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State retirement fund invests in Sheldon wind farm

The state Comptroller's Office is apparently viewing the High Sheldon Wind Farm as a good investment. The New York State Common Retirement Fund has invested $15 million in the project that became operational in March, officials announced Monday. ...But though High Sheldon has its supporters, the project has also generated numerous complaints from some residents.

SHELDON -- The state Comptroller's Office is apparently viewing the High Sheldon Wind Farm as a good investment.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund has invested $15 million in the project that became operational in March, officials announced Monday.

"Invenergy's High Sheldon Wind Farm is a perfect example of how we can do well for the members of the Retirement System while doing good for New York businesses and the environment," said State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in a news release.

"High Sheldon Wind Farm is creating clean and renewable energy for use in New York state," he continued. "This is a great investment for the pension fund, and a good step toward making New York and the country more energy-independent."

The fund -- which is overseen by the Comptroller's Office -- invested the money through its investment partner Credit Suisse. The latter describes itself as one of the world's leading managers of private equity investment programs.

"We are pleased the New York State Common Retirement Fund is helping finance this clean energy project, which is both financially and environmentally appealing," said Nadim Barakat, a managing director in Credit Suisse's customized fund... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

SHELDON -- The state Comptroller's Office is apparently viewing the High Sheldon Wind Farm as a good investment.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund has invested $15 million in the project that became operational in March, officials announced Monday.

"Invenergy's High Sheldon Wind Farm is a perfect example of how we can do well for the members of the Retirement System while doing good for New York businesses and the environment," said State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in a news release.

"High Sheldon Wind Farm is creating clean and renewable energy for use in New York state," he continued. "This is a great investment for the pension fund, and a good step toward making New York and the country more energy-independent."

The fund -- which is overseen by the Comptroller's Office -- invested the money through its investment partner Credit Suisse. The latter describes itself as one of the world's leading managers of private equity investment programs.

"We are pleased the New York State Common Retirement Fund is helping finance this clean energy project, which is both financially and environmentally appealing," said Nadim Barakat, a managing director in Credit Suisse's customized fund investment group.

High Sheldon includes 75 turbines. It's expected to generate enough electricity to power about 45,000 homes annually, with a total capacity of 112.5 megawatts.

The officials believe the operation will help the state achieve its goal of generating 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2013.

Despite the state's enthusiasm, High Sheldon has been controversial within the town.

The operation has essentially eliminated town taxes, with Sheldon receiving a $762,952.50 payment last November. The payments will continue for the project's lifespan and will increase 2 to 3.5 percent annually, based on the consumer price index.

The town will also receive $136,400 annually in fire department tax payments. More than $100,000 in payments-in-lieu-of-taxes will be allocated to Wyoming County, along with the Attica and Pioneer school districts.

But though High Sheldon has its supporters, the project has also generated numerous complaints from some residents, who have documented shadow flicker and scrambled television reception, while complaining of noise, headaches and other effects.

Through its In-state Private Equity Program, the Common Retirement Fund invests with private equity managers seeking to invest in companies within the state, which require capital for growth.

The program was created in 1999 and aims to invest state funds in the New York state economy.

The program aims to help generate jobs and private sector investment within the state. A total of $403.6 million has been invested in 127 companies since 2000, yielding a 30 percent rate of return.

Besides High Sheldon, Invenergy is also pursuing a similar project in the adjacent town of Orangeville.

"We view the completion of this transaction as a vote of confidence by our investors in our strategy and execution capabilities," said Invenergy CEO Michael Polsky in the state's news release. "With the commencement of commercial operation and funding of the High Sheldon Wind Farm, we stand poised to explore other wind energy projects that will benefit the residents of New York."


Source: http://thedailynewsonline.c...

JUN 23 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/20774-state-retirement-fund-invests-in-sheldon-wind-farm
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