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)

Recent New York wind power and related news items

New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel announced the release of a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of offshore wind power projects in the New York State waters of Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario. NYPA says “Not only will this represent the first initiative in the Great Lakes, it will be the first wind power development of any kind in a fresh water body in the nation… The Power Authority is soliciting proposals for the development of a utility scale, offshore wind power project in the range of 120 megawatts (MW) to 500 MW. Respondents have been asked to include all project costs in their bids. The project would interconnect with new or existing transmission facilities of the appropriate regional electric utilities, which are all controlled by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). The NYISO operates New York’s bulk electricity grid and administers the state’s wholesale electricity markets. The Power Authority would purchase the full output of the project under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).” (NYPA, 12/1)

Berkeley National Lab study shows no widespread impact by wind turbines on residential property values. It says:

The various analyses are strongly consistent in that none of the models uncovers conclusive evidence of the existence of any widespread property value impacts that might be present in communities surrounding wind energy facilities. Specifically, neither the view of the wind facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities is found to have any consistent, measurable, and statistically significant effect on home sales prices. (The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States: A Multi-Site Hedonic Analysis, 12/2009)

Schenectady County issues “State of the Environment” report. The report notes that

In anticipation of the increasing demand for wind energy, the towns of Duanesburg, Rotterdam and Niskayuna have recently established zoning ordinances for wind energy development.

and it recommends that

Schenectady County should investigate the potential to develop available wind resources for power production and determine the best role for County resources in developing that potential. (Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council, 10/26 )

New York City residents can chose green power with the click of a mouse.  (Green Power NYC)

NYSEG receives $29M in federal stimulus for compressed air energy storage project. (Democrat & Chronicle, 11/30; Empire State news, 11/28)

China Wind Power IPO intends to raise $2.2B; backers include New York private equity firm WL Ross & Co., founded by billionaire Wilbur L. Ross Jr. (NYT, 11/23)

NYPA announces Great Lakes offshore wind power initiative

Big day in the U.S. offshore wind world, with important developments on the New York state and federal levels.

First, from the New York Power Authority (NYPA):

BUFFALO—In recognition of the celebration of Earth Day, New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today announced a major public-private initiative for the potential development of wind power projects in the New York State waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

NYPA today released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to initiate efforts to develop offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes.  A Request for Proposals (RFP) to examine technical issues related to the viability of such projects is expected to be released before the end of the month.

To carry out the initiative known as the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, NYPA, with the support of wind power proponents including National Grid, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, state and local environmental organizations, wind power developers and the University of Buffalo, is gathering a wide range of environmental, economic development, technical, financial and other information to serve as the foundation for the possible installation of wind power projects by one or more private wind power developers, sized to a minimum of 120 megawatts…

Full press release here.

From the RFEI:

  • The New York Power Authority (“NYPA”) is seeking technical, financial, environmental and commercial information from the wind power industry and regional stakeholders to determine the prospects for the development of a utility scale wind generating project in New York State waters of Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario.
  • Based on an evaluation of the information received pursuant to this RFEI, NYPA may elect to proceed with a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) seeking the development of a large scale wind project in one of the Lakes.
  • The RFP would be expected to result in the selection of a developer to construct, own, operate and maintain the wind project and to sell the output under a long term Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”).

The RFEI can be accessed at

Parties interested in responding to the RFEI should provide a Notice of Intent to Respond to NYPA on or before May 18, 2009, which includes all pertinent contact information (lead contact name, company, phone number and e-mail address). This notice is for administrative purposes only and is not mandatory.

Responses to this RFEI should be sent to the following no later than June 15, 2009:  Mr. Jordan Brandeis Vice President – Power Resources, Planning and Acquisition New York Power Authority 123 Main Street White Plains, NY 10601.

If you intend to respond and require assistance, please contact Clifford Rohde at 518-641-1005 or

Second, the feds. Only a few short weeks after burying the hatchet with FERC, the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service released a long-anticipated framework for offshore energy development. The final rules will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

MMS press release here.

Final rules (all 579 pages) here.

The two issues are intertwined, as noted by our friends at the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative:

For the Great Lakes, these rules may have implications as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard are currently drafting offshore wind development rules and guidelines for the Great Lakes. The agencies may, in part, model the Great Lakes rules off this framework. To find out more about the Great Lakes offshore wind development status, be sure to attend the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative’s 2nd Annual Meeting June 10-11 in Milwaukee where the Corps and the Coast Guard will be presenting a briefing on where the framework/rulemaking stands for the Great Lakes. For more information and to register for this informative meeting, go to

SUNY Buffalo Law study advocates western NY offshore wind development

A new study produced by the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School Environment and Development Clinic for the Wind Action Group cites environmental and economical benefits related to the exploitation of the considerable wind resources on the shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The study recommends the development of single state policy, led by NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority or NYPA, to achieve such benefits.

The report avers that if only 10% of the potential wind offshore wind resource in western New York were captured, it would produce some 8,200 MW of electricity, the equivalent of more than three power plants the size of the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Plant, and enough to power 360,000 homes.

A copy of the press release is here. []

The full report is here. []