Articles filed under Energy Policy from New York
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Even the wind costs too much on Long Island. The price tag is now at $697 million to build 40 massive turbines in the ocean off Jones Beach to provide only 140 megawatts of power, a fraction of what the area uses. Even though FPL Energy, the winning bidder for the project, would directly pay the construction costs, the company would recoup that money through the rates it charges the Long Island Power Authority. And LIPA ratepayers also would shell out at least another $100 million for cables and other costs to hook the generation into its system. Who pays the costs of dismantling the turbines and carting them away when their usefulness is over is still up in the air.
Another roadblock is being enacted to stop the federal government from overriding New York's authority to decide whether companies can build megawatt power lines through the state, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Monday. Schumer plans to introduce legislation within the next two weeks to hinder the efforts of New York Regional Interconnect to seek federal approval if the state Public Service Commission denies its proposed project. The company has proposed building a high-voltage power line from Marcy to Orange County to help provide more power to downstate communities. Schumer said terms of his legislation include:
The shallow water just miles from the Rehoboth Beach shoreline could be the site of the country's first offshore wind farm -- but it will not be the only one, as similar projects are racing forward in Massachusetts and New York, experts say.
WASHINGTON, DC - In the wake of the defeat of a measure that would have prevented the federal government from trumping state governments on the issue of power line siting, Congressman Maurice Hinchey vowed to continue the fight. He said many lawmakers who voted against his measure did not understand it, and he promised to reintroduce similar legislation in the near future.