New York state wind power updates

From wind news and web sources:

New York State Gov. Paterson announced the passage of a three-way bill negotiated with the Legislature to improve net metering, which encourages the development of renewable energy systems. Net metering allows electricity customers with qualified renewable energy systems to sell excess electricity back to their local utility.

Per the Governor:

This legislation is the product of a “Net Metering Summit” that was convened by Governor Paterson last fall to facilitate an agreement between renewable energy installers and the State’s major utilities. The bill eliminates the peak load limitation on the size of non-residential solar and wind systems that are eligible to participate in the net metering program. Non-residential solar and wind systems will now be allowed up to 25 kilowatts with the interconnection charges capped at $350 and $750 for solar and wind, respectively. For systems above 25 kilowatts, up to the overall cap of 2,000 kilowatts, the customer would be responsible for the actual interconnection charges. (Office of the Governor, 2/23) (Link to NYS Assembly)

DOE releases updated New York Wind Map and Resource Potential.

Per Wind Powering America:

The Department of Energy’s Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) (in collaboration with Albany-based AWS Truewind) published a new wind resource map for the state of New York. The new wind resource map shows the predicted mean annual wind speeds at 80-m height. Presented at a spatial resolution of 2.5 km (interpolated to a finer scale for display). Areas with annual average wind speeds around 6.5 m/s and greater at 80-m height are generally considered to have suitable wind resource for wind development.

Additionally, a national dataset was produced of estimated gross capacity factor (not adjusted for losses) at a spatial resolution of 200 m and heights of 80 m and 100 m. Using AWS Truewind’s gross capacity factor data, NREL estimated the windy land area and wind energy potential in various capacity factor ranges for each state. The table (Excel 75 KW) lists the estimates of windy land area with a gross capacity of 30% and greater at 80-m height and the wind energy potential from development of the “available” windy land area after exclusions.  (Wind  Powering America, 2/19)

Jefferson County legislature reportedly opposes NYPA Lake Ontario wind proposal. (News 10 Now, 2/17)

Summary of Sullivan County Community College $2M legal dispute with wind developer. (Times Herald Record online, 2/20)

Summary of Citizen Power Alliance 2/16/2010 (anti-large scale) wind conference (CPA, 2/16)

ABA Journal’s “The War of Winds” regarding on-land wind siting challenges. Includes considerable information about industrial wind projects in New York State. Disclosure: This Wind Power Law blogger was an interviewee. (American Bar Association Journal, February 2010)

New York state wind power updates

From news sources:

Wind developers protest NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) rules requiring transmission study for proposed projects over 80 MW.  (Albany Times Union, 10/26). Related piece from WAMC radio, 10/26.

  • PSC press release (“PSC Levels Renewable Energy Playing Field” in Case Number 09-E-0497).

NYSERDA extends due dates for RFP 1613 (Project Implementation Funding for State Energy Program American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (NYSERDA)

NYS PSC green lights flywheel energy storage project in Stephentown, Rensselaer County. (NYS PSC, 10/15)

“New York Wind Energy Day”  (10/14) coincides with AWEA event. (Daily Finance, 10/21)

Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) releases 2009 Model Interconnection Procedures and 2009 Model Net Metering Rules (IREC)

NY PSC announces modified net metering tariffs

From the New York State Public Service Commission

PSC EXPANDS ABILITY TO USE WIND POWER — Non-Residential Customers Now Eligible to Net Meter Wind Generation — Albany, NY—06/18/09—The New York State Public Service Commission today approved tariff filings, with modifications, for implementation of net metering residential, farm service and non-residential wind electric generating systems in the service territories of four investor-owned utilities in New York. Net metering enables customers to sell back power to the utility. The effective date of the modified net metering tariffs is July 1, 2009.

“Net metering encourages the use of small-scale renewable energy systems, which provide long-term benefits to the environment and the economy,” said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. “By using net metering, a home or business owner is able to take excess electricity created by wind energy generation or other qualifying renewable generation and in effect either banks the electricity until it is needed or sells it back to the utility at its retail value, thereby providing a benefit for the customer and the environment.”

The four investor-owned utilities—Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation d/b/a National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG), Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E), and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation (Central Hudson)—made the requisite filings by April 1, 2009, to conform their wind net metering tariffs to the requirements of Section 66-l of the Public Service Law.

Previously, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) and Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) filed wind net metering tariffs which were approved by the Commission in the 2009 Net Metering Order. That Order, however, provided that Con Edison and O&R could be required to revise their wind net metering tariffs when the remaining four investor-owned utilities’ tariffs were considered by the Commission.

Currently, Central Hudson, National Grid, NYSEG and RG&E limit wind net metering to residential installations of 25kW or less and residential farm installations of 125kW or less, subject to a ceiling set at 0.2 percent of each utility’s 2003 peak load.

Today the Commission approved utilities’ wind net metering tariffs to: 1) expand eligibility for wind net metering to include non-residential customers installing wind generation systems sized at no more than the customer’s load, up to a ceiling of 2 megawatts; 2) increase the capacity ceiling for farm wind systems from 125kW to 500kW; and, 3) expand each utility’s wind generation load ceiling to 0.3 percent of the utility’s peak demand for 2005 on a first-come, first-served basis. Residential installations eligible for net metering remain unchanged at a maximum of 25kW.

The Commission’s written Order in Cases 09-E-0284, 09-E-0296, 09-E-0297, 09-E-0298, 08-E-1306 and 08-E-1307, when issued, may be obtained by going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at www.dps.state.ny.us and entering any one of the aforementioned case numbers in the input box labeled “Search for Case/Matter Number.”

The Commission’s 2009 Net Metering Order in Case 08-E-1305 also can be obtained from the Commission’s Web site. Many libraries offer free Internet access. Commission Orders may also be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, NY 12223 (518-474-2500).

NYSPSC press release here

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).

NYS wind energy legislative update

A variety of bills relating to the development of wind energy in New York state are pending at the state legislature. These include:

A01744. An act to amend the tax law, in relation to establishing a corporate and a personal income tax credit for wind energy system equipment.  This legislation encourages residential and farm electric customers to interconnect wind energy generations on their premises to the electric power distribution system by granting a tax credit for the purchase of wind electric generating equipment. This bill amends similar legislation enacted in 1997 which provides for tax credits, limited to solar photovoltaic systems. Status: Referred to Ways and Means Committee 1/9/2009.

A06258. Establishes the New York state task force on wind generating facilities siting to study the need to implement a uniform statewide policy regarding the siting and permitting of wind energy production facilities; further establishes an 18 month moratorium upon the siting and permitting of wind energy production facilities. Referred to Energy 2/27/2009.

S01784 . Directs a study of the siting processes for wind energy production facilities and provides for a report with recommendations for an overall sitings plan. Referred to Energy and Communications 2/6/2009.

S01991. Relates to requiring local building and planning regulations to accommodate the use of renewable energy resources. Same as A00626. Referred to Local Government 2/10/2009

NY PSC approves net metering tariffs

From the New York Public Service Commission, 2/12/2009

PSC GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO CLEAN ENERGY
– Installation of Small-Scale Renewable Energy Systems Encouraged –

[] The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today approved changes to the tariffs of the six investor-owned utilities in New York to strengthen and promote installation of small-scale renewable energy systems in homes and businesses through a greater expansion of a customer’s ability to sell power back to the utility in a process known as net metering.

“Net metering encourages the use of small-scale renewable energy systems, which provides long-term benefits to the environment and the economy,” said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. “By using net metering, a home or business owner will be able to take excess electricity created by a solar panel or other qualifying renewable generator and in effect either bank the electricity until it is needed or sell it back to the utility at its retail value – a win for the consumer and the environment.”

The change in the tariffs of the investor-owned utilities – Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., National Grid, Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, and New York State Electric & Gas Corporation – follows on the heels of a new state law that added commercial photovoltaic and wind power customers to the list of those eligible for net metering.

The new provisions increase the maximum size of residential solar generation and farm waste generation systems eligible for net metering and expanding net metering to non-residential solar generation systems. The new law sets forth directives for net metering for residential solar, non-residential solar, and farm waste electric generating systems, with the amendments providing for the net metering of qualifying non-residential solar electric generating systems and making revisions to the provisions for the net metering of generation fueled by farm waste.

Non-residential customers can now install a renewable energy system that generates up to lesser of their peak load or 2 MW at peak performance. The law also raised the limits to 25 KW from 10 KW for residential photovoltaic customers’ systems, to 500 KW from 400 KW for farm waste systems, and to 500 KW from 125 KW for residential farm wind systems. The limit for residential wind systems stays unchanged at 25 KW.

The Commission’s decision, when issued, may be obtained from the Commission’s www.dps.state.ny.us Web site by accessing the Commission’s File Room section of the homepage and referencing Cases 08-E-1305, 08-E-1306, 08-E-1307, 08-E-1308, 08-E-1309, and 08-E-1310.

More on New York’s net metering laws, expanded in 2008,  may be found here.

The PSC separately issued an order on the use of “smart grid” technology in New York.

New York wind power updates

From recent press and web reports:

More locals siting their own renewable energy systems to generate power. WSYR.com, 1/19

Ellisburg residents oppose transmission line for Galloo Island wind project. Watertown Daily Times, 1/22

Town of Enfield passes wind zoning law with setback requirements lesser than those recommended by Tompkins County. Ithaca Journal, 1/15 and 1/16

Town of Farmersville re-adopts wind zoning law after more complete environmental review. Buffalo News, 1/15

Town of Hartsville considers wind development moratorium. Hornell Evening Tribune, 1/15

Town of Irondequoit discusses wind zoning law.  Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, 1/21

Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) announces “Backyard Wind Power” program to provide rebates to homeowners, businesses, municipalities, and nonprofits seeking to harness power from the wind through the use of land-based wind turbines. LIPA, 1/21 Per LIPA, the program will

help transform the market for wind systems on Long Island by achieving the following:

  • Increasing consumer awareness and market demand for wind systems;
  • Accelerating the development of a robust, self sustaining local infrastructure for the delivery and the maintenance of quality wind systems;
  • Developing a mechanism to overcome financial market barriers; and
  • Accelerating the cost reduction of wind systems while increasing reliability and performance.

    Town of Orleans wind committee focuses on safety issues. Watertown Daily Times, 1/17

    Town of Wilson (Niagara County) passes wind development moratorium. Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, 1/22