Cohocton Wind Watch
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


READ about the FIRST WIND Connection to the Obama Administration

Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud




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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Citizens' plea: End the wind PTC

The fight is on, again, over which tax credits will make the cut in this latest round of extender bills. The House of Representatives just passed HR 5771 which revives dozens of lapsed tax credits totaling $42 billion, including the controversial wind production tax credit (PTC) that expired last year. If approved by the Senate, HR 5771 will reinstate the 22-year old 'temporary' subsidy retroactively for 2014. 
Wind proponents argue the 1-year extension is akin to no extension at all. They paint a dire economic picture of curtailed project development, lost jobs and the unraveling of an entire manufacturing sector. A failure to extend the PTC, they claim, will effectively impose an unfair tax on the industry in the form of higher wind prices. Those who oppose the credit are collectively dismissed as Koch-brother sympathizers, a narrative that has worked short term -- after all, it's easy to hate big oil. But the label is flatly false.
The Grassroots Speak
Leading up to the House vote, a grassroots network of thousands (and thousands!) of Americans nationwide quietly signed letters to Congress asking their representatives, and the leadership, to vote 'no' on any extension of the wind PTC. The signers, all regular, main street Americans impacted by the subsidy-driven push for more wind everywhere, hope their voices will be heard past the slick wind-marketing campaigns and paid mouthpieces with access. 
They tell a different story as reflected in these excerpts from the letters sent: 
Indiana: "Most of the [nearly 3000] Hoosiers who have signed this letter are directly threatened by the choice you will make. We live in the communities impacted by wind development. Many of our local elected officials have passed restrictive ordinances that effectively ban wind development due to the harms to our local economies, property values, health, wildlife and employment. The PTC encourages wind development in inappropriate places – it has fostered a generation of developers who are rewarded for siting turbines on every free acre that has transmission access, no matter who is in the way or how poor the wind resource." 
Ohio: "The Production Tax Credit for wind “energy” serves only one purpose: tax avoidance. Wind is subprime power foisted upon rural communities by a predatory industry. Wind will not reduce the country’s carbon footprint. It will not power our factories. It is highly disruptive to the landscape we cherish. It is about tax avoidance – pure and simple. The burden of wind’s costs falls most heavily on those who can least afford to pay.... The signers of this letter are citizens –volunteers not funded by any organization. We are mothers and fathers. We are ratepayers and taxpayers. Unlike [Jonathan] Gruber’s acquiescent Americans, too dumb to understand the ACA, we understand wind energy. We understand it is little more than a dressed up bit of crony capitalism and support comes only at our expense. Speaker Boehner, please help to stop it. Don’t make us continue to pay for it. " 
Texas: There is significant concern about the impact of wind energy subsidies on other sources of generation in Texas.  ... Your active involvement in helping end the unjustifiable PTC for industrial wind energy is appreciated.  
And for New Hampshire, Nebraska, Alabama and other states: "Renewing the PTC would cost billions that our nation simply cannot afford and the negative impacts on our communities, our scenic beauty and wildlife are significant." 
Given the vigor in which proponents are pushing for another PTC extension, it's unrealistic to believe the wind industry can survive without the subsidy. Big wind grew up on the tax credit, developed market plans and forecasts that relied on it, and now the wind PTC appears to be a required component of the industry's economics. Warren Buffet recently reminded us that wind investment makes no sense without handouts from taxpayers. 
The consequences back home of more federal subsidies for big wind are real. After more than two decades, it's time Congress learns what the public already knows and heeds the plea to pull the plug on this endless subsidy once and for all. 
Linowes is executive director of the Windaction Group (windaction.org), an organization that opposes the wind power industry.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

First Wind Selling Majority Stake in Two Wind Farms to JPMorgan

First Wind Holdings Inc., the renewable-energy developer being acquired by SunEdison Inc. (SUNE), agreed to sell a majority stake in two wind farms to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Asset Management is buying into the 105-megawatt Palouse wind farm in Washington and the 150-megawatt Route 66 project in Texas, Boston-based First Wind said today in a statement. The size of the stakes and the prices weren’t disclosed.
Construction on Route 66 is expected to be complete next year. Palouse has been producing electricity since 2012, helping power about 30,000 homes in eastern Washington. First Wind will continue to operate both power plants.
The deal “provides First Wind capital to continue our efforts to develop and build new clean energy projects,” the developer’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Gaynor said in the statement.
SunEdison and its power-plant holding company TerraForm Power Inc. announced plans Nov. 17 to pay $2.4 billion for First Wind. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sun Edison Buying First Wind Scam

Most people know very little about the true economics in the solar and wind industry. Even less understand the cryptic disclosures in an SEC filing of reports from FERC. Yet the financial inventors are brilliant in concealing the simple business model that is supposed to generate earning from real economic activity. Let’s be generous and report on the public relations announcement, 5 Slides That Show Why SunEdison Bought First Wind. Reading such glowing projections might attract investors into the SunEdison, TerraForm Power Up Solar ETFs.
“SunEdison is among the largest holdings in both the Guggenheim Solar ETFs (TAN ) and the Market Vectors Solar ETF (KWT ), which climbed 5.1% and 3.8% respectively.
These two solar ETFs are alone in giving meaningful weight to TerraForm, SunEdison’s      partner “yieldco” that went public in July, according to research firm XTF.”
Are you ready for some government and private sector newspeak? Note the following appears on the website of NREL - a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC. - A Deeper Look into Yieldco Structuring.
“A yieldco is a dividend growth-oriented public company, created by a parent company (e.g., SunEdison), that bundles renewable and/or conventional long-term contracted operating assets in order to generate predictable cash flows. Yieldcos allocate cash available for distribution (CAFD) each year or quarter to shareholders in the form of dividends. This investment can be attractive to shareholders because they can expect low-risk returns (or yields) that are projected to increase over time.”
Surely you got that these “yieldco” are even better than derivatives, RIGHT???
Before you call your broker, review a recent edition of the BATR RealPolitik Newsletter on the topic - Another Green Energy Fraud. When Bloomberg announces that SunEdison, TerraForm to Acquire First Wind for $2.4 Billion, they are not disclosing the entire story.
“Expected to close in the first quarter, the purchase will consist of a $1.9 billion upfront payment and $510 million dependent on First Wind completing backlog projects.
TerraForm will add 521 megawatts of First Wind projects to its portfolio under the deal, with 1.6 gigawatts of projects expected to be developed by SunEdison and dropped down into TerraForm in 2016 and 2017, the companies said in the statement.”
The sorted history of First Wind strikes a record of questionable financial dealing, concealed debt obligations, flipping LLC ownership and holding company discrepancies. It came as no surprise that First Winds bizarre attempt to sell off their self proclaimed core projects fell flat. A local Bangor Maine newspaper has taken the lead on real investigative reporting. First Wind sale means end of $333 million partnership with Emera is but one in a series of damaging evidence on the shady business practices of First Wind.
“Ending a partnership challenged twice before state regulators and in court, Nova Scotia-based Emera has sold its interest in a $333 million joint venture with First Wind, which was purchased Monday by a Missouri-based renewable power developer.
Emera announced Monday that it has agreed to sell its interest in Northeast Wind Partners back to First Wind for $223 million.
The deal would end a legal challenge to that partnership, which Houlton Water Co. and a group representing industrial power users argued violated the intent of New England’s deregulation of its electricity market. But that money may be directed at other power generation resources in the region after the completion of the larger deal between First Wind and SunEdison subsidiary TerraForm Power.”
Ask yourself, why would a newly capitalized company want to acquire a debt ridden albatross like First Wind? When SunEdison Spin-Off TerraForm Power Scores Hot IPO came to market, a smell of a Wall Street bailout using another shell public company reeks. Since First Wind failed in their own IPO offering, just maybe a careful examination into the filings of these companies is warranted.
“TerraForm Power Inc. (NASDAQ: TERP), another spin-off from SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE), offered 20.1 million shares and raised about $500 million in its IPO, valuing the company at around $2.4 billion. SunEdison will retain nearly 95% of the voting power in the company. The IPO’s underwriters have a 30-day option on another 3 million shares.”
Next review the SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Forum K-8  #001-36542 for TERRAFORM POWER, INC. and check out the full company description on TERRAFORM POWER, INC. (TERP) IPO.
Selling shares of public companies to pension funds for eventual shorting from the house accounts of underwriting firms is a favorite strategy that if caught, only gets a slap on the wrist. 
The lack of disclosure of ALL the debt for projects that cannot even satisfy minimum interest payments must less retiring the actual obligations, is indicative of an industry that is based upon fraud and uncompetitive costs.
Wind proponents want you to believe that Wind Power Forecasting in U.S. Electricity Markets are based upon true figures of literal production that goes into the grid for actual consumer use. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sun Edison is no virgin to the mega corporation ownership game. Having started in 1959 as the Monsanto Electronic Materials Company, a business unit of Monsanto Company, their SEC filing is a wealth of information on connections to the usual suspects behind the renewable energy Wall Street schemes.
Renewal Energy World explains, SunEdison Launches Yieldco to Unearth, Leverage Solar Asset Values, and sure sounds like a lot of financial trickery.
“Here's why SunEdison and the rest of the industry is so keen to pursue new finance options. Back in its 3Q13 financial results SunEdison calculated its current business model of building and selling solar projects yields about $0.74/Watt -- but those assets' true value could jump as high as $1.97/W if the company can find ways to enumerate and apply various methods: lower the cost of capital, apply various underwriting assumptions, and factor in residual value in power purchase agreements. That's a startling 2.6× increase in potential value creation that SunEdison thinks it can unlock, and creating a yieldco structure to attract interest from the broader investor community is a big part of the answer.”
Birds of a feather flock together and care nothing about all the fowl kill is a bad deal for investors and electric rate payers.
James Hall – December 10, 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Even the Loony Left understands that the PTC extenders is a bad deal . . .

I just told the Senate Democrats to not cut any tax cuts that help big businesses, hurt working families, and expand the deficit paving the way for more devastating cuts.

I think you should too!

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/tax_deal?referring_akid=a168850851.6462683.aoPsS4&source=conf_email 

Help knock the wind out of lobbyists. Tell Congress to #EndWindWelfare



http://bit.ly/11yXQNk pic.twitter.com/HW9AKwV7Un 

http://thndr.it/1zARubo


“Help knock the wind out of lobbyists. Tell Congress to #EndWindWelfare http://bit.ly/11yXQNk pic.twitter.com/HW9AKwV7Un http://thndr.it/1zARubo”

It's that time of year again. Now that our Congressmen think they're safe from electoral consequences, wind industry lobbyists are aggressively pushing to revive their favorite subsidy, the wind production tax credit (PTC).

The PTC is a key part of President Obama and Majority Leader Reid's attack on affordable energy, from natural gas and coal to nuclear power - an attack that will prove costly for hard-working Americans. Our legislators need to know you oppose subsidies for special interests like industrialized wind.

Two more years of these wind subsidies would cost American families over $13.3 billion. If Big Wind gets its way and makes these subsidies permanent, that $13.3 billion will be coming out of your pockets for years to come.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BATR RealPolitik Newsletter - Another Green Energy Fraud - November 20, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SunEdison, TerraForm to Acquire First Wind for $2.4 Billion

SunEdison Inc. (SUNE) and its power-plant holding company, TerraForm Power Inc. (TERP), agreed to buy closely held First Wind Holdings Inc. for $2.4 billion, expanding the types of renewable-energy projects it can develop.
The acquisition will give Maryland Heights, Missouri-based SunEdison a foothold in the U.S. wind market, the company said in a statement today. SunEdison now expects to install as much as 2.3 gigawatts of capacity next year, up from a range of 1.6 gigawatts to 1.8 gigawatts.
The addition of First Wind, based in Boston, is “transformative,” accellerating the companies’ “engine” for renewable project development, Ahmad Chatila, president and chief executive officer of SunEdison, said in an interview.
“The reason why we’re doing it is really it doubles our served available market,” Chatila said. “Now we have combined with the best team in wind.”
SunEdison, which won’t change its name to reflect the new strategy, hopes to capitalize on the growth opportunities in the global wind energy market. Wind power in the U.S., where First Wind’s project development has been located, is expected to grow 15 percent next year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts.
SunEdison’s shares rose as much as 6 percent in after-market trading.
The purchase, which is expected to close in the first quarter, will consist of a $1.9 billion upfront payment and $510 million dependent on First Wind completing backlog projects.

’Packaging Electrons’

TerraForm will add 521 megawatts of First Wind projects to its portfolio under the deal, with 1.6 gigawatts of projects expected to be developed by SunEdison and dropped down into TerraForm in 2016 and 2017, the companies said in the statement.
The transaction “checks all the boxes,” TerraForm Chief Executive Officer Carlos Domenech said in an interview. “What First Wind does for TerraForm is very much what SunEdison does on the solar side performing as a sponsor.”
TerraForm will add 4.6 gigawatts of installs between wind and solar by the end of 2017 after the deal, including the 3.1 gigawatts already planned with SunEdison.
“We are in the business of packaging electrons into long-term contracts,” Domenech said. “Wind is a great asset class and we see tremendous growth potential. For us this is a logical expansion into renewables.”
The company expects to look into acquiring other types of renewable energy projects, Domenech said, and is considering hydroelectric power, hybrid power systems and residential, commercial and industrial solar power assets.

Yieldco

TerraForm is a yieldco that went public in July. Yieldcos are an increasingly popular way to hold renewable energy assets. They let developers raise capital at lower costs by selling completed projects to their yieldcos and using the proceeds to fund new projects.
The purchase of First Wind is expected to be immediately accretive to TerraForm Power, delivering $72.5 million in unlevered cash available for distribution next year, according to the statement.
TerraForm raised its 2015 distribution guidance to $214 million and its dividend guidance to $1.30 a share, up 44 percent from its current 90-cent rate.
Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch acted as lead financial advisor to TerraForm in connection with the First Wind acquisition and lead structuring agent on the drop down warehouse credit facility. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to First Wind.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tina Davis in New York at tinadavis@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net Iain Wilson, Keith Gosman

SunEdison, TerraForm to buy First Wind for $2.4 billion

Solar company SunEdison Inc. and unit TerraForm Power Inc. said they would buy First Wind for $2.4 billion to enter the U.S. wind power market.
SunEdison’s shares rose 6.6 percent to $17.70, while TerraForm shares rose 1.2 percent to $26.15 in after-market trading.
The deal comprises $1.9 billion in upfront payment and $510 million in earn-outs, the companies said.
Boston-based First Wind is operating or building renewable energy projects in the Northeast, the West and Hawaii, with a combined capacity of nearly 1,300 megawatts — enough to power more than 425,000 homes each year.
First Wind has been a major player in developing wind farms in Maine, with sites active and planned across northern, western and eastern Maine. It is a frequent target for environmentalists and regulators, and counts among its top executives a former high-ranking Baldacci administration official, Kurt Adams, who now sits on the University of Maine board of trustees.
The company is involved in at least six wind power projects in Maine.
SunEdison raised its 2015 installation forecast to 2.1-2.3 gigawatts from 1.6-1.8 gigawatts . TerraForm increased its 2015 dividend forecast to $1.30 per share from 90 cents.
TerraForm was created by SunEdison to own and operate its solar power plants. TerraForm went public in July.
The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015, the companies said.
SunEdison’s share in the total consideration consists of an upfront payment of $1 billion and the earn-out portion.
TerraForm Power will acquire First Wind’s operating portfolio for an enterprise value of $862 million.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Negative health impact of noise from industrial wind turbines: The evidence

Today’s post, the second of three installments, reviews the major research findings linking low-frequency noise and infrasound from industrial wind turbines with effects on health and quality of life.[1]  
By Jerry Punch, PhD, and Richard James, INCE, BME
Evidence that industrial wind turbines (IWTs) negatively impact human health is vast and growing. Although that evidence acknowledges that the exact exposures needed to impact health and the percentage of the affected population are still unknown, there is indisputable evidence that adverse health effects (AHEs) occur for a non-trivial percentage of exposed populations. Here, we give an overview of that evidence.[2]
Wind turbine noise is not known to cause hearing loss. Interestingly, though, individuals who have hearing disorders may be more susceptible than persons with normal hearing to AHEs from wind turbine noise, and people who are deaf can suffer the same ill effects as those who have normal hearing when exposed to wind turbine noise. The latter finding supports the view that infrasound, not just the audible whooshing, low-frequency noise emitted by wind turbines, is the cause of many of the health complaints.
The anecdotal evidence, documented on internet blogs, innewspaper articles, in expert testimony in legal proceedings, and recently in the documentary movies Windfall and Wind Rush, is compelling and illustrative of the similarity in symptoms. These adverse symptoms appear when people are exposed to operating wind turbines, and disappear when the turbines stop operating. These observations resemble single-subject research experiments, in which individuals serve as their own controls while being subjected to alternating conditions or treatments. Dr. Carl Phillips, a noted epidemiologist, describes the use of adverse event reporting as a first step in establishing the existence, prevalence, and spread of a variety of health conditions, as well as adverse reactions to such agents as medications and environmental pollutants.
Reports that many families abandon their homes after IWTs begin operation make the anecdotal evidence particularly compelling.
Studies conducted in Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden, where residents have many decades of experience with IWTs, collectively indicate thatwind turbine noise differs from and is more annoying than other sources of noise, including community, transportation, and industrial sources.
These differences are attributed to the substantial infrasound and low-frequency noise (ILFN) produced by the turbines. Such sounds are not easily masked by other environmental sounds, including wind noise.

Annoyance from turbine noise at 35 dBA corresponds to the annoyance reported for other common community-noise sources at 45 dBA. The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that observable effects of nighttime, outdoor noise levels of 40 dBA or higher will lead to diminished health. This also occurs when levels inside homes (especially bedrooms) rise above 30 dBA or contain non-steady and/or low-frequency noise.
Yet, the wind industry commonly promotes 50 dBA as an appropriate limit for homes, even though the World Health Organization has identified such high levels as a cause of serious health effects.[3]

Health Effects of Wind Turbine Noise


Sleep disturbance is by far the most common complaint of families living near wind turbines. Prolonged lack of sleep affects our capacity to learn and negatively affects our memory, temperament, heart health, stress levels, and hormones that regulate growth, puberty and fertility. It can also lead to high blood pressure, changes in heart rate, and an increase in heart disease, as well as weight gain and lowered immunity to disease. These symptoms have regularly been reported by individuals who live near IWTs.
In a controlled clinical study, residents who lived within 1.4 kilometers, or 0.87 mile, of IWTs exhibited greater sleep disturbance and poorer mental health than those living at distances greater than 3.3 kilometers, or 2 miles, away, and scores on sleep and mental-health measures correlated well with noise exposure levels. Another study found lower quality of life (QoL) in residents living within 2 kilometers of a turbine installation than at longer distances. Abandonment of homes near wind turbines has been associated primarily with disruptions to sleep and QoL.
Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD[4], a practicing pediatrician, coined the term Wind Turbine Syndrome(WTS) in 2009 to describe the symptoms she observed in a cohort study of 38 members of 10 families. Those symptoms include: sleep disturbance; headache; Visceral Vibratory Vestibular Disturbance (VVVD); dizziness, vertigo, unsteadiness; tinnitus; ear pressure or pain; external auditory canal sensation; memory and concentration deficits; irritability and anger; and fatigue and loss of motivation. Although her case-series report, published as a book, has often been maligned by the wind industry as being non-scientific, an increasing body of scientific evidence supports her observations and their links to exposure to wind turbines. Dr. Robert McMurtry, a well-respected Ontario physician, recently proposed specific diagnostic criteria for a case definition of AHEs due to IWTs.

Industry Reacts to Claims

In 2009, a joint report of the American and Canadian Wind Energy Associations (AWEA/CanWEA) established the basis for arguments routinely used by wind energy advocates to persuade the public and public officials that IWTs present no health risks. The panel members who produced the report were handpicked by AWEA’s acoustical consultant, and all had prior positions on noise from wind turbines favorable to the industry.
The report concluded that exposure to wind turbine noise has no direct adverse physiological or health consequences, a conclusion shown to be erroneous by multiple lines of evidence, at least several of which were established prior to the report. The report’s major weaknesses were its comparisons of wind turbine noise levels to those produced by other environmental noises and its embrace of the A-weighted measurement scale as valid, even though that scale minimizes low-frequency sound and completely excludes infrasound.
Several scholarly researchers have rejected the AWEA/CanWEA report as misleading and unscientific. One of the report’s co-authors, Dr. Geoff Leventhall, whose own research demonstrates that ILFN leads to various health symptoms, attributes those symptoms to extreme psychological stress from low-frequency noise, but does not acknowledge that IWTs also cause such symptoms. He argues that the ILFN emitted by wind turbines falls below the threshold of hearing, claiming that what we can’t hear can’t hurt us—a topic we will address in our final installment.
Jerry Punch is an audiologist and professor emeritus at Michigan State University in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Since his retirement in 2011, he has become actively involved as a private audiological consultant in areas related to his long-standing interest in community noise. Richard James is an acoustical consultant with over 40 years of experience in industrial noise measurement and control. He is an adjunct instructor in Michigan State University’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and an adjunct professor in Central Michigan University’s Department of Communication Disorders.
Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Part 1: Adverse Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines
  2. Of note: the authors of this series are currently preparing a comprehensive, fully referenced paper for publication elsewhere
  3. Night Noise Guidelines for Europe set limit at 40 dBA
  4. MD degree earned from Johns Hopkins and PhD from Princeton

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Allegany wind project officially dead

Close to eight years of legal battles, community upsets and neighbors bickering with neighbors over a proposed 29-turbine wind project in the town of Allegany came to an end Tuesday.
The final nail in the coffin of the proposed EverPower Wind LLC project in the Chipmonk and Knapp Creek areas was hammered when the Allegany Town Board unanimously voted to rescind the wind overlay district.
“It’s been a long time coming, and I’m glad this is over,” said Chipmonk resident Karen Mosman after the meeting. “But I’m in shock — is it real?”
The vote came at the beginning of Tuesday’s regular meeting in the Allegany Senior Center on Birch Run Road. The room was three-quarters full of residents who sat quietly as Town Supervisor John Hare read through a 25-page State Environmental Quality Review form and zoning map amendment to rescind the wind overlay district. The form listed a number of issues that will not be affected by rescinding the overlay district, such as geological features, air, plants and animals, agricultural resources, aesthetic resources, transportation, energy and human health. The board agreed with each of the 13 issues reviewed before voting unanimously on a “negative declaration regarding the removal of the wind overlay district.”
The action brought applause from the audience.
The board then voted unanimously on another motion to adopt an ordinance that rescinds the wind overlay district created by town board members on Aug. 29, 2011, which brought another round of applause.
When an older member of the audience asked Mr. Hare to explain exactly what had transpired the town supervisor replied, “Basically by the two actions we took tonight, this rolls back or eliminates the overlay district created approximately three years ago.”
“Thank you very much,” responded a woman in the audience before everyone got up to leave.
The board was asked to decide on the matter in June after the Allegany Town Planning Board recommended that the wind energy overlay district be rescinded. Their recommendation came three months after the New York State Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by EverPower against the planning board.
Following the dismissal, EverPower relinquished its rights to build a wind farm in the town of Allegany. The company had planned to build the $160 million wind farm after it was given the go-ahead for the project by the previous town board. The project fell through after three years of legal struggles with the town and Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County.
Residents who included Kathy Boser, president of Concerned Citizens, wanted to see the overlay district rescinded because the planning board had indicated that another developer could potentially step in and use the zoned parcel for a new wind-turbine project.
Following the meeting, Mrs. Boser said she and others in the community were grateful for the actions of the town and planning boards.
“Now that it’s rescinded, any (wind company) could come back in, but they’d have to start over again,” she said. “I think there were some lessons learned from this one and I think the boards will be better prepared.”
Concerned Citizens member Gary Abraham agreed with this thought and declared, “It’s over for any (proposed) wind farm in Allegany.”
Allegany resident and businessman Dennis Casey said he was “thrilled” with the outcome.
“We’ve had time to anticipate this,” he said in commenting on the relatively quiet response from the audience during the vote.
Others who commented included Mrs. Mosman’s husband, Ray, who said he hopes the action will help the community heal.

“I think this is done; it’s been a long haul and a heck of a burden off our shoulders,” Mr. Mosman said. “But I think now is a time of healing, because this made enemies out of friends.”

Thursday, September 04, 2014

COHOCTON TOWN CLERK ACCUSED OF STEALING OVER $36,000 FROM TOWN HALL

September 4, 2014
STEUBEN COUNTY, NY - Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has announced the arrest of Cohocton Town Clerk Sandra Riley.
Riley was charged with grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony, and official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor, after an audit and investigation by DiNapoli’s office uncovered the misappropriation of more than $36,000 in public funds.
Officials with the State Comptroller’s Office says that Sandra Riley has already admitted to the grand larceny.  “Riley confessed to DiNapoli’s staff and the New York State Police that she pocketed tax penalty payments, as well as cash for building permits and dog licenses, over a six-year period,” Dinapoli’s office stated.
Riley was arraigned in Village of Bath court and is due back on September 15.
“This is another troubling case of a local official abusing her position to steal taxpayer money,” said DiNapoli. “We will continue to work to expose public corruption and partner with law enforcement to bring offenders to justice and recoup stolen public money. I want to thank Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker and the New York State Police for their continued partnership with my staff to make sure these types of individuals are held accountable for their actions.”

Friday, August 29, 2014

Big Wind’s Last Gasp?

Wind energy development in the United States has slumped.
Despite record installations in 2012, and eking out a 1-year, $12 billion extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC), new wind capacity last year fell to just 1,087 megawatts, a level not seen in more than a decade. Development in 2014 is showing signs of improvement but the year may not fare much better.
The industry blames Congress and the uncertainty surrounding the PTC for the slowdown, but such thinking is overly simplistic and ignores the fundamental challenges facing big wind. This slump, like others that plagued wind development in prior years, can be traced directly to generous government assistance, current energy prices, and the inherent limitations of wind power.

Reasons for the slowdown
The Section 1603 cash grants enacted under ARRA fueled a wind bubble as developers raced to build and qualify their sites. By the end of 2012, the industry’s project pipeline was exhausted with just 43 MW of wind under development in two states. The surge in new capacity created a glut in RPS-qualified generation and eroded demand for wind as states met and/or exceeded their renewable mandates. The shale gas boom further hampered growth by driving down energy prices and harming wind’s economic competitiveness against cheaper, more reliable fuels.
Proponents insist wind energy is a few short years away from thriving without government assistance, but the trends do not support the claim.
For wind to go it alone, average wind capacity factors need to increase dramatically and/or project construction costs must drop dramatically. But that’s not happening according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind Technologies Market Report 2013, just released.
The authors, Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), report that average capacity factors for projects built after 2005 have been stagnant despite advances in turbine technology. The interior region of the country covering Texas and the plains states continues to show the best capacity factors (36-38%) and lowest project costs ($/kw) but it’s also the most remote. A smaller population means miles of expensive new transmission is needed to transport the energy to higher demand centers east and west.
Turbine prices and project costs may have declined somewhat from 2012, but with only 11 projects in LBNL’s 2013 sample, drawing a firm conclusion about construction costs is premature. The same applies for average wind pricing. According to the report, the national average price for wind dropped to a surprising $25/MWh in 2013, but again, the small sample of power purchase agreements examined was skewed by projects sited in the lowest-priced interior region of the country.
We agree that wind PPAs from 2012-13 have seen some decline in prices but nowhere near $25/MWh in most areas of the country and not for the reasons cited. Wind power is not more competitive. Rather, its pricing in the U.S. is under severe pressure because of the shale gas boom and the accumulation of new wind capacity concentrated in just twelve states, which has lowered demand.
Also, by constructing tens of thousands of megawatts of generation that produces largely off peak, wind developers actually hurt their own energy sales by driving down wholesale prices, which makes the PTC even more critical.

Subsidizing Big Wind
The PTC offsets the high price of wind energy, giving the false impression that wind is competitive with other resources, but at 2.3¢/kWh, the subsidy’s pre-tax value (3.5¢/kWh) equals, or exceeds the wholesale price of power in much of the country! The tax credit provides a significant out-of-market revenue source for developers by shifting costs to taxpayers at large. At current energy prices, we’re not convinced wind power can demonstrate sustained growth without the PTC, and this is confirmed in EIA’s latest Annual Energy Outlook 2014.
According to EIA, if the expired PTC is allowed to stay expired, their models show an expected stair-step increase in wind capacity by 2015 that flattens out for the next decade until gas prices rise and technology improvements make wind more competitive (see chart). If the PTC and the 30% ITC were made permanent EIA shows it would drive more renewables, particularly wind and solar, but at a significant cost: $4.5 billion/year from 2014 to 2040.

So what’s next
Big wind grew up on the tax credit, developed market plans and forecasts that relied on it, and now the wind PTC appears to be a required component of the industry’s economics. That was never the intent of Congress when this temporary tax credit was enacted 24 years ago. The PTC and ITC are now expired and we can expect roughly 15,000 MW of new wind to be built in response to the 1-year extension passed in 2013. After that, it’s over. It’s now time for taxpayers to consider better ways to spend their money.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

New lawsuit filed in Orangeville

A group of about 60 town residents has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the Invenergy wind energy company.
The State Supreme Court suit was filed Aug. 1 in Wyoming County. Invenergy operates the Orangeville Wind Farm within the town.
The suit alleges “constant noise, vibrations and flicker” significantly impacted the plaintiff’s health and well-being, causing sickness, soreness, lameness and disability.
It also accuses Invenergy of diminishing the plaintiffs’ property values, creating noise pollution, and regularly violating the town’s 50-decibel noise ordinance.
The suit asks for $20 million for personal injuries, lost quality of life, and a loss in property value. It also asks for $20 million in punitive damages, compensation for court costs, and any other relief the court deems necessary.
Invenergy said in a statement issued Thursday that it will vigorously defend itself against what it described as unfounded claims.
“While support for renewable energy is strong across our country, we take seriously any concerns of those who live in a project host community,” the statement reads. “That is why we took great care in developing the Orangeville wind farm in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations. The lengthy authorization process was open and inclusive, allowing extensive opportunity for citizen input.
“In addition, since the Orangeville wind farm commenced commercial operation, the facility has been operated and maintained in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, including local zoning laws, relevant state agency directives, and Federal Aviation Administration  requirements.”
This is not the first time legal action has occurred involving the wind farm.
The Clear Skies Over Orangeville group twice sued the Town of Orangeville unsuccessfully in 2010 and 2012. The lawsuits were dismissed each time.
Property owner Robert White also filed a suit in 2011, which said a proposed turbine tower was too close to his hunting cabin off Bantam Road. He was successful, and a special use permit and site plan approvals for the tower were nullified.
Many of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are couples, representing about 25 different addresses within the town. The plaintiffs include several affiliated with CSOO.
The Orangeville Wind Farm has 58 turbines. Each is about 430 feet tall. Commercial operations began in March.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

After legal challenge, Maine utility regulators again OK $333 million partnership between Emera, First Wind

The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to allow Emera Maine’s parent company to invest $333 million through a joint venture with wind farm developer First Wind, a deal that was sent back to the commission for further review after a Maine Supreme Judicial Court decision.
Deliberations in the case Tuesday centered on whether the financial relationship would create favoritism of any kind between the power-generating entity and the Maine transmission and distribution utility Emera Maine, which is owned by Nova Scotia-based Emera Inc.
“To use an familial analogy, this would be a second-cousin corporation and First Wind would be the spouse,” said PUC Commissioner David Littell during deliberations Tuesday.
That partnership first approved in 2012 involves Emera Inc. subsidiary Northeast Wind taking a 49 percent stake in the company JV Holdco, which would have ownership of certain First Wind projects. The Ontario-based Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. would also have a stake in those projects.
The renewed approval stands to bolster First Wind’s financing for projects in the state. As an indication of concern over the impact the court’s ruling would have on First Wind’s projects, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection asked the company to again file documentation proving it had access to money required for developing, maintaining and decommissioning its projects.
Opponents of the partnership wrote in briefs filed with the PUC that a partnership between an Emera entity and First Wind would violate Maine’s deregulation of the power industry in 2000, which generally prohibits transmission and distribution utilities like Emera Maine from owning electricity generation resources.
Commissioner Mark Vannoy, the lone dissenting vote of the three commissioners, argued that the conditions of the measure serve to mitigate the risk of favoritism among the utility and power generator, but that those conditions do not eliminate the influence of the financial interest and thereby violates the test the court laid out.
“It’s a very difficult enterprise for a regulatory body to build in an incentive and acknowledge it exists and then dampen it with conditions,” Vannoy said. “The simple conclusion is that a financial incentive exists to favor a certain generator.”
Vannoy said it is not the PUC’s task to evaluate whether such favoritism would occur but whether the structure of the deal creates a prohibited interest.
The court decision ordered the PUC to determine when a financial relationship is sufficient to give a transportation and distribution company an incentive to favor one power generator over another.
The company expressed confidence to the DEP that the $333 million investment from Emera would move ahead to support part of its projects in Oakfield, Hancock and Bingham.
That funding would in turn become a part of the financing for First Wind’s projects in Oakfield, Hancock, Bingham and perhaps others.
Emera and First Wind were cautious about declaring the vote Tuesday as a victory. Representatives from both companies said it’s premature to comment on the decision until they have the PUC’s order in writing. That order will include other conditions that aim to mitigate any influence the investment would have over Emera or Emera Maine’s transmission and distribution planning.
A spokeswoman for Emera and spokesman for First Wind both said in emails that the result of deliberations Tuesday were “very encouraging.”
Tom Welch, chairman of the commission, cast the deciding vote. That breakdown mirrors some past commission votes on wind energy proposals, with Littell generally in support and Vannoy opposing.

Source

Click on link to submit your SEC complaint on the
First Wind Holdings Inc. IPO public offering


TEN Reasons
Why the SEC should not allow First Wind to be listed on NASDAQ

First Wind Holdings Inc. 12/22/09 SEC S1/A IPO Filing

First Wind Holdings Inc. 7/31/08 SEC S1 IPO Filing

May 14, 2010 addition to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

August 18, 2010 amendment 7 to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

October 13, 2010 Filing update to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing

New October 25, 2010 Filing update to the First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S1A IPO Filing


FIRST WIND Lays an Egg WITHDRAWS IPO
after Wall Street no confidence in company




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