Articles filed under Energy Policy from New York
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.
Lt. Gov. David Paterson on Tuesday opened the first meeting of a group meant to help reduce the state's reliance on fossil fuels by expanding renewable energies like solar, wind and biofuels. The 17-member Renewable Energy Task Force, meeting in the Blue Room at the Capitol, also is responsible for offering ideas on reaching Gov. Eliot Spitzer's goal of reducing the expected growth in electrical demand by 15 percent by 2015. That goal would mean the state would be consuming about 8 percent less power than forecast for this year, which would be about the same amount as it did in 1998.
How much money wind projects blow into local communities is still up in the air - and it could be changing as the state Senate and Assembly work on Article X, a bill to regulate energy production in New York. State Sen. George Winner, R-Elmira, is part of the conference committee comprised of Senate and Assembly members to come up with a joint bill. He said the two bodies are "very far apart" in terms of coming to terms on a joint offering. The bulk of the bills deal with natural gas and clean air standards, but wind energy could be impacted as well.
WASHINGTON - The House rejected a resolution Wednesday that would block government plans to spur construction of major new power lines in many states regardless of local opposition. The issue has been contentious in parts of the East Coast and in the Southwest, where two high priority transmission corridors for power lines were proposed. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., warned colleagues that unwanted power lines could come to their district.
Property in Franklin, Clinton and St. Lawrence counties could be seized in the interest of national security if the land is where a federal commission says power lines should go. The initiative is meant to improve the delivery of electricity to populated areas along the Eastern Seaboard. And it is designed to prevent the kind of wide-spread, rolling blackouts and power interruptions that California experienced - situations that experts predict will start in New York and other eastern states in 2011 unless system upgrades are made. But opponents, such as the Sierra Club and historic-preservation groups, contend that state and local governments would be stripped of the power to control what occurs within their boundaries under the plan and that host communities and land owners would get little compensation.
A bill proposed in the state Senate would put an 18-month hold on new wind farm projects in Madison County and the rest of the state.
Back and forth they went until they hit this point: "What other topics do you want to discuss since we're not getting anywhere on coal or (energy) diversity?" asked Assembly Energy Committee Chairman Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, Montgomery County. "Maybe it's best we call it a day," replied his counterpart, Sen. James Wright, R-Watertown, Jefferson County.
Much of upstate New York, from north of Albany to Buffalo, from the Catskills to the Adirondacks, is in danger of being transformed beyond recognition by industrial wind parks. Some 50 of these wind parks are being planned and even built. All of this is being done in the name of clean energy and saving the planet. But it isn't clear that wind power is such a panacea in the battle against global warming that developers of these wind parks should be allowed to run roughshod over some of our loveliest land. What we need are statewide siting guidelines that take other environmental factors, including visual impacts, into consideration.
Draft legislation in Albany would make the state the chief reviewer of wind turbine projects throughout New York, wresting that control away from local communities, a preservation advocate said Wednesday in Albion. "This represents a fundamental shift from home rule (where local communities decide)," said Daniel Mackay, public policy director for the Preservation League of New York State. "This will expedite windmill siting." Mackay urged about 40 people at a forum on wind turbines to contact their state legislators and urge them to kill the draft legislation before it is proposed in the Legislature.
Two initiatives related to wind energy were announced by the Long Island Power Authority at a press conference on May 22, and generated mixed reactions from public officials in attendance. While LIPA's efforts to import wind energy from outside of Long Island was applauded by environmentalists and public officials, some criticized LIPA's push to conduct an updated, economic assessment of the utility's proposed offshore wind farm for Long Island.
Wind energy is an important renewable energy source. However, it is important to have a comprehensive plan for siting these high-tech wind facilities across New York state, in order to avoid any negative impacts upon surrounding areas. I have recently introduced legislation, S.4608, which seeks to study the need for a statewide comprehensive plan for siting wind facilities. Additionally, this bill would place an 18 month moratorium on any new construction or issuing of new permits for the construction of wind energy facilities, to enable the task force to complete its study and make recommendations.
Governor Spitzer's energy team has drafted the language for Article X, which governs the siting of energy plants, including wind-turbine factories. Article X as drafted is seriously flawed and a betrayal of the governor's campaign promises.
From New York to Virginia, residents face the prospect of new high-voltage line construction after an announcement last week by the Department of Energy. Now, East Coast lawmakers are banding together in a bid to short-circuit the federal decision making it easier for power companies to build major power lines like the New York Regional Interconnect.
For some reason, the logical alternative - having New York City produce more of its own energy and avoiding transmission lines - is not encouraged in the new Spitzer dynamic. At the same time, more alternative energy - notably wind farms - would get an expedited process. There's where the governor mostly expects to meet his goal of 25 percent of our energy needs coming from renewable sources by 2013. It's funny about wind farms, and wind energy in general. Electricity produced from wind is clean, throws no carbon in the air and uses natural forces. But it is also very expensive to produce (it's heavily subsidized), and transmission costs are another costly hurdle. Plus, a landscape full of wind farms won't put a dent in our energy needs, and aesthetically, wind farms are not for everybody everywhere.
A new federal proposal to help electricity flow more freely could help the energy-choked East Coast. But it could also infuriate landowners, who have traditionally gotten their way in fights against utilities in Delaware. U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman last week named Delaware as part of his proposed eastern National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor. It would run from New York to Virginia, and west to Ohio. A second corridor would run through California, Arizona and Nevada.
A grass roots coalition of nearly 100 citizens from New York, Vermont, and other states have filed a federal Anti-Trust Complaint alleging that an international cartel comprised of foreign and domestic business entities have conspired to eliminate competition in the newly emerging U.S. wind energy sector.
The group includes 10 existing hydroelectric facilities that have been or will be upgraded, nine new wind facilities and two biomass facilities, the organizations say. The contract awards total approximately $295 million and will be paid out over a 10-year period as performance incentives for these facilities to produce and deliver electric energy to the state grid. According to NYSERDA and the commission, performance incentives will average approximately $15 per MWh.