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Town of Hammond residents drop lawsuit challenging rescinded wind law.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 wind developments

Lyme (Jefferson County) wracked by wind issues

Per the Watertown Daily Times (9/11), the Lyme town council decided to appeal the recent decision by a state trial court to invalidate a strict wind ordinance. (Gosier et al. v. Town Board of Lyme). The Town is also set to discuss a renewed moratorium on wind project development on September 30. Additional report from WWNY-TV here. BP Alternative Energy is developing a wind project in the area.

Schuyler (Herkimer County) considers wind ordinance

The Herkimer Evening Telegram (9/9) reports that

The Schuyler Town Board is conducting a public hearing to receive comment on the proposed Wind Energies Facilities Ordinance on Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m., at the Schuyler Town Office, Route 5, Utica. The proposed Local Law addresses the jurisdiction of both residential and commercial wind energy facilities for the town of Schuyler, according to a newsletter distributed to residents.

Lyme, NY wind proponents score judicial victory

Residents of the Town of Lyme (Jefferson County) who favor wind development scored a victory in New York State Supreme Court on Thursday. Judge Hugh Gilbert invalidated a strict wind ordinance that the Town Council had passed in May 2008 by a 3-2 vote.  The zoning ordinance, which detractors say would effectively have killed wind development in the town, was aparently to be implemented after the July 31 expiration of a town moratorium on wind development.

According to reports, a group of local residents known as “Voters for Wind” filed a protest challenging the ordinance under section 265 of the New York Town Law. Under the law, when a written protest is filed, a supermajority vote (75%) is required to pass such an ordinance. Because no supermajority vote occured, the Voters for Wind challenged the decision of the Town Council in an Article 78 proceeding in the state’s Supreme Court (New York’s trial court).

The Town Council had refused to take the written protest into account as some land owners’ signatures were not present and it considered others ineligible. The judge reportedly found that the Council acted arbitrarily and capriciously in rejecting the protest and so invalidated the restrictive ordinance. [This blogger did not have a copy of the decision, Case No. 07-789, at the time of this write up.] The decision is here: Gosier et al. v Town Board of Town of Lyme Index No. 08-1823 (Aug 20 2008).

Should the decision stand, BP Alternative Energy would presumably continue to pursue its local project. Or not. See also Cape Vincent wind farm.