New York wind energy updates

Recent press and web articles include:

Town of Howard 25-turbine wind project advances. Hornell Evening Tribune, 1/28

Town of Hunter (Greene County) may extend wind moratorium. Daily Mail, 1/23

Town of Orleans wind committee develops. Watertown Daily Times, 1/26

New payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement advances Town of Prattsburgh wind project. The Corning Leader, 1/23 and  The Steuben Courier, 1/25

Cape Vincent wind committee discusses sebacks. Watertown Daily Times, 1/23

Town of Clayton wind committee to hold open future meetings. Watertown Daily Times, 1/23

Article on “Green Jobs“, including those relating to wind energy and in Clinton County,  in the The Nation, 1/28

New York wind power updates

According to recent press reports and releases:

First Wind scraps project in Town of Attica (Wyoming County) due to lack of wind, postpones Town of Prattsburgh (Steuben County) project due to lack of dinero. Buffalo News, 12/10. See also Corning Leader, 12/9, on Prattsburgh project.

Noble Environmental Power brings Clinton and Ellenburg (Clinton County) windparks back online after substation expansion. The company indicates that it:

remains dedicated to further construction and development in New York including completing the construction of the Noble Bellmont Windpark in Franklin County. However, given the continued state of uncertainty in the financial markets, the company is unable to speculate on its 2009 construction and development plans.

Noble Environmental Power, 12/4

First Wind to pay more than $1.1M to repair roads damaged during construction of Cohocton (Steuben County) wind project. Corning Leader, 12/7

Farmers in the Town of Mexico (Oswego County) learn about renewable energy alternatives, including wind, thanks to Cornell Cooperative Extension. OswegoCountyToday.com [Full disclosure: this blogger is a Cornell graduate. Go Big Red Hockey!]

Wind energy conversion system ordinances from the towns of Napoli and Perrysburg were to be reviewed by the Cattaraugus County Planning Board on December 11. Buffalo News, 12/8

BP Alternative Energy urges Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) to finalize payment in lieue of taxes (PILOT) policy. Watertown Daily Times, 12/5

Patterson, New York wind company, BQ Energy, considers project in Nikiski, Alaska. If you happen to drive to Nikiski from Patterson, you’ll be on the Alaska Highway for over 1000 miles, after you’ve already driven about 3500 miles. Peninsula Clarion, 12/8

Per the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, “ConEdison, the main utility provider for New York City and Westchester County, filed [with the New York State Public Service Commission or PSC] proposed changes to its net metering tariff which would eliminate a site study requirement for systems up to 200 kW.”

Towns’ regulation of wind in New York

From recent press reports:

Oneida-based Empire State Wind Energy discusses potential wind energy project in Town of Alfred (Allegany County). Evening Tribune, 11/18

The Town of Berne (Albany County) is considering a wind development moratorium. Albany Times Union 11/19

Town of Farmersville (Cattaraugus County) updates wind regulations, eliminates moratorium. The Town has reportedly been approached by Noble Environmental Power to site a 67-turbine facility. Buffalo News, 11/18 But Noble’s projects in the towns of Farmersville and Freedom (Cattaraugus County) may be delayed by economic climate. Buffalo News, 11/20

At a community forum in Irondequoit, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo indicated that his office was looking into concerns regarding the manner in which a local wind law in the Town of Hamlin was passed. Rochester City Paper, 11/19

Herkimer County Legislature defines what it wants from PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreements from wind developers. Utica Observer-Dispatch, 11/18; Herkimer Telegram, 11/18

New New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and CEO Richard Kessel met with Buffalo area leaders to discuss plans to bolster the upstate economy:

To do so, NYPA President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Kessel said, would include use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and transmitting hydropower from Canada, which then would be redistributed. ‘Nothing is more important than transmission, it’s the name of the game,’ Kessel said, adding, ‘New York state is like a human body with arteries and veins, with nothing connected to the heart.’ Buffalo News, 11/17.

See also Lockport Journal, 11/20

New York wind siting updates

According to recent news reports on wind energy developments in New York State:

Town of Enfield (Tompkins County) discusses potential setback and sound requirements, but does not vote on new wind law. Ithaca Journal, 11/12

Horizon Wind to submit applications for meteorological (met) towers in the Village of Fredonia (Cattaraugus County) and may be preparing an application for an electric substation to serve the company’s Arkwright project. Buffalo News, 11/13

Town of Holland (Erie County), while drafting a new town law on wind energy, is also eyeing a possible zoning moratorium on wind development. Buffalo News, 11/13

Town of Lowville (Lewis County) anticipates 12.5% drop in payment in lieu of taxes receipts from Maple Ridge wind farm for 2009. Watertown Daily Times, 11/12

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.

New York wind developments

Cattaraugus County seeks to preempt alternative energy tax breaks

The Buffalo News reports (9/6) on an effort by county legislators to preempt state tax breaks for alternative energy projects.

Cattaraugus County lawmakers rallied this week in support of a local law that would pre-empt the state’s automatic property tax exemptions for new wind power plants, solar energy systems and farm methane waste digesters.

Galloo Wind transmission lines to be underground?

The Watertown Daily Times (9/8) reports on an effort by Ellisburg (Jefferson County) to require the burying of transmission lines that would deliver to the grid electricity produced by the proposed Galloo Island wind farm.

A proposed local law to require new electric transmission lines to be buried will have a public hearing at 8 p.m. Oct. 2, the next Town Council meeting.

The council did not vote on the measure at its meeting Thursday night because the proposed zoning law amendment has not yet had a public hearing.

“I hope you realize how serious we are on this proposal,” said Daniel L. Rossiter, an Ellisburg farmer and proponent of the proposed law. “The proposal provides ou

Prattsburgh (Steuben County) wind project in court

Per WETM-TV (9/5), oral argument occurred in a lawsuit challenging the Prattsburgh (First Wind) wind project.

Friday lawyers for people opposed to the eminent domain proceedings went before a judge to try to stop it. Their lawsuit says the town supervisor, whose vote allowed the project to go forward has a conflict of interest, because he helped First Wind buy some land.

Utica newspaper calls for New York state zoning guidance

In light of state attorney general investigations into allegations of undue influence or potential corruption in the wind energy siting process, in an editorial the Utica Observer-Dispatch (9/8) called on state officials to step in to provide guidance to local officials. The state has been less involved in the siting process since the state’s Article X law expired more than five years ago.

Nothing damages the public’s trust in government more than the possibility that elected and appointed officials are benefiting personally from government action….The state must investigate all such conflicts to see if wrongdoing occurred. Local officials must act in a manner beyond reproach by turning down all entreaties from private wind-turbine developers dangling lucrative lease deals in front of them. And the governor, state Legislature and attorney general must study this entire approval process so that localities have clear guidelines within which to operate.

New York wind energy developments 8/29

Clayton (Jefferson County) sound report creating controversy

Per the Watertown Daily Times (8/25)

[Clayton] Town officials have refused to let residents see a report evaluating the noise study done for Horse Creek Wind Farm. The officials claim the report, by Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, an acoustic engineering firm in Sudbury, Mass., is too complicated and preliminary to be released.

Empire State Wind interested in Alfred in Allegany County

The Evening Tribune (8/23) reports that:

At least one wind developer is eyeing Alfred for a potential building site. Keith Pitman, president and chief executive officer of Empire State Wind Energy from Oneida, said his company is interested in developing a wind project in Alfred.

Frankfort Village (Herkimer County) looking into wind development

Per the Evening Telegram (8/22)

The Frankfort Village Board is preparing to move forward with negotiations to enter into an agreement with Empire State Wind Energy (ESWE) to conduct feasibility studies on potential wind turbine sites.

Jamestown (Chautauqua County) Board of Education gives Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency authority to negotiate PILOTs

From the Post-Journal (8/27)

The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency will be in charge of negotiating PILOT agreements with wind farm developers in the Jamestown Public Schools District.

At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting at Jefferson Middle School, school officials decided to opt out of Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law after hearing from Bill Daly and Rich Dixon of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency. The law makes the installation of energy improvement systems – solar power, windmills – exempt from taxes.

Volney (Oswego County) adopts wind regulations

From the Valley News (8/23)

The Town of Volney has followed suit with other central New York municipalities in establishing regulations for residential wind energy systems. The town board adopted a local law regulating private windmills during its meeting last week.