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.

Recent updates on local wind siting initiatives

Babcock & Brown Chautauqua project

6/5/08. The Westfield Republican reports that the town board of Ripley and Westfield (Chautauqua County) have declared themselves co-lead agencies for the state environmental review of Babcock & Brown’s proposed 125-MW wind farm.

Stamford wind lawsuit

6/11/08. The Daily Star reports that individuals have filed a second lawsuit against the Town of Stamford over issues related to a proposal to develop a wind farm. The suit, known as an Article 78 proceeding to challenge administrative action, reportedly challenges the Stamford Town Board’s approval earlier this year of a resolution to accept a wind farm application by Moresville Energy (a subsidiary of Invenergy).

E. Bloomfield wind law

6/12/08. The Daily Messenger reports that the Town of E. Bloomfield (Finger Lakes region in Ontario County) is considering a wind siting law.

Galloo Island wind project

6/12/08. Newswatch 50 Television reports that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation will hold hearing June 17 regarding the plan of Upstate NY Power Corp to install up to 90 wind turbines on Galloo Island (Town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County). [update 6/16 ] The DEC flagged its intent to be lead agency for SEQR review in an April 2008 letter. Background environmental documents on the Hounsfield Wind Farm may potentially be found here, though links were not working 6/16.

Howard wind project

6/12/08. The Evening Tribune reports that the Town of Howard (Steuben County) continues to look at Everpower’s 25-turbine wind project.

Enfield wind project

6/12/08. The Ithaca Journal reports that the Town of Enfield (Tompkins County) is drafting a new wind siting law as it review a resident’s proposal for a wind farm. The same paper also reported 6/10/08 that the Town of Ithaca itself is examining a residential wind siting ordinance.

Beacon Power flywheel project

[update 6/16] 6/13/08. The Associated Press reports on a Massachusetts company (Beacon Power Corp.) that proposes to connect a 200-flywheel facility (near the Massachusetts border) to New York’s power grid as a means of storing energy.

Noble Power NY wind projects

[update 6/16] Noble Environmental Power announces formal groundbreaking on four new projects, in Clinton, Franklin and Wyoming counties.