Small wind gets RPS boost from PSC in New York state

Small wind, other renewable projects get a boost from New York State Public Service Commission (PSC). From the PSC:

The Commission [on March 25] approved more than $279 million over a five-year period for customer-sited
renewable energy projects as part of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program. This funding will enable thousands of homeowners and businesses to install solar panels, fuel cells, wind turbines and other renewable energy devices.

Source: NYS PSC press release. Check here for the Commission’s decision in Case 03-E-0188.

New York State Thruway to explore wind turbines in western NY

The New York State Thruway Authority announced that it will release a request for information (RFI), with a potential request for proposals (RFP) to be issued later in the year, to explore the viability of taking advantage of Lake Erie winds and installing non-industrial scale wind turbines at various exits in the western part of the state.

The Thruway Authority indicated:

In fulfilling a commitment to one of the Thruway Authority’s core principles, environmental stewardship, and to assist in the attainment of the State’s Renewable Energy Portfolio goals, the Authority is seeking to realize revenue and/or reduce its non-renewable electric utility costs by using its Right-of-Way assets for the building of wind turbines while promoting environmentally friendly technologies along the Thruway in Western New York.

“Steadfast in its commitment to protecting and enhancing New York’s environment, the Thruway Authority has been managing construction projects, activities and assets in a manner that preserves natural and cultural resources,” said Thruway Authority Executive Director Michael R. Fleischer. “The Thruway Authority is eager to hear from the wind power development industry as to how it can work towards a more sustainable environment and making New York a greener State, benefiting all New Yorkers.”

To participate in the RFI, companies must register with the Thruway Authority in Bid ID 09C34. Details here.

NYS Thruway wind power press release here. Related Albany Times Union (1/9) article here.

CaRDI Webinar: Wind Energy, Community Impacts and Development Approaches

CaRDI’s Sustainable Communities Webinar #6: Wind Energy, Community Impacts, and Development Approaches

When: Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 2:00-3:30 p.m.

Speakers:

  • Chris Carrick, Senior Planner, Central New York Energy Smart Communities Coordinator
  • Brian Henehan, Senior Extension Associate, Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
  • Rod Howe, Assistant Director, Community and Economic Vitality, Cornell Cooperative Extension; Executive Director, Community and Rural Development Institute (CaRDI)
  • NYS Energy Research and Development Authority Representative (invited)

Description: Recognizing that wind energy development continues across the state, this webinar for CCE educators, municipal officials, planning staff and other community leaders will address 1) an overview of the state of wind energy development in NYS; 2) community impacts and models; and 3) Group Action on wind energy development.

To Register: E-mail Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman at hmm1@cornell.edu with your Name, Title, Affiliation, Address, Phone and Fax numbers.

Source: http://devsoc.cals.cornell.edu/cals/devsoc/outreach/cardi/news/index.cfm

New York wind energy developments

From news and web sources:

Regarding the Noble Power Altona wind farm turbine collapse:

  • [update] NYS PSC concludes in October 2010 that “the Noble facilities have been inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Moreover, the Commission concluded that Noble has demonstrated that it is in compliance with appropriate specifications and procedures for inspection, maintenance, public safety and site security as required.”
  • Public Service Commission to investigate. Albany Times Union, 3/12
  • Noble indicates wiring anamoly as source of problem for two turbines, including one that collapsed, indicates all debris within setback. Noble Environmental Power, 3/13

Adirondack Park Agency (APA) staff propose new rules for wind energy facility development, including streamlined permits for turbines up to 125 feet (to blade tip). Associated Press in Newsday, 3/12.  See staff-created draft permit here.

Beekmantown wind project rejected. WCAX, 3/17; Press Republican 3/17

Town of Clayton wind committee makes recommendations. Watertown Daily Times, 3/15

Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issues wildlife advisories on multiple wind projects. Watertown Daily Times, 3/10

Town of Hammond residents drop lawsuit challenging rescinded wind law. Watertown Daily Times, 3/15

Village of Hilton explores community wind approach. Rochester City Newspaper, 3/11

Town of Lyme considers extending wind moratorium, easement over town property for transmission. Watertown Daily Times, 3/13

Town of Machias considers wind ordinance. Arcade Herald, 3/15

Ending years of bureaucratic squabbling, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Department of Interior (through the U.S. Minerals Management Service or MMS)  reach agreement to work together on the regulation of offshore renewable energy development. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to follow. FERC/Interior press release, 3/17. Background on the dispute here, by the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition.

EcoGen project in towns of Prattsburgh, Italy, advances. Corning Leader, 3/15

A profile piece on New York City’s first stand-alone wind turbine, on Staten Island. New York Times, 3/13

Oswego County onion farmer considers harvesting the wind. Post-Standard, 3/9

Governor Paterson feels the heat for suggesting a relaxation of carbon emissions rules, undercutting the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI. New York Times, 3/5

Albany Business Review piece, 3/6-12, on impacts of federal stimulus package on local renewable energy sector (quoting this blogger). (subscription required).

New York state wind energy updates

From recent news and web reports:

Community wind opportunities discussed in Town of Batavia. Daily News 2/19

Town of Clayton wind committee discusses sound issues. Watertown Daily Times, 2/20

Cohocton turbines spinning, but per NYISO power not due to hit grid till late 2010.  Hornell Evening Tribune, 2/21

Town of Hunter reportedly extends wind moratorium six more months. The Daily Mail, 2/21

Morristown wind committee comes up with draft wind ordinance. Watertown Daily Times 2/20

Town of Prattsburgh hears about noise complaints from Cohocton residents. Courier, 2/22

After pitch, Pickens Plan piques Paterson’s interest. Star Gazette, 2/22

Wind developers discuss potential changes to Attorney General’s self-styled “code of conduct.” Watertown Daily Times, 2/23

Recent New York wind energy developments

From recent media reports:

Noble Environmental Power said to make three NY wind farms operational. CleanTechnica.com, 1/30

Wind fills GE’s sails in Schenectady (sorry about the pun; there are only so many available). Albany Times Union 2/7

State officials test 1.5kw turbine atop Albany’s tallest buildingTimes Herald-Record, 2/2; See also North Country Gazette, 2/4

Chemung County land owners being visited by wind developers. Star-Gazette, 2/1

Genessee Community College to host community wind forum on February 18:

Genesee Community College is pleased to host a free Community Wind Forum on February 18 from 12:00 until 2:00 p.m. at the Batavia campus in room T102. The forum will be presented by Pace Energy and Climate Center, a program of Pace University. The forum will include a basic introduction to wind energy; a discussion of the Community wind model, including community organizing and project financing and ownership models; and a question and discussion period. The Community Wind Forum is free and community members, especially planners, municipal officials, and students are encouraged to attend. Genessee.edu, 2/2

Town of Orleans wind committee examines sound standards. Watertown Daily Times, 2/8

In neighboring Vermont, state’s highest court permits 16-turbine Sheffield wind project to proceed by upholding Vermont Public Service Board issuance of a certificate of public good (CPG) to UPC Vermont Wind, LLC.. Timesargus.com, 2/7. The decision is here.

New York wind project and siting developments

From recent press reports and the blogosphere:

Bonus wind energy quote of the day:

I look at it as my midlife thing. Some people get a Corvette, or a new woman. I got a windmill.

-Steve Rigoni of the Town of Pavilion (Genesee County) quoted in Buffalo News, 12/2, article on small-scale residential wind generation. Related story at WHEC-TV, 12/2

Group of landowners interested in publicly owned wind farms to host informational meeting on municipal wind projects December 13 in Town of Cape Vincent (Jefferson County). Watertown Daily Times, 12/2

Town of Pompey (Onondaga County) enacts wind development moratorium. Syracuse Post-Standard, 12/4. Text of Local Law No. 5 of 2008 imposing the six-month wind power generating facilities moratorium is here. It is a broad moratorium and covers small-scale turbines.

Interesting thought piece from Albany Law’s Patty Salkin on the New York State Attorney General’s efforts to regulate wind project siting. Is this a backdoor attempt by the AG to regulate municipal zoning officers? International Municipal Lawyers Association – Local Government Blog, 12/3