Senator Gillibrand calls for federal tax credit for NY wind turbine production

Gillibrand Calls on Feds to Provide Tax Credit for Wind Turbine Production in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Ogdensburg

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged the federal government to approve an investment tax credit to build wind turbines in manufacturing sites in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Ogdensburg. The D’Arcinoff Group, a U.S. based company, is looking to operate clean technology manufacturing facilities in 15 plants across the U.S. According to their estimates, the four New York plants could employ up to 15,000 people, working in multiple shifts. If fully financed, Phase One of the project could create upwards of 800 jobs at Syracuse’s New Process Gear facility in DeWitt, 6,000 jobs in Rochester, 2,000 jobs in Buffalo, and 1,200 jobs in Ogdensburg.

via Kirsten Gillibrand – United States Senator for New York: News.

NYISO queue update – 48 wind projects

Forty-eight wind projects (including two Long Island Cable projects) are in the NYISO queue to ultimately connect to the state’s electric grid.

These projects represent a total of almost 7GW of summer peak production, and have an average size of 144 MW summer peak production. The numbers are relatively high owing to the scale of the few offshore products in the queue.

Here for a full table of current wind projects in the NYISO queue.

Wind turbines as cigarettes?

(April 1- New York) In a move sure to unsettle some residents, the Town of Marlboor, New York has approved a wind farm project with turbines made to look like cigarettes.

“These are not real cigarettes. These are electronic cigarettes,” said Town Supervisor Joe Kahmle. “We are not advocating pollution of any kind.”

In a bid to raise money for town coffers, the town agreed to allow the turbines to be painted to resemble electronic cigarettes made by the NoSmokeSmokes Corp.

Company representative Simone Barsinister indicated that she saw the project as a win-win-win-win. “Look,” she said, “We paid the town a lump sum; people will stop bringing into their lungs smoke from cigarettes and smokestacks; and if folks are smart about this, they will recharge their smokeless smokes at night when the turbines are spinning fast. I’m surprised more towns aren’t jumping at the opportunity.”

Representatives of NYISO were unavailable for comment as to what impact on the grid the mass plugging in of electronic cigarettes may have. NoSmokeSmokes estimates that for every 10MW of power generated, the ingestion of 10M mg of tar will be avoided.

Photo simulation of the “Cigarette Turbine” project submitted as part of the town’s environmental due diligence:

wind turbine as electronic cigarette

wind turbine as electronic cigarette

Law review article: Wind as a severable property interest

Interesting article on wind as a property interest in Texas:

The Texas Wind Estate: Wind as a Natural Resource and a Severable Property Interest (University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 44, No. 2, p. 429, 2011 ), by: Alan J. Alexander, University of Michigan Law School

The article states:

[T]o fully utilize [Texas] energy resources, the State needs authority to regulate wind to mitigate wasteful practices, and landowners need a legal property interest in wind that they can market or develop and that courts will recognize and protect.Yet under current law it is unclear whether the State has full regulatory power over wind as a property interest severable from land, and whether wind ownership is incident to land ownership.

Addressing these issues requires resolving at least three legal questions

… whether wind is considered a “natural resource” like oil or groundwater,24 such that the Texas Legislature can pass laws to regulate it under the Texas Constitution.

… whether wind is subject to ownership in Texas.

… whether a landowner’s interest in the wind that flows over his land is severable from the surface estate.

Mr. Alexander argues “that the Texas Legislature should pass laws clarifying that wind is a natural resource under the Texas Constitution, and that to promote ‘[t]he conservation and development’ of wind as a natural resource, the Legislature should statutorily recognize wind rights as an interest severable from land ownership.

From: SSRN-The Texas Wind Estate: Wind as a Natural Resource and a Severable Property Interest by Alan Alexander.

Washington Post review of “Windfall” documentary

Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday reviews “‘Windfall” documentary about the local conflicts engendered by a wind project in Meredith, N.Y.

Faucets don’t spit fire in “Windfall,” making its local premiere Saturday at the Environmental Film Festival. But incendiary water may be the only side effect not associated with wind power in Laura Israel’s absorbing, sobering documentary about the lures and perils of green technology…

via Ann Hornaday reviews ‘Windfall’ – The Washington Post.

Kojo Nnamdi: Wind Power and Local Accusations of “NIMBYism”

Podcast available on Wind Power And Local Accusations of “NIMBYism” from the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5 (Washington, D.C.)

Wind Power And Local Accusations of “NIMBYism”

A proposal in Maryland for an offshore wind farm is facing resistance from power companies, but may meet even more opposition from the local community.

A plan to develop a wind farm ten miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, is facing resistance from power companies and some legislators. The proposed 400-foot high turbines could also be an issue for local residents and businesses in this tourist-heavy beach town. We’ll discuss the proposal, and we’ll also talk to a filmmaker who chronicled a rural community’s sharp divide over wind farms in upstate New York.

via Wind Power And Local Accusations of “NIMBYism” | The Kojo Nnamdi Show.

NY Assembly Bill Would Create Wind Project Siting Task Force

The siting of wind facilities in New York is by and large a local affair. Unlike some states, New York does not have in place a comprehensive statewide framework for wind energy facility siting. Enter the state legislature.

Assembly Bill A04793 would establish a New York state task force on wind generating facilities siting to study the need to implement a uniform statewide policy regarding the siting and permitting of wind energy production facilities. The bill, referred to the Energy Committee,  has no Senate “same as” as of 3/14/2011.

The Senate does have pending a somewhat related bill pending, however. Senate Bill S01086 would authorize and direct NYSERDA to conduct a comprehensive study of the potential siting processes required to establish wind energy production facilities. The Senate bill has been referred to the Energy and Telecommunications Committee.

With the legislative session set to end in a few months, at this juncture passage of either bill seems somewhat remote.

Text of Bill A04793 | Text of Bill S01086

[3/18/2011: Nice article on how Wisconsin is currently dealing with the issue of whether states or locales should determine wind project siting policy.]