lands or even personal health. Also, relevant consideration of noise impacts and mitigation measures are a specific requirement of a NY State Environmental Quality Review procedure, required before approval of permits.
An interesting letter from Noble Environmental Power that suggests by implication that there must be some 'downside' to being the neighbor of a wind plant.
This map is updated weekly by Save Western NY. The current map is available via the link below.
In summary, it appears that extensive federal level review of the three Noble projects is still in the early stages. It would not be appropriate for the town boards, as the lead agencies, to issue building permits without certifying that the appropriate federal review processes have been completed and the required permits obtained, nor for Noble to proceed with construction without required federal permits. It is not at all clear from the DEIS that state or federal law will be upheld in the Ellenburg Project with regard to wetlands. Because of the vagueness and apparent project dominance of decisions being made with regard to wetlands, on-site NYSDEC and federal (USACE) oversight will be critical to modify turbine placement decisions during the project planning phase, to oversee them (to prevent changes) during the construction phase, and to oversee other mitigation measures.
Because time seems to be running out on fossil fuels and the lure of non-polluting windpower is so seductive, some people are now promoting windpower initiatives at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history......Throughout my experience, I could not substantiate a single claim developers made for industrial wind energy, including the one justifying its existence: that massive wind installations would meaningfully reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. When you understand this, you realize the wind business is not really that complex. But there are a lot of complicated issues swirling around it that obscure and distract from this main point, issues such as global warming, property values, the nature of wind leases, local revenues and taxes, wildlife, natural views, and a host of others. So how does one know the truth of it all? How does one go about separating the reality from spin?
Prepared for Horizon Wind Energy by Wind Engineers, Inc