Articles from New York
A Bath Town Board committee will study other municipalities' wind turbine laws in preparation of drafting a local law regarding wind farm developments. ...Last month, Lattimer said wind turbine technology is improving, thereby increasing the odds a wind farm developer may someday be attracted to the Bath area. To date, wind patterns in the town have not distinguished it as a candidate for wind turbine developments.
New Windsor's proposed local law regulating residential and commercial wind energy conversion systems will get a public hearing in July. ...Although George Chaleff found a lot of points to agree with as he got his first look at the law Monday, several sticking points led him to suggest the law could severely limit the number of people who could tap the alternative energy source.
The Town of Lyme wants the state Department of Environmental Conservation to consider the possibility that noise from Galloo Island Wind Farm could annoy town residents on Point Peninsula. "Whereas the Impact Statement declares the noise generated by this project poses no significant noise impact, the Town of Lyme respectfully submits this letter expressing its concern to the contrary," states an April 29 letter from the town to DEC and the town of Hounsfield.
You may not be aware of this but across America each year thousands of birds of prey are killed at wind farms. The public perception of wind turbines is that of slow moving blades turning in the wind on a ridge line. The power and danger of the prop design wind turbine is not well understood. Probably the hardest aspect for the public to grasp is that of "tip speed." The killer of eagles and all birds at wind farms is blade tip speed. This is what kills and this is what the wind industry does not publicize or put in their environmental documents.
The Town Board most recently heard from Cohocton Town Justice Hal Graham, who signed a lease with First Wind for a turbine that began operating in January on his Lent Hill Road property, about 2,000 feet from his house. He now calls it a mistake. Since First Wind's Cohocton wind development went live - and even prior to that, during the construction phase - nearby homeowners have complained about turbine noise. Graham likened the noise from the tower on his property and another on a neighbor's property that's only 1,050 feet away to jet engines.
Does the Town of Orangeville have the right to permit an industrial site that could harm a neighboring municipality? Who will defend the rights of Attica residents to clean water and an unpolluted reservoir? We all can appreciate the need for clean energy. However, we do not have the right to expose our neighboring municipalities to the drainage, runoff pollution and threat to water tables that will accompany Orangeville's industrial wind farm.
The town Planning Board approved a request by Horse Creek Wind Farm developer Iberdrola Renewables to extend a suspension of its application for a second year. In June 2008, the board approved a one-year suspension. When that period ends May 15, the second yearlong period will begin. Jenny L. Burke, business developer with Iberdrola, reiterated that the effects of a mysterious fungal disease on bat populations was the main reason for the original suspension.
The turbines don't come without controversy. In early March, a wind turbine in Altona, N.Y., fell to the ground. No one was hurt. In the following days, Noble Environmental Power, which owns 257 turbines in Clinton and Franklin counties, blamed a combination of a "power loss" and a "wiring anomaly" for the topple. To this day, they have offered no further explanation.
I would like to update residents of the Town of Alabama and nearby homeowners on the proceedings at the Town Council meeting on April 13. A petition was presented to town Supervisor Guy Hinkson and the council. The petition contained almost 300 signatures of Alabama residents who oppose the siting of industrial wind turbines within the town of Alabama.
I was recently contacted by councilman Steven Kula regarding a visit some of Prattsburgh's officials had to Chatham-Kent, Ontario to visit the Kruger Port Alma wind project. I do not doubt that the people Stacey Bottoni and Sharon Quigley spoke to on their recent visit to Chatham-Kent did like the Kruger turbines and had no issues with them. However, that is not the case for everyone living near the turbines. I am in contact with a family suffering severe health/quality of life issues since the turbines began operating.
Forty-seven additional mechanics liens have been filed by a Michigan construction company against Noble Environmental Power. The Aristeo Construction Company filed the liens on April 17. ...The liens are in addition to 19 such documents filed Feb. 13 in connection with the Noble Wethersfield Wind Park.
A Friday ruling by the State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department, invalidated the 12-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal given to the power generator by the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency in October 2006. ...The IDA had granted the power company a 12-year, $192 million PILOT in exchange for the company's promise to pursue a shot at building a state-subsidized clean coal plant under former Gov. George Pataki's Advanced Clean Coal Initiative.
It was explained that a work session was held and information from the wind hearing was compiled. The board wasn't to have a work session with their attorney, Robert Knorr to go over contract terms with him and Supervisor Spalti said it would be a closed session. Leslie J. Lange, reporter from the Arcade Herald noted that the windmill law does not fall into the category for a closed session according to the Open Meeting Law. Supervisor Spalti left the meeting to obtain a book from which to refer. Councilwoman Cornwall said that the discussion was related to ‘litigation'. Deeming it litigation, she felt that meeting with their attorney is a confidential meeting.
Town Board members plan to decide next week whether they consider an application from EcoGen LLC to develop 18 wind turbines complete. ...If the board deems the application complete, its next steps include declaring itself lead agency, completing an environmental review form, sending a referral to the Yates County Planning Board and setting a public hearing 62 days from the date the application is deemed complete.
The Orleans Wind Committee had early consensus on setbacks that would be the farthest in the county, if adopted. Though the committee will continue to review the plans presented Tuesday night, members agreed on setbacks of 3,000 feet, or six times the turbine height, from nonparticipating residents' property lines, participating residents' dwellings, state or federal-regulated wetlands and forests, public buildings, historic areas and livestock barns.
The citizens of Cape Vincent face a very serious moral and ethical dilemma. To the landowners who have lobbied their local officials to pursue wind development at the expense of those not interested, I pose these questions.
Town officials would like to regulate wind energy and adult entertainment, asking for the public's opinions regarding both issues. ...Supervisor Sally Carlson said about seven people from the Jamestown Audubon Society raised concerns during Tuesday's wind energy hearing about the possibility of commercial windmills within two miles of Chautauqua Lake affecting migratory birds.
The town's wind committee submitted a four-page proposal for a revised local law on wind energy production to the Clayton Town Council at its regular meeting Wednesday. The recommendations cover a range of issues, including noise limits and setbacks for wind turbines.
Board members received other input from those in attendance, including comments from acoustical engineer Rick James, of Michigan. James told the board, based on the state Department of Environmental Conservation recommendations for decibel increases, the acceptable noise level for the region was 27-30 dBA. The current standard for wind farms in Steuben County is 50 dBA. "Fifty decibels is based on the needs of the wind developers," he said. "It is not based on science ... it is a smokescreen."
A New York state utility is exploring whether it is possible to put electricity-generating wind turbines in the Great Lakes, rather than inland or along the shoreline. The state-owned New York Power Authority on Wednesday began asking potential developers how they would go about constructing an offshore wind project in Lake Erie or Lake Ontario.