Articles filed under Energy Policy from New York

Impact of Article X on local governments

We find ourselves in the position of being aggressively pursued by wind developers who are, of course strong advocates of these large wind turbines. In my extensive research of the effects of these large wind turbine installations, it seems to me that the principal beneficiaries are the large wind developers and wealthy investors who reap significant tax relief from their ownership of these devices. The State should offer us protection when dealing with these financially and, it appears, politically powerful wind turbine developers. I would hope, that as citizens of New York, we could count on the State to assist us in resisting these large corporations who do not care or appreciate the damage these large wind installations would do to the scenic beauty of the Thousand Islands area and the consequent damage to our largely tourist/vacationer based economy. In general we have not found the State to be helpful in our situation. The literature provided on NYSERDA's website for municipalities appears to have been taken nearly verbatim from the press releases of the AWEA or the individual wind developers.
17 Feb 2008

Energy official hints at policy shift

In what appears to be a subtle shift in energy policy, Gov. Eliot Spitzer's top energy official said Wednesday that "all new clean power-generation sources" could be included in a new power-plant siting law. Paul DeCotis, deputy secretary for energy, made the comment during the annual legislative breakfast of the Energy Association of New York State, a trade group that represents utilities, including National Grid. A new siting law would help pave the way for electric power plants to be built in the state by streamlining the regulatory and permit-granting process. Although the state's electricity needs are currently being met, projections show more generation may be needed by 2012 to meet growing demand, especially in metropolitan New York City. A previous law, known as Article 10, expired in 2003. But the Legislature has not been able to agree on how to write the law.
24 Jan 2008

Iberdrola bid for RG&E parent hits obstacle

The state Public Service Commission staff is advising against the proposed takeover of Energy East, the parent of Rochester Gas and Electric, by the Spanish utility Iberdrola SA. The recommendation doesn't mean the $4.5 billion deal won't go through, but it does put up a barrier that the companies will need to overcome.
18 Jan 2008

Electric deal is sign of the times; Energy East takeover part of industry consolidation

You can almost hear the gnashing of teeth. A Spanish company, Iberdrola, is about to acquire Energy East, the parent of New York State Electric & Gas Corp. The company has received needed approvals from the federal agencies, and it is close to receiving the endorsement of four of the five state regulatory agencies. A decision from New York regulators is still some way off. Critics of the deal express anxiety that a foreign company may eventually control electric distribution to 3 million customers in the Northeast. They wonder if it's wise to have such critical infrastructure out of the hands of a domestic owner. But the reality is that the fragmented electric industry will undergo a vast restructuring over the next decade or two.
13 Jan 2008

GAINES: Wind committee against turbines

The Wind Advisory Committee submitted their official recommendation against wind turbine development to the Gaines Town Board Thursday along with a list of suggestions to include in a local law. The eight-member volunteer committee was charged by the Town Board to research the possible effects of the 400-foot towers and to report back with a recommendation. After months of deliberation, the committee decided commercial wind energy is not in the best interest of the town in a majority 6-2 vote at the end of November. Airtricity, an international wind development company based out of Dublin, Ireland, has proposed constructing 55 to 80 wind turbines on land in the Towns of Gaines and Albion. Its North American operations were purchased for $1.4 billion Oct. 4 by E.O.N., a power and gas company based out of Dusseldorf. Town Supervisor Richard DeCarlo said the ultimate decision about the wind towers will be up to the board.
7 Jan 2008

Legislator pushes for more wind projects

Several county officials met Thursday with Empire State Wind Energy President Keith Pitman to gain information about how much revenue can be made from wind projects, Brezinski said. Pitman told county officials he would be able to give the county 75 percent of the revenue if he did a large project for the county, said Herkimer County Administrator James Wallace. That's 10 to 20 times as much money as other developers are offering, Wallace said. ...Friends of Renewable Energy member Carole Kowall of Jordanville said it would be a huge risk for county taxpayers if the county decides to try to develop a project on its own. Wind turbines can cost $2 million to $4 million each, and a project would be a significant capital investment for the county, she said. There are many costs involved with building, operating and maintaining the turbines, Kowall said. Wind projects don't start making revenue above the investment until after a double-digit number of years, she said. How long it takes to gain revenue depends on the size of the project, she said.
23 Dec 2007

House speaker denies that his friendship with Cashman influenced controversial energy bill

A controversial amendment that critics say would open up Buzzards Bay to unlimited wind turbine development was quietly slipped into a House energy bill last week, with some legislators unaware they had voted in favor of it. Many saw the fingerprints of Boston developer Jay Cashman on the amendment, which the House speaker's office denied. Mr. Cashman and Speaker Salvatore DiMasi are close personal friends, which Rep. DiMasi publicly disclosed in a letter to the House clerk last March.
21 Nov 2007

LIPA seeks renewable power proposals

The Long Island Power Authority has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from firms interested in providing electricity from renewable facilities and associated renewable energy certificates. In a release Monday, LIPA said the renewable energy could come from new or existing projects in New York, New England or the PJM electricity markets. LIPA has voluntarily agreed to follow the state Public Service Commission's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires suppliers to acquire 25 percent of the power they sell from renewable sources by 2013.
6 Nov 2007

Area state leaders push Article X agreement

It was the threat of Article X legislation that prompted Town of Hamlin Supervisor Dennis Roach to speed up the timeline for the town's Wind Tower Committee's work. The ...The committee was originally given a timeline that extended to December but was summarily moved up by Roach when talk of Article X began surfacing among state representatives. Roach has consistently said he wants to have the town's regulations in place before the state made its own determination on sitings for turbines. ..."We agree that we have to do something to generate more electric power so we can reduce utility costs for businesses and consumers, but we have to go about it in the right way. As we look at legislation to reauthorize Article X, we need to make sure that local governments have a sufficient amount of input into the siting process if a generating facility is proposed in their community," said Maziarz in a press release.
1 Oct 2007

Communities wary of wind bills; Want to retain control of siting

With a wave of wind energy seemingly about to hit Western New York, many of the area's towns have a message for Albany: They think they're handling it pretty well on their own. That's in the wake of legislation passed at the end of the State Senate's and Assembly's spring sessions that drafted new rules for siting power plants - including large wind power projects. ...Merle Draper, the supervisor of the Orleans County Town of Shelby, said: "If the ability to control the siting is taken from the local municipality . . . we're again a big backyard for New York City."
15 Sep 2007

Blown away

While the price tag was the final straw for Law, the momentum to stop the project grew from the tenacious grassroots opposition of those who lived near the beach, which in turn motivated their elected officials to turn up the heat on LIPA.......Siting a wind park visible from the sands of Jones Beach, the closest thing Long Island has to sacred ground, was a mistake.
24 Aug 2007

Forum on wind-energy issues seeks to clear the air

Cattaraugus County residents who fear their communities will be subjected to wind-energy facility laws and contracts, wind tower views and wind turbine noise learned Monday night that wind energy has already become a public policy in New York State. About 60 residents attending Monday night's wind energy forum in Olean Public Library were advised to lobby the governor and state elected officials concerning a proposed power plant siting bill now making its way through the State Legislature. The bill - known as Article X - and other legislation being considered in Albany would revive the Public Service Commission's expired provisions for power plant siting.
15 Aug 2007

New York Energy Siting Law Needs Protection Measures

Although the law has many positive aspects it removes the ability of local government to protect its citizens. Large wind facilities dominate a landscape and cause significant environmental alteration to rural areas, where they are most often sited. It does nothing to protect real estate values nor remove the onus of improperly assessed wind facilities already permitted by local governments. We believe these deficiencies should be remedied prior to enactment.
13 Aug 2007

State needs windmill plan

The villains in this scenario are the dysfunctional state Legislature and the energetic but too widespread governor. The state needs a plan for windmills. Where should they be placed to offer the most reward and the least damage? Instead, we have no policy and a bunch of entrepreneurs seeking a quick buck and then getting out.
26 Jul 2007

‘Article X’ must be defeated

From kindergarten, Americans are taught to get involved in local government, to exercise local control over local affairs. Now, politicians in faraway Albany say never mind, we will run your local affairs for you. This treacherous thinking is embodied in the New York State Assembly's 103-39 approval of so-called "Article X," which would give the state the right to site electric-generating facilities over local protest. Now the Senate must vote and this requires anyone who believes in local rule, in democracy itself, to object immediately.
16 Jul 2007

Coastal wind parks await consent

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- Multiple reports and studies, especially those published in the last year, suggest the United States, specifically the East Coast, has great potential for offshore wind. The politicized debate over whether to develop wind power offshore has dragged on since the late 1990s, when the first project was proposed in Cape Cod, Mass., off the Nantucket Sound. Since then there have been several other proposals, none of which has been completely approved.
9 Jul 2007

Power Struggle: State Assembly passes bill to take over wind energy from towns

If local town supervisors had their way, a state Assembly bill that would give the state discretion over the siting of wind farms would be gone with the wind. The bill in question, A08697, says "[A08697] would reauthorize Article X of the Public Service Law, with changes, to provide statutory provisions for the siting of major electric generating facilities. The bill would require an analysis of health impacts, the cumulative impacts of emissions in affected areas, and that environmental justice issues be taken into account by the Siting Board in its decision-making process. The bill would also require local appointees of the Board to be named by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Chief Executive Officer representing the municipality in which the facility is proposed."
9 Jul 2007

A mighty costly wind

Robert Sullivan's review of "Cape Wind" (June 17), about the battle over the development of a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, made me wonder why a majority of Cape Cod and island residents would oppose a project that promised them clean, cheap, non polluting renewable energy at a time when everyone is focused on making America energy independent. You can start with the fact that this project won't deliver lowercost energy because offshore wind is by far the most expensive form of energy. You can then wonder what all the fuss is about when you understand that at its optimum operating efficiency (an average of 170 megawatts, according to Cape Wind's own Web site, and not the 468 megawatts its proponents claim) it would produce just 1 percent of New England's electricity supply. And because wind energy is inherently unpredictable (it depends on when the wind is blowing and cannot be stored), fossil fuel plants would always have to be online as reserve power to keep our lights on. Concluding his review, Sullivan mentions the growing opposition to a wind farm proposal off the coast of Long Island. This opposition is bolstered by the economic facts of the project - according to previously confidential documents obtained by Newsday, energy from the proposed wind plant would cost Long Island ratepayers as much as double the wholesale cost of energy.
7 Jul 2007

Emissions, regulation, siting among legislative priorities in Northeast

Legislators in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic passed a number of bills applying to the electric power industry, with several states committing to emissions reductions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other states making broad organizational changes to their regulatory processes.
6 Jul 2007
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