New York wind energy developments 7/30

Altona wind farm (7/24) reports on Horizon Wind’s project.

Cape Vincent wind farm

Watertown Daily Times (7/23) reports that BP Alternative Energy will present the siting of its 95-turbine wind project in Cape Vincent (Jefferson County).

Cattaraugus County discusses lawyer fees

The Buffalo News (7/21) reports that the county legislature is determining whether to spend $25,000 on lawyers fees to review and negotiate payment in lieu of taxes agreements with wind developers. More reports on 7/25.

Charlotte zoning includes wind provisions

Observer Today (7/27) reports on the Town of Charlotte (Chautauqua County) passing a zoning law including wind provisions.

Evans NY wind law on hold

Buffalo News (7/19) reports on decision of Evans (Erie County) Town Board to delay discussion of wind energy law affecting residential and commercial projects. More reports from The Sun (7/24).

Hanover wind law

Buffalo News (7/29) reports that the Hanover (Chautauqua County) Town Board approved a new wind law.

Hartsville wind project advances

The Evening Tribune (7/26) reports that E.On (successor to Airtricity) is moving ahead with a Hartsville (Steuben County) project of some 33 to 46 turbines.

Horse Creek Wind Farm

Watertown Daily Times (7/24) reports on concerns raised by residents of the Town of Clayton (Jefferson County) regarding potential water contamination.

Iberdrola-Energy East

Albany Times Union (7/25) reports that Iberdrola requested July 14 that the New York Public Service hold a special meeting to vote on Iberdrola’s proposed acquisition of Energy East.

Portland PILOT and wind law

The Observer (7/21) reports on developments in the Town of Portland (Chautauqua County) relating to a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement. Separately, the Observer (7/21) reported on the presentation to the Town Board of a proposed wind law.

Richmondville ZBA approves extension permit for met tower

The Schenectady Daily Gazette (7/23) reports that the Town of Richmondville (Schoharie County)  Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to approve a one-year extension of the permit allowing Reunion Power to site a meteorological tower in the Town.

Ripley-Westfield wind farm draft scope available

The draft environmental scoping document for the Ripley-Westfield (Chautauqua County) Wind Farm is available here. The Westfield Republican (7/24) reports that comments on same are due by August 8.

Tompkins County wind developments

Ithaca Journal (7/28) reports on multiple zoning initiatives, in Enfield, Ithaca and Newfield (6 month moratorium)

Wind siting challenges across NYS

The Press & Sun Bulletin (7/24) describes a variety of local projects and potential conflicts of interest.

NY PSC approves Marble River wind farm

As reported previously, the NY Public Service Commission (PSC) granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to Marble River, LLC, a joint project of Horizon Wind and AES-Acciona Energy, to create a 109-turbine wind park. The 229 MW facility will sell electricity to the wholesale market.

Salient points include:

  • The Towns of Clinton and Ellenburg were co-lead agencies for a comprehensive environmental (SEQR) review.
  • The NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), found an adverse impact on historic resources (and overlap with the nearby Noble Environmental Power project) and continues to review the project and mitigation proposals.
  • The PSC will require Marble River to address the need for additional post-construction study, monitoring and analysis of impacts, and the development and implementation of a long-range strategy for adapting facility operations to address conservation of natural resources, such as birds and bats.
  • Marble River agreed to a setback of 1.5 times total turbine height (407 feet at maximum blade verticality) to nearest transmission facility component.
  • The PSC considers the benefits associated with the Company’s proposed project to be greater than the adverse impacts, even though it believes some displacement of other renewable energy to be likely under certain conditions. The PSC indicated that in the future, it will “appropriately ramp-up” the analyses it expects to see in CPCN petitions.
  • Among other blade safety requirements, the Company shall maintain a log of the history of each wind turbine blade including date of manufacture, details of installation, inspections, lightning strikes, damage, maintenance and repairs. Each wind turbine blade shall be uniquely and serially numbered so that it can be monitored throughout its service life.

The PSC’s Marble River order granting the CPCN may be found here.

NY PSC OKs Marble River Wind Farm

In a June 18 press release, the NY Public Service Commission indicated that it had granted the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity required to construct and operate the 109-turbine joint project of Horizon Wind and AES-Acciona Energy (under the Marble River LLC name) in Clinton County. With more than 200 MW of nameplate generation capacity, the project is to be the state’s second largest. Maple Ridge in Lewis County is the state’s largest.

The PSC indicated that

In granting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), the Commission included appropriate conditions to assure that the public interest considerations regarding reliability of the interconnected electric grid are addressed, and that the management of the facility in a safe and environmentally sound manner is appropriate using the wind turbines proposed by Marble River LLC.

Projects under 80 MW do not require a CPCN from the PSC. The decision itself was not available as of this posting. The PSC Marble River press release may be found here.

The PSC’s decision to grant the Marble River CPCN is described here.

NY wind energy siting and legislative updates

NY PSC on Marble River

Associated Press reports that the New York Public Service Commission has greenlighted Horizon Wind and AES-Acciona Energy’s joint project to create the 229 MW  Marble River Wind Farm in the towns of Clinton and Ellenburg (Clinton County). Reuters on same.

Niagara Falls Wind Project

Buffalo News on efforts of Empire State Wind Energy to site a project near Niagara Falls.

Wind Law Manlius

The Eagle Bulletin/DeWitt Times reports that the Town of Manlius (Onondaga County) has passed a local ordinance regulating the siting of wind turbines.

Net Metering

Niagara Gazette on the real potential that net-metering reform legislation become law this session. In a June 18 statement, ACE-NY commended Gov. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Silver and Senate Leader Bruno for their commitment to see the enhanced net metering legislation become law.

GE Wind Turbine

Schenectady Daily Gazette front page article on GE’s planned 1.5 MW turbine in Rotterdam, which aims at powering the company’s Renewables Global Headquarters. Albany Times Union piece on same.

Galloo Island Wind Project

Watertown Daily Times reports on Galloo Island. NYS DEC, lead environmental review agency for the project, taking public comment through June 30 regarding scope of environmental impact statement.

Offshore Wind

Wall Street Journal on U.S. failure to advance offshore projects, including one off Long Island.

Recent wind developments in NY

Chautauqua wind

Recent news reports from the Buffalo News and the Observer discuss Horizon Wind’s projects in Arkwright and Pomfret in far western Chautauqua County, roughly 40 miles southwest of Buffalo and near Lake Erie’s eastern shore.

The two projects would share a substation in Pomfret, connecting to National Grid. The Arkwright project, further along than the proposed Pomfret wind farm, is known as “New Grange Wind Farm”. In Pomfret, Horizon Wind is proposing to erect metereological towers, one of the first steps in lengthy siting process, whereas final approval is being sought for New Grange.

According to the articles, the Pomfret site would have some 20-30 turbines, and Arkwright another 38-47, possessing in the aggregate some 125 MW of nameplate generation capacity. Per the articles, the company hopes to have New Grange operational in 2009 and Pomfret in 2010.

Schenectady wind energy reports

Schenectady’s Daily Gazette over the last months has been running numerous articles on wind power. Not surprising given the presence of General Electric (GE), one of the world’s leading suppliers of turbines. (Chicago may have a say in whether Schenectady, known as “Electric City,” will convert itself into “Wind City.”).

In its most recent installment, the paper describes efforts of various companies with a local presence, including GE, to make the promise of wind energy a reality. GE, which designs turbines at its Global Research Center in Niskayuna (a Schenectady suburb), also plans to add 650 engineering and white collar jobs to its Wind Product Management and Customer Support scheduled to open in Schenectady.

Additionally, AWS Truewind provides consulting services to wind developers. MSE Power Systems provides engineering services relating to electricity transmission. Horizon Wind, mentioned above, also has a sizable Albany presence.

Niagara Falls wind

[added 6/4]: The Niagara Gazette and Buffalo News both report on interest of Empire State Wind Energy to site facilities near Niagara Falls.

Hanover wind law

The Observer reports that the Town of Hanover (Chautauqua County)) is proposing to change its local law relating to wind projects, in order to move forward on a joint project (a 67-turbine 100 MW project being developed by Noble Environmental Power) with the town of Villenova.

Wind energy studies

At least one school is responding to the increased interest in wind energy. Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh (in far-northern Clinton County) announced that its Board of Trustees had approved a new program in Wind Energy and Turbine Technology. Will law schools that emphasize land use and zoning follow suit?

Assorted NY wind projects underway or proposed (as reported recently in local press)

As reported recently:

Gallatin wind project

Article describing zoning, community challenges faced by a farmer attempting to erect a 135-foot 20kW turbine in Gallatin (Columbia County).

Arkwright wind

Horizon Wind Energy installing more meteorological towers in Arkwright (Chautauqua County) and dealing with escrow issue.

Westfield wind

Babcock and Brown submits Special Use Permit application in the Town of Westfield (also Chautauqua County) for up to 83 different turbine sites. More information here.

Richmondville wind

Reunion Power before the ZBA in Richmondville (Schoharie County)

Frankfort small wind

Small Empire Wind project proposal in the village of Frankfort (Herkimer County)

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