New York wind projects

Iberdrola-Energy East

Buffalo News reports June 29 on the likelihood of the proposed Iberdrola-Energy East transaction gaining New York Public Service Commission (PSC) approval (with a vote due potentially July 16, though August appears to be more likely). Notable quote from Iberdrola’s Pedro Azagra:

We believe in predictable and consistent regulation. If those things are not there, there are many other states and countries where it is. If you’re in a state where regulation is not predictable, we’re out of there.

Separately, a variety of outlets (Newsday, Albany Times Union, Ithaca Journal, Business Review) reported that staff of the NY PSC appear to be lessening their demands of Iberdrola to consummate the Energy East acquisition. Willing to permit some ownership of wind generation assets, staff is now insisting that Iberdrola be compelled to make good on its $2 billion investment promise, with penalties for failure to invest the money in New York. The staff in its filing stated

Nonetheless, in the event that the Commission decides approval of the transaction is warranted upon less than tangible monetary benefits in the amount of Staff’s $644 million, or that Iberdrola may own wind generation facilities if vertical market power impacts are mitigated, Staff presents alternatives to the positions it took earlier in this proceeding.

The $2.0 billion investment Iberdrola proposes, and the amount of tangible monetary benefits it must provide ratepayers, can be linked. If Iberdrola commits to the development of wind projects in New York the investments it promises, the amount of the monetary benefits due ratepayers could be reduced. If Iberdrola fails to keep it wind investment promises, however, substantial monetary benefits, in the form of rate reductions, should accrue to NYSEG and RG&E ratepayers.

The Times Union reported that Iberdrola discounted the new staff proposal:

“The PSC staff has not changed its position at all,” said an Iberdrola spokesman. “They make it clear, they still prefer prohibition.” He said Iberdrola believes the alternatives “do not make sense.”

The PSC staff’s latest filing in the Iberdrola-Energy East case may be found on the NY PSC website.

Cape Vincent wind

Watertown Daily Times reports that a group opposed to industrial wind development in the Town of Cape Vincent (Jefferson County) has appealed an appeal judge’s decision to not allow certain documents in the group’s March 2007 Article 78 challenge against the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The challenge seeks to undo the ZBA’s determination that an industrial wind farm is a public utility under New York law. Such a ruling is advantageous to wind developers as public utilities can be subject to reduced requirements under local zoning laws. The anti-wind group has appealed a lower court’s ruling against it.

First Wind in Prattsburgh

WETMTV online reports on the unsuccessful attempts of landowners to use the courts to prevent First Wind from laying necessary transmission lines for its Prattsburgh project.

NYRI transmission project

The Utica Observer-Dispatch published June 29 a point-counterpoint relating to the proposed New York Regional Interneconnect (NYRI), a 190-mile, 1200 megawatt electrical transmission line from upstate (Marcy) to downstate (New Windsor).

Reunion Power in Richmondville

The Daily Gazette of Schenectady reported July 1 that the Zoning Board of Appeals of Richmondville has decided not to decide yet on whether to grant a one-year extension of Reunion Power’s permit to site a meteorological tower in the town. The company has reportedly sited another met tower just a few miles away.

Spafford Wind Turbine Law

CNYLINK reports that the Town of Spafford in New York’s Finger Lakes region is considering a wind turbine law.

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