NYS and related wind power updates

FirstWind abandons plans for Prattsburgh 50-turbine project. (Stueben Courier, 1/24)

Just Energy, an energy retailer, will be purchasing power from FirstWind’s Steel Winds I wind energy project, in Lackawanna, New York. Under a five-year power purchase agreement, Just Energy will buy all of the electrical output and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from First Wind’s Steel Winds I wind energy project. (CleanTech, 1/27)

Mitsubishi “has pulled off a come-from-behind victory in a wind turbine patent case against [Schenectady’s] General Electric (GE) in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).”  (Green Patent Blog, 1/27)

Michigan Public Service Commission issues Report on the Impact of Setback Requirements and Noise Limitations in Wind Zones in Michigan on January 27, 2010. This report was submitted to the Legislature in accordance with 2008 PA 295, Michigan’s Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act. The Commission

recommends that decisions regarding appropriate setback distances and noise levels should remain under the province of local planning and zoning authorities at this time. However, there is a clear need for the dissemination of current scientific information on this issue to decision-makers. (p.2)

New York wind energy developments


Ithaca Journal (July 10) reports that the Enfield (Tompkins County) Town Board sent a potential wind pact with a resident developer back to its attorney for further review.

GE Financial invests in New York wind power projects

GE announced (July 9) that

With a goal of investing $6 billion in renewable energy by 2010, GE Energy Financial Services surpassed the $4 billion mark today by investing in New York State’s three newest wind farms. The unit of GE (NYSE: GE) will invest a total of $100 million in the three wind farms, whose construction began last month.

The three wind farms, all projects of Noble Environmental Power, and per GE expected to completed this year, are

  • Noble Chateaugay Windpark (106.5 megawatts), in Franklin County
  • Noble Altona Windpark (97.5 megawatts), in Clinton County
  • Noble Wethersfield Windpark (126 megawatts), in Wyoming County

Iberdrola-Energy East update

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (July 11) offers an update on where we are now — awaiting a decision from the New York Public Service Commission on the proposed acquisition by Iberdrola of Energy East. A main sticking point is vertical market integration — should an energy distributor also be permitted to own energy production facilities?

Ithaca residential wind turbine law

Ithaca Journal (July 8) reports that a vote was delayed on a zoning law regarding residential wind projects as the Ithaca Town Board (Tompkins County) could not agree on how much sound should be permitted. Sound (or “noise” as detractors may say), is an important environmental consideration in wind turbine siting.

Lackawanna taxes impacted by wind power

Buffalo News (July 8) reports that city tax rates in Lackawanna (Erie County)
have gone up, at least in part because of an erroneous assessment (or failure to assess) one of the Steel Winds project turbines. Per the report, Steel Winds operates under a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement, which exempts the turbines from taxes, but requires that they still must be assigned an assessed value.

Lyme residents challenge wind decision in court

Watertown Daily Times (July 10) and WNYF-TV (July 10). Residents in Lyme (Jefferson County) have filed an Article 78 proceeding in state court against the Town Board, which according to a group called Voters for Wind, has passed an ordinance that is too restrictive. The zoning ordinance reportedly requires wind turbines to be at least 4,500 feet away from the waterfront and the villages of Chaumont and Three Mile Bay. According to reports, the court’s decision is expected July 31, when the town’s wind power development moratorium expires.

Scipio Town Board discusses Shell wind project

The Citizen (July 10) reports that Scipio town residents (in Cayuga County) are in contact with Shell Wind Energy about a prospective project.

Somerset Town Board sends Empire wind project to planning board

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal (July 10) reports that the Town of Somerset, after failure to reach a revenue sharing pact with Empire Wind, has essentially informed the company to submit any application to the town’s planning board. The report indicates that AES Acciona is also interested in developing a project in Somerset.  (Niagara County)