NYS wind power updates

From news sources:

Town of Clayton wind committee proposes changes to existing wind zoning. Watertown Daily Times 4/26

Hudson Valley Center for Innovation announces Wind Power Initiative focusing on development of small-wind technologies. Poughkeepsie Journal, 4/22

Town of North Harmony considers restrictive wind power zoning law. Post-Journal, 4/27

Town of Orleans wind committee prepares substantial setback requirements. Watertown Daily Times, 4/30/2009

With EcoGen project before it, Town of Prattsburgh delays enacting wind moratorium. Steuben Courier, 4/26

Noble Environmental Power Wyoming County lien problems continue. Batavia News, 5/2

New York wind power updates

First Wind secures loan for Cohocton Wind project.

First Wind, an independent North American wind power developer, today announced that it has secured a non-recourse term loan from HSH Nordbank AG and NORD/LB for its 125 megawatt (MW) Cohocton Wind power project in Cohocton, NY [in operation since January 2009]. This is the first non-recourse term loan extended for a project utilizing wind turbine power generators produced by Clipper Windpower. First Wind, 4/1

The New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) suspends NY Public Service Commission (PSC) transmission line application, citing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decision not to review its recent decision approving the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) transmission tariff. Per NYRI, that decision made making and operating the proposed 190-mile line uneconomic. Letter from NYRI CEO

GE capital infusion to Noble Environmental Power, per the two companies:

[Noble]  has received long-term capital for its 330-megawatt wind power projects in western and northern New York state. GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), invested more than $200 million in the portfolio, which includes the Noble Altona, Chateaugay and Wethersfield Windparks. A syndicate of banks and financial institutions provided long-term debt, including letters of credit, totaling approximately $440 million. GE 4/6

North Harmony looking at wind law. Post Journal 4/5

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar touts offshore wind‘s potential:

“More than three-fourths of the nation’s electricity demand comes from coastal states and the wind potential off the coasts of the lower 48 states actually exceeds our entire U.S. electricity demand,” Salazar told a summit meeting of 25X’25 America’s Energy Future, a group working to lower America’s carbon emissions. DOI 4/2 See also http://www.doi.gov/ocs.

This blogger attended last week’s terrifically interesting MIT offshore wind technology workshop and left a believer in the potential of offshore wind to contribute to the nation’s energy mix.  Whether the turbines are anchored to the ocean floor or suspended in the water with buoyancy, offshore offers some significant advantages over on-shore projects including proximity to coastal load centers and NIMBY avoidance. If DOI and FERC can learn to work together, costs can be reduced some, and (especially in the case of monopile turbines) construction vessels built, we may be poised for an explosion of offshore wind activity. Nice write up of the workshop at RenewableEnergyWorld.com; and a video here.

New York wind energy siting updates

Iberdrola carries out purchases of Energy East Broome County real estate as part of acquisition transaction. Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, 11/22

Setbacks and sound issues examined by Town of Cape Vincent (Jefferson County) wind committee. Watertown Daily Times, 11/21

Towns of Clayton and Orleans (Jefferson County) forming wind committees to propose draft siting regulations. Watertown Daily Times, 11/20

Village of Fair Haven (Cayuga County) considers local law regulating wind energy conversion systems. Auburn Citizen, 11/21

Anti-wind development group grows in Town of Hammond (St. Lawrence County). Watertown Daily Times, 11/24

North Harmony (Chautauqua County) resident obtains zoning approvals, raises 100kw wind turbine for home use. Post-Journal, 11/21

Towns in Orange County confronting small scale wind projects without zoning in place. Times Herald-Record, 11/20

General-interest wind stories

Generic article on how economic challenges are impacting wind development in New York state. Associated Press, published in Newsday, 11/23

Ithaca Journal editorial favors more state, county guidance in wind energy facility siting. Ithaca Journal, 11/18

GE ships its 10,000th wind turbine, capacity sold through 2010. Bloomberg News in Albany Times Union, 11/18

The American Wind Energy Association has announced a New Wind Agenda for the new President and Congress. It includes a plank on siting (with an emphasis on federal issues):

Policy recommendation: Proposals for responsibly-sited renewable energy projects on federal lands (including offshore waters) should be prioritized and federal agencies should create review processes that are streamlined, transparent and timely, with permitting and review capabilities that are scaled up as needed to meet demand.

Federal agencies have a key part to play in developing our renewable energy potential because of their role in the siting of wind projects and new transmission lines, especially on federal lands. Proposals for responsibly-sited renewable energy projects on federal lands (including offshore waters) should be prioritized and federal agencies should create review processes that are streamlined, transparent and timely, with permitting and review capabilities that are scaled up as needed to meet demand. In addition, the President should direct the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security to adopt a cooperative approach to resolving possible conflicts between wind projects and radar operations. Each federal agency should be asked to plan how it will use its authority to facilitate the growth of wind power and other renewable energy sources.