Wind energy update in New York and offshore

Cattaraugus County examines alternative energy tax issue

Per the Buffalo News (9/12)

Cattaraugus County legislators agreed Wednesday to go ahead with a Sept. 23 public hearing, but some said they’re still confused by a proposed local law governing local taxing authority for alternative energy systems.

Town of Italy (Yates County) reviews wind zoning

Per the Daily Messenger and MPNNow.com (9/14):

…The board is considering two amendments. If approved, the town would change the comprehensive plan and current zoning restrictions to allow for industrial wind turbines. Wind development has been on the table in Italy for seven years – since affiliates of Ecogen first expressed interest and began buying and leasing land for potential development.

Early on, the board opposed wind development and placed a moratorium on future projects. Ecogen sued, but the town won. However, the court advised the town to adopt an official stance on wind development, said MacKenzie. That led to a strong anti-turbine opinion in the town’s comprehensive plan. But Ecogen sued again, said MacKenzie.

Watertown Daily Times (9/14) editorial: New York State needs to provide wind project oversight

…There should be uniform standards for siting and development of wind turbines. People making decisions that will impact communities for many years should be above any allegations of conflicting interests.

The state needs to assume a greater oversight role in the many aspects of wind power development. This must be done soon, as wind projects are being implemented and pondered throughout upstate. The state should take some leadership here.

2007 Academic Study: Overwhelming support for Lewis County wind development

File this with the oldies but goodies. From an October 2007 study by the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College:

  • Over 72% of those surveyed “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that “The development of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm has had a positive effect on Lewis County.” The largest group in disagreement, in the aggregate more than 27%, were those aged 18-29.
  • Over 76% of those surveyed “strongly” or “somewhat” support the expansion of windfarms in Lewis County, with support very similar across gender and age groups.

The study was released in March 2008.

Delaware’s offshore project

New York Times magazine (9/14) article on the Bluewater Wind project off the coast of Rehoboth beach in Delaware.

“The moment I read that paper,” the wind entrepreneur Peter Mandelstam recalled, “I knew in my gut where my next wind project would be.”…

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.

New York and U.S. wind industry news

Beekmantown examining wind law

According to the Press Republican, the Town of Beekmantown (Clinton County) received negative comments from the Clinton County Planning Department regarding its proposed wind energy conversion systems (WECS) regulations and so has extended a wind development moratorium. The proposal had been modeled after the town’s wireless telecommunications facilities siting law.

Enfield negotiations with wind developer continue

The July 5 Ithaca Journal reports on continuing negotiations between the Town of Enfield (Tompkins County) and wind developer John Rancich. One sticky issue is whether a deal will be struck prior to Enfield passing a WECS law.

Hanover considering new wind law

The July 7 Observer reports that the Town of Hanover (Chautauqua County) is considering a WECS law, in anticipation of a Noble Environmental Power’s Ball Hill wind project.

Lackawanna Schools and Steel Winds

Buffalo Business First reports July 4 on the apparent controversy resulting from payments, or lack thereof, to the City of Lackawanna school district from BQ Energy, developer of the Steel Winds wind project.

Niagara Falls Considering Wind

The Niagara Gazette reports July 6 on the attempt by Empire State Wind to site a project in Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls mayor Paul Dyster is quoted mentioning the importance of public input.

Spafford considering wind law

WSYR-TV reports July 3 and online on the efforts by the Town of Spafford (Onondaga County) to regulate relatively small WECS.

Wind Turbine Recycling

Renewable Energy World has an interesting article on the recycling of wind turbines and the efforts of a Massachusetts company, Aeronautica Windpwer, to do just that. Per the article,

According to the company’s industry research, over 10,000 machines that were installed during the mid ‘80s and ‘90s may soon be replaced by larger, more modern turbines. That’s a lot of generation capacity that would otherwise be scrapped.