Articles highlight NY wind siting challenges

Two recent articles highlight wind project siting challenges in New York state.

The first, a primarily human interest piece by the Associated Press, describes familial acrimony that developed around the Maple Ridge wind farm in Lowville, which is New York’s largest operational wind farm. Unlike wind-rich rural lands in the Midwest, New York’s wind resources are located in areas made up of scores of small parcels. The vast tracts of property that exist to the west generally cannot be found in New York.  While strife within a family obviously is not unique to New York, the potential for coming across wind project land ownership challenges is great here, as numerous small, individually-owned parcels are needed to create a sizeable wind farm.

The second story, from the New York Times, illustrates the potential for local siting problems when a few developers flush with investment capital rush to the finite areas in the state where wind resources are adequate to merit a wind farm project. Among other issues, the article discusses the allegations of improper currying of favors against Noble Environmental Power and First Wind that currently are being investigated by New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. For wind-rich locales, ensuring a transparent, legal and equitable zoning process is paramount. It goes without saying that any credible allegations of anti-competitive activities should also be investigated thoroughly.

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One Response

  1. I was quite unimpressed with the AP article. Basically they found one disgruntled person and made a story out of it. They portrayed Lowville as this idyllic agricultural town with the Amish and farms. I’ve been there several times, and they didn’t mention the poverty, the fast-food places or that the Amish arrived just a couple years ago, about the same time as WalMart.

    My parents live near a windfarm in the MN/SD area, and they report no problems about siting windmills (I’ve asked). Generally the farmers are happy to lease a couple acres, and they aren’t situated right over the house, as the AP photo seems to suggest. You don’t hear them until you’re very close, much less intrusive than any traditional power plant.

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