NYISO queue update – 48 wind projects

Forty-eight wind projects (including two Long Island Cable projects) are in the NYISO queue to ultimately connect to the state’s electric grid.

These projects represent a total of almost 7GW of summer peak production, and have an average size of 144 MW summer peak production. The numbers are relatively high owing to the scale of the few offshore products in the queue.

Here for a full table of current wind projects in the NYISO queue.

New York wind power and related updates

From around the web:

US Offshore Wind Collaborative releases “U.S. Offshore Wind Energy: A Path Forward” report. The report sums up New York offshore initiatives (pp. 12, 15) as follows:

In September 2008, Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and Consolidated Edison, Inc. (two New York-based utilities) initiated a joint study to determine suitable locations, wind energy resources, and transmission and interconnection requirements for a large wind project off Long Island. Analysis concluded that 700 MW of wind power capacity would be feasible, provided appropriate upgrades are made to the existing transmission system.

LIPA and Consolidated Edison then formed a collaborative with several other entities interested in supporting or purchasing power from a potential 350-MW wind farm 13 miles off Rockaway, possibly expandable to the full 700 MW target. Partners included the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York Power Authority, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and the New York-New Jersey Port Authority.

This collaborative issued a Request for Information in July 2009, seeking input on the proposed project from the wind industry and other stakeholders on the proposed project.

To carry out an initiative known as the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, the New York Power Authority gathered support from wind power proponents including National Grid, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the University of Buffalo, wind power developers, and state and local environmental organizations. This combined effort is gathering a wide range of technical, financial, economic development, and environmental information that would be a basis for large-scale (capacity greater than 120 MW) private wind power development in the state’s future.

NYSERDA Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 1283 – deadline for submissions December 2, 2009.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) seeks proposals to establish New York-based wind and photovoltaic (PV) test and research centers to address performance of wind and solar PV systems. The Centers will focus on testing and research related to system and component safety, performance, reliability, durability and longevity. Each Center will be made up of a coalition that could include university and private team members with expertise in the appropriate areas. The test center(s) will have physical testing at one or more locations in New York State. Teams may propose to establish a PV test and research center, a wind test and research center, or both. It is anticipated that one PV center and one wind center will be selected for funding.

New York City Buildings Department issues BULLETIN 2009-015 to establish “a protocol for acceptance criteria development, testing and approval of wind turbine product assemblies”:

In accordance with Section 28-113 of the Administrative Code, products that are identified in the Construction Codes or that the Commissioner identifies must be tested in accordance with national consensus standards by a Department-approved testing agency and be listed by such testing agency as having passed the acceptance standards of the test. In the case of wind turbine assemblies to be mounted on or near buildings or in otherwise occupied areas, there is no such national consensus standard for other than electrical components and there is no nationally recognized testing laboratory that performs testing on wind turbine assemblies. As wind turbines have the promise of generating distributed renewable power, in recognition of New York City’s long-term PlaNYC initiative to reduce carbon emissions and in the interest of the safety of New Yorkers, the Department establishes the following protocol by which manufacturers may have their products approved by the Commissioner.

Monmouth poll: offshore wind not a great nimby concern

Monmouth University Polling Institute recently queried residents of the Mid Atlantic states (including New York) regarding the desirability of offshore wind. 63% of New Yorkers favor placement of wind farms in sight of the coastline (pp. 19-20), though a greater percentage -77%- more favor non-visible placement. Only 37% favor drilling for oil and gas.

The poll may be found here, http://www.monmouth.edu/polling/, but in case it moves, it’s also downloadable from this blog: Monmouth Mid Atlantic Coast Survey 2009

Energy Law Journal article on wind power litigation

This article, “Wind Power: Generating Electricity and Lawsuits” (by Brit T. Brown and Benjamin A. Escobar and published in Vol. 28, No. 2 (2007)), discusses nation-wide litigation developments (through roughly one year ago) regarding both on-land and offshore projects.

To summarize:

This article discusses trends in wind-related litigation and legal issues impacting wind energy companies in the United States. First, it discusses and analyzes various legal challenges to land-based wind projects, including allegations of aesthetic and environmental impact, government-mandated moratoriums on wind energy development, patent infringement, breach of contract, and products liability.

Next, the article discusses and analyzes the embryonic, yet promising offshore wind industry, including a detailed examination of four currently proposed offshore wind farms and lawsuits that have been filed in connection with one of the four projects (i.e., the Cape Wind Project).

Finally, the article considers future legal issues that wind energy developers may face with respect to both land and offshore wind projects including, for example, the potential impact on wind energy development if the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) is allowed to expire on December 31, 2008 [it was extended as part of the $700B congressional stimulus package], and the long-term environmental impact on the earth’s climate of land-based and offshore wind turbines.

Offshore wind in Rhode Island

While New York renews tentative exploration of the potential of offshore wind, the governor of Rhode Island announced last week the company selected to develop Rhode Island’s first offshore wind project:

Governor Donald L. Carcieri today announced that Deepwater Wind was chosen as the successful developer to construct a wind energy project off the shores of Rhode Island that will provide 1.3 million megawatt hours per year of renewable energy – 15 percent of all electricity used in the state. It is expected that the project will cost in excess of $1 billion to construct – all from private investment sources. A team of experts assembled by Governor Carcieri spent several months evaluating the detailed proposals submitted by seven development groups.

Offshore wind has some advantages to onshore projects. The wind is generally less variable, can blow all day, and is closer to load centers (the big coastal cities that need the juice). As the Rhode Island governor’s announcement suggests, however, offshore projects currently can be two or more times more expensive than land-based projects to put into production.

The governor’s full press release is here.

Wind power New York: NYISO, Cape Vincent, Italy

Cape Vincent wind zoning parameters determined

Watertown Daily times (9/27) reports on zoning requirements in the Town of Cape Vincent (Jefferson County):

The boundary for the wind turbine overlay district is set tentatively as Route 6 to the west and the riverfront district to the north. The town’s wind zoning amendment committee agreed to those boundaries at its meeting Thursday afternoon.

Yates County approves Town of Italy wind incentives

From the Finger Lakes Times (9/26)

The Yates County Planning Board approved proposed incentive zoning amendments to the Town of Italy’s comprehensive plan that would make way for wind energy development. Incentive zoning refers to designated areas in the town where wind turbines would be allowed and developers eligible for financial incentives…

New York State wind power expands

Schenectady Daily Gazette (9/28) reports on expansion of wind industry in New York:

Wind power will soon become a bigger part of the state’s energy picture. In September, there were over 700 megawatts of wind generating capacity in commercial operation in New York. By next summer, wind capacity is expected to grow to more than 1,200 megawatts, while proposed projects would add another 6,500 megawatts of wind capacity by 2011. The New York Independent System Operator is already preparing for the increase in wind power.

Newsday opinion piece (9/28) supporting wind power in New York state

New York wind power: Cattaraugus, St. Lawrence, offshore, Gov. Paterson

Cattaraugus County taxes

From the Buffalo News (9/24):

Cattaraugus County has retained its ability to tax alternative energy systems – including wind farms, solar energy systems and on-farm methane digesters – with a 16-2 vote for passage of a local law Tuesday. The law applies to facilities within the county, including as many as four potential wind farm projects under consideration, and effectively disarms a state tax code provision exempting these energy sources from taxes.

Morristown (St. Lawrence County) examines wind regulation

Per the Watertown Daily Times (9/25) Morristown (apparently no stranger to windmills) is studying a zoning ordinance to regulate wind energy conversion systems:

A small classroom in St. John’s parish was filled with curious citizens Wednesday night, gathered to ask questions and discuss zoning for possible wind turbines. The purpose of the meeting, held by the Wind Energy Committee, was to “put the horse before the cart” and examine possible zoning laws before wind energy companies take a closer look at the town…

…The next committee meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in the town hall. The committee plans to have a recommendation ready and the public is encouraged to attend.

More on proposed LIPA-Con Edison Queens offshore wind project

This project, which originated from Governor Paterson’s Renewable Energy Task Force, could provide significant market development benefits to the wind industry, create clean-tech jobs, and help diversify the State’s electricity system. In addition, any project resulting from this work could demonstrate that we can meet the State’s energy supply needs in an environmentally sound manner while benefiting the State’s economy by reducing dependence on imported energy.