New York wind energy developments

From news and web sources:

Regarding the Noble Power Altona wind farm turbine collapse:

  • [update] NYS PSC concludes in October 2010 that “the Noble facilities have been inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Moreover, the Commission concluded that Noble has demonstrated that it is in compliance with appropriate specifications and procedures for inspection, maintenance, public safety and site security as required.”
  • Public Service Commission to investigate. Albany Times Union, 3/12
  • Noble indicates wiring anamoly as source of problem for two turbines, including one that collapsed, indicates all debris within setback. Noble Environmental Power, 3/13

Adirondack Park Agency (APA) staff propose new rules for wind energy facility development, including streamlined permits for turbines up to 125 feet (to blade tip). Associated Press in Newsday, 3/12.  See staff-created draft permit here.

Beekmantown wind project rejected. WCAX, 3/17; Press Republican 3/17

Town of Clayton wind committee makes recommendations. Watertown Daily Times, 3/15

Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issues wildlife advisories on multiple wind projects. Watertown Daily Times, 3/10

Town of Hammond residents drop lawsuit challenging rescinded wind law. Watertown Daily Times, 3/15

Village of Hilton explores community wind approach. Rochester City Newspaper, 3/11

Town of Lyme considers extending wind moratorium, easement over town property for transmission. Watertown Daily Times, 3/13

Town of Machias considers wind ordinance. Arcade Herald, 3/15

Ending years of bureaucratic squabbling, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Department of Interior (through the U.S. Minerals Management Service or MMS)  reach agreement to work together on the regulation of offshore renewable energy development. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to follow. FERC/Interior press release, 3/17. Background on the dispute here, by the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition.

EcoGen project in towns of Prattsburgh, Italy, advances. Corning Leader, 3/15

A profile piece on New York City’s first stand-alone wind turbine, on Staten Island. New York Times, 3/13

Oswego County onion farmer considers harvesting the wind. Post-Standard, 3/9

Governor Paterson feels the heat for suggesting a relaxation of carbon emissions rules, undercutting the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI. New York Times, 3/5

Albany Business Review piece, 3/6-12, on impacts of federal stimulus package on local renewable energy sector (quoting this blogger). (subscription required).

Wind energy developments: Enfield, Prattsburgh, FERC

Wind Project in Enfield

The Ithaca Journal reports that the attorney for the Town of Enfield (Tompkins County) has raised questions about a proposed agreement between the Town and the developer of a proposed wind farm, John Rancich. The article states that the Town does not have a wind development law in place as a result of the Town Board repealing an ordinance it had on the books.

FERC electricity cost study

FERC released a study prepared by its Office of Enforcement that examines the causes of and responses to rising electricity costs. The report notes that:

For the next few years, wind will almost certainly account for a large share of generation investment and will account for a growing share of overall generation.

Releasing the report, FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher stated

We must confront three realities: FERC is regulating in a high-cost environment; the United States needs massive investments in new electricity generation, transmission and distribution facilities; and we are beginning to confront the climate change challenge, which puts us in a period of uncertainty regarding policy.

There is tension among these three realities, and they work at cross purposes. The United States cannot simultaneously make the massive investments necessary to assure security of our electricity supply, make additional large investments to confront climate change, and lower electricity prices. Doing so would likely result in failure.

Find here the FERC study on rising electricity costs.

Wind court case in Prattsburgh

WETM-TM reports that the Town Board of Prattsburgh (Steuben County) voted 3-2 to exercise eminent domain, affecting seven land owners, so that First Wind, developing a 36-turbine project, may lay necessary utility cables under a local road.