Library filed under Energy Policy from New York
State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo is investigating allegations that wind power companies improperly influenced local officials in Franklin County to secure permission to build wind turbines. He is also examining whether certain companies colluded to divvy up land and thus avoid bidding against each other. ...Northern New York should not become a rural wasteland at the mercy of wind development. Siting decisions for both turbines and transmission lines must be made carefully.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer will meet with the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about a problem he says has cost state communities millions. "We must get to the bottom of this greedy scheme," Schumer said in a statement. Between January and July of this year, energy-market traders were using deceptive trading practices, the senator said, which slammed consumers with millions of dollars in unnecessary, additional fees and put the state at risk for blackouts.
New Yorkers are now under siege in many communities across the land by renewable wind energy. We do need to generate electric power, and we just cannot wish away fossil fuels as some would like you to believe, namely Al Gore. From the governor and legislators, to the Public Service Commission, they have sold out the citizens of this state. Our elected officials were sworn into office to protect the people of the state. Selling out to foreign wind companies like BP and Iberdrola and trying to make it look like what they are doing is for the people, is hogwash, to put it mildly.
Iberdrola SA, the world’s fourth-largest utility, said today it will go ahead with its $4.5 billion purchase of Energy East Corp., parent of Rochester Gas and Electric and New York State Electric and Gas. The Spanish company said it accepts the conditions set by the state Public Service Commission, which include $275 million in rate relief for RG&E and NYSEG customers. “Iberdrola is pleased to accept this opportunity to help the Empire State meet its energy, environmental and economic goals,” said Ignacio Sanchez Galán, Iberdrola chairman and chief executive.
The NY Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the joint Petition of Iberdrola, S.A., Energy East Corporation, RGS Energy Group, Inc., Green Acquisition Capital, Inc., New York State Electric & Gas Corporation and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation for the acquisition of Energy East Corporation by Iberdrola, S.A. (CASE 07-M-0906). The order as issued by the PSC can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
The northern parts of Clinton and Franklin counties have attracted wind farm developers. They have put up scores of the 400-foot-high wind turbines that will hopefully reduce some of the dependency on fossil fuel. But wind power generated to the power grid in New York is shaping up as a growing problem.
When the acquisition is official, Iberdrola along with New York State will commit about $200 million to wind farms in hopes that wind mills will begin to pop up in fields like these. "My real concern is that that's going to happen in small towns through New York State that Iberdrola is going to come in and they're going to point blank tell the towns what they want and if the towns don't want or like what they want. They're just going to say well if you don't take what we want we're going to leave," said Lapinski.
State regulators Wednesday unanimously approved the $4.5 billion merger between Energy East Corp. and Spanish power producer Iberdrola SA, clearing the way for new owners to take over New York State Electric & Gas Corp. if they accept the conditions imposed on the deal. ..."There is no doubt that, on the risk side of the scale, there are some risks" associated with the merger, said Garry A. Brown, the PSC chairman. "We allayed those concerns as well as we could." But Brown said the $275 million in potential savings to customers "is a very significant balance that gets me to a net positive."
Energy expert Glenn Schleede provides a concise explanation as to why Iberdrola's promised investment of $2 billion in NY "wind farms" will not deliver the type of economic boom envisioned by New York politicians and media leaders.
Spanish utility Iberdrola SA will be allowed to purchase Energy East Corp., the New York State Public Service Commission determined today. The 4-0 vote by the PSC's board ended a year-long process involving Iberdrola's $4.5 billion proposal to take over Energy East (NYSE: EAS). The approval requires Iberdrola to pay $275 million in customer benefits to offset future rate hikes. Iberdrola must invest $200 million in new wind energy projects. Initially, Iberdrola said it would invest $100 million.
The Public Service Commission early this afternoon unanimously approved Spanish utility Iberdrola SA's proposed $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp. The PSC approval includes a requirement that Iberdrola commit to at least $200 million in wind power projects statewide, up from $100 million previously. In addition, Iberdrola will be required to provide another $275 million in so-called public benefits. ...Iberdrola will then review the order and decide whether to accept it.
James Denn, a spokesperson for the agency, said on Thursday that a decision more than likely will be made Sept. 3. The five-member commission had planned for several weeks to vote on the matter Wednesday but, at the last minute, decided not to do so due to the absence of two members -- Robert Curry Jr. and Cheryl Buley. Curry was out due to illness, Denn said, while Buley later Wednesday announced plans to move to Kentucky to be married. Buley's move was unexpected, and it means she most likely will not take part in the Iberdrola vote, Denn said.
Iberdrola SA could walk away from its $4.5 billion merger with Energy East Corp. if state regulators try to extract too much money from the Spanish utility. Just a few days from a vote by the Public Service Commission, one of the biggest questions surrounding the deal appears to be just how much Iberdrola will be required to share with customers. ...In a hearing before the PSC on Aug. 20, staff had suggested three different scenarios that involved between $202 million and $300 million in PBAs [positive benefit adjustments]. Two of the scenarios involved sharing earnings with consumers, while the third called for a rate case before the PSC in which the agency could potentially reset Iberdrola's electric and gas rates in upstate New York.
For a moment, it seemed as if NBC had no love for Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens' energy conservation plan, but the tide turned Wednesday, when the network reversed its decision to reject a commercial featuring Pickens promoting alternative energy. According to Adweek, NBC's original rejection letter, issued Tuesday, read, "The ad is not acceptable for air on the NBC network because the spots address controversial issues and it is our policy not to air ads addressing such issues on our network."
The state Public Service Commission put Iberdrola SA's $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp. on hold for a week Wednesday after two of its five members could not attend a special hearing to vote on the plan. The vote might have taken place had one of the commissioners, Robert Curry Jr., not fallen ill with what was described as a stomach bug. The other commissioner to miss the meeting, Cheryl Buley, has decided to resign from the PSC for personal reasons. Her departure from the $109,800-a-year job will take effect next Wednesday, but it's unclear at this point if she will attend that day's meeting and cast a vote. News that a vote would not occur was met with surprise by the dozens of attorneys, lobbyists and journalists who attended Wednesday's meeting.
A state Public Service Commission member who was embroiled in several political skirmishes during her two-year tenure says she's resigning next month to get married and move to Kentucky. Commissioner Cheryl Buley was appointed to the $109,800-a-year position on the PSC by former Republican Gov. George Pataki in June 2006 for a term ending in February 2012. Her resignation is effective Sept. 3, the day the PSC is to vote on Iberdrola SA's $4.6 billion proposal to buy Energy East.
The absence of two of the five members of the panel that regulates utilities in New York led to a delay today in a decision about whether to allow a Spanish company that wants to invest $2 billion in wind power in New York to buy the parent company of two large upstate utilities. State Public Service Commission members Cheryl Buley and Robert Curry, who make $109,800 a year, were absent. Curry was ill, and Buley missed for "personal reasons,'' said commission spokesman James Denn, who said he had no other information on her absence.
Iberdrola SA of Bilbao, Spain, has bid more than $4.5 billion for Energy East Corp., the parent company of Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. and New York State Electric and Gas Corp. Fourteen months after the friendly deal was unveiled, Iberdrola is due to get a thumbs up or thumbs down Wednesday from the state Public Service Commission. At stake are $2 billion in upstate investment, New York's reputation as a place to do business and what might happen to the fourth-highest residential electricity rates in the nation.
When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing. That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, ...are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.
One industry insider, Mick Sagrillo of the American Wind Energy Association, warned in an interview in Renewable Energy World that the some companies may try to exploit the concerned public's inflated hopes: "It's great that people are looking for alternatives, but it's amazing how little people know when they seek them out. That leaves people open to purchasing a product that is less-than-reliable. We are a very gullible culture, we're always looking for the magic bullet."