Articles from New York
A public hearing will be held Saturday morning in Italy, Yates County, on a proposed 18-turbine wind energy project now pending before the Town Board. Ecogen LLC, based in suburban Buffalo, is seeking town approval to erect 415-foot-high turbines, each rated as capable of generating up to 2.3 megawatts of electricity.
What is not being addressed in any of these debates is the larger question of what position wind power will take in the national energy production cycle. Because wind power technology has been around for a long time, it is at an advanced stage of development, and it is cheaper than solar power. Thus, it achieved a quick popularity with people seeking a quick alternative to coal and oil. However, wind power has its own drawbacks.
A bombshell was dropped at the Arkwright Town Board meeting with an announcement by Tom Stebbins, project manager for the Arkwright Summit Wind Project. He said that Horizon Wind Energy will not begin building turbines in Arkwright next April, as he had earlier indicated. "We will continue the permitting process and our commitment to the town with regard to this project," he told the town council.
State police closed a portion of Route 3, from Bolton Road to Benton Road, for about three hours Wednesday after the base of a wind turbine and the trailer it was attached to became unlatched from the rig hauling the oversized load. Both the trailer and turbine overturned and rolled into a nearby cornfield, state police said.
In the last year I have been to some of the local hearings and information meetings about wind turbine parks and have visited several operating turbine sites, but I have not heard a lot of discussion about the impacts of nighttime lighting. I spent an evening in Cape Vincent looking at the nighttime lighting of the Wolfe Island wind turbine park. ...Standing on the shore in Cape Vincent, in the dark, looking across three miles to the nearest turbine light (five to seven miles to the farthest), more than 20 red strobes blitz simultaneously every two-and-a-half seconds.
General Electric Co. grabbed a major foothold into Europe's growing offshore wind market Monday by completing the acquisition of a Norwegian wind turbine company. The $18 million deal for ScanWind was originally announced last month.
Permits for small-scale wind turbines gained a fast permitting track in the Adirondack Park. Combining regulation with New York state's push for alternative energy sources, staff at the Adirondack Park Agency established a general permit to move residential wind power more quickly through the regulatory review process. APA commissioners unanimously approved the measure at their recent meeting.
The town's Zoning Board of Appeals is standing by its decision that Roger D. Alexander's 92-foot-tall personal wind turbine is illegal. At a ZBA meeting Monday, Chairman Edward P. Bender said Mr. Alexander does not have to take his wind turbine down immediately. It's up to the Town Council to make that decision, he said.
Wind-farm-lease holders may soon be able to opt for lump-sum payments for their anticipated lease agreements instead of waiting for periodic checks. Chuck Hinckley, the former chief operating officer of Noble Environmental Power, is now CEO of American Wind Capital Co. in Essex, Conn., which just announced that it has had an infusion of cash from investment bankers and a private energy-technology investor.
I recently read about Lewis County's loss of income from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm because of the loss of their Empire Zone certification. This is something of great importance to any community that is considering wind farms. When monies come into a community, budgets are set up and the spending begins. Projects are started, and the community depends on the yearly income from the wind farms to meet the demand of new expenses and projects. Now Lewis County has to make up a loss of income.
Representatives of town governments want more of the financial pie from new industrial wind power developments, but many Cattaraugus County residents say they are financed by federal debt and long-range costs to the community will outweigh benefits. These sentiments dominated three public hearings on a tax-incentive proposal for wind developers by the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency.
The New York Independent System Operator, the North Greenbush nonprofit that operates the state's wholesale electricity market, has told federal regulators that three power plants in upstate New York may have been trying to inflate profits by making artificially high bids. The NYISO won't publicly reveal the names of the generators -- or just how much they might have cost consumers.
The Arkwright Town Board spoke with one voice when it unanimously voted to table a Horizon Wind Energy waiver request. The request involved granting an easement on property Horizon has an option to purchase on Meadows Road that abuts the county owned Earl Cardot Overland Hiking Trail.
The Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency will seek public comments at 6:30 p. m. tonight, Wednesday and Thursday in hearings on proposed revisions to the agency's uniform tax exemption policy to accommodate wind farm developments. The revisions, if adopted, will set a schedule for payments-in-lieu-of-taxes.
Every state in the Northeast has set a target for increasing the amount of renewable energy it produces. Wind power is a big part of this push, but it may pose a danger to birds and bats. As part of a collaboration of northeast public radio stations, David Chanatry reports from the site of the biggest wind farm in the region.
The Sept. 1 letter of Claire Jones hits a key point. Ms. Jones apparently is a regular visitor to the Thousand Island area from far away. I too am a regular visitor, and like so many, we cannot believe how some local town officials are seriously prepared to transform the area in a most profound way. Having seen the Maple Ridge Wind Farm many times on my way to the Thousand Islands, I am shocked that efforts are under way to bring such visually dominating infrastructure to the Thousand Islands.
The corporate owner of one of the largest wind turbine farms in upstate New York - a 50-turbine undertaking in Cohocton, Steuben County - has been given $74.6 million in federal stimulus grants. ...First Wind has ties to the administration of President Barack Obama. A New York City hedge fund, D.E. Shaw & Co., is a major investor in First Wind ...Lawrence H. Summers, who now heads Obama's National Economic Council, was a compensated managing director at D.E. Shaw before leaving late last year.
HENDERSON - The town Planning Board will hold public hearings on three applications for temporary meteorological towers at 7 p.m. today at the Henderson Fire District and Free Library building, 939 Route 178.
The Clayton Town Council agreed to keep the sound limitations and most of the setback recommendations from the Wind Committee and forward them to the town attorney to begin writing a new zoning law for wind power development. The council, meeting Wednesday night, held voice votes on all 16 recommendations forwarded from the committee. The only point dropped by the council was a recommendation to site turbines so there would be no flicker effect falling at road intersections.
Not only is Lewis County dealing with a decrease in sales tax revenue and a lack of information about how much state aid it will receive, it's also dealing with the loss of a major money maker. The Maple Ridge Wind Farm ...recently lost its certification as part of the state's Empire Development Zone, which means it lost critical tax breaks and other business incentives.