Cohocton Wind Watch: May 2008
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, May 31, 2008

Protecting beauty of falls may become a tall order

A company founded by Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano has approached city leaders about building wind turbines on old industrial sites in the city.

While the company sees economic opportunity, the prospect exists for millions of tourists to see windmills on the horizon of Niagara Falls.

“The issue for us is one more of aesthetics than anything else,” said Thomas J. DeSantis, senior planner for the city. “Is it OK to put a 600-foot wind generating station at Falls and First streets? Probably not.

“I think because we’re Niagara Falls, and because we have certain scenic and national resources that are important to us, that we’ll want to try to protect them in some small way, we’ll want to look at those issues.”

Empire State Wind Energy representatives have had discussions about the potential for a public-private partnership to construct power- generating wind turbines in the Falls, and have told city leaders that spots like the former Love Canal property or long-vacant factory sites hold potential.

Niagara Falls does not look like many other communities where windmills have been constructed. It is urban, nearly built out and almost entirely flat. Wind maps show much more potential along communities that line Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

But Niagara Falls has something else that is attractive to those trying to produce more electricity.

“Anywhere you go, there are those massive power lines all over,” Councilman Sam Fruscione said. “They see Niagara Falls as a good potential because of all the power lines that they can hook into.”

Still, height will become an important issue in any windmill proposal.

Fruscione said Empire State Wind Energy representatives have discussed two options for windmills: large turbines like those in Lackawanna that would generate more power, or smaller turbines.

(Click to read entire article)

Eminent Domain Public Hearing - Carl Raymond - Prattsburgh, NY

Friday, May 30, 2008

Iberdrola - Energy East PSC Letter by Andrew McEvoy

Dear Judge Epstein,

PLEASE use your most conservative judgment when deciding on the Iberdrola / Energy East merger. The PSC is looking out for the best interest of the taxpayers of New York State.

Many taxpayers feel as I do that a conglomerate should not be allowed to monopolize something as important as our electric grid. The fact that it is a foreign company is that much more disturbing.

Iberdrola is in the process of "conquering" New York State by placing Industrial Wind Turbines in any location they can get. They have proposed 476 foot tall turbines for my town of Fairfield, just north of Little Falls. They show total disregard for the people that live in the proposed area by proposing 389 foot tall turbines first of all, and then changing them to 476 foot tall turbines with rotors 295 feet in diameter. Bill Moore of PPM/Iberdrola worked with the town board to use his criteria for the wind ordinance which will now allow 476 foot tall turbines to be placed 1250 feet from a home and only 328 feet from a property line. This is criminal in a populated area.

Although this is separate from the merger deal, this is the type of company that wants to "control" our electric grid. It absolutely frightens me. It should not be allowed. Let them have the generation business or the transmission business, but please not both. The only reason for the wind turbine construction is because of the subsidies such as the "production tax credit". This is evidenced in the attached article interviewing T. Boone Pickens about his proposed wind project in Texas.

Again, please consider the good of the "people" when making your decision.

Thank you,

Andrew McEvoy
P.O. Box 1011
Little Falls, NY 13365
315-823-4773

A Rare Gust of Wind Turbine Electricity

NY Initiative for Development Accountability

Not%20Just%20Any%20Job%20May%202008.pdf

With just a few weeks left in the scheduled legislative session, our coalition has done great work to elevate the campaign for comprehensive IDA reform to the top of Albany’s to-do list. Earlier this week, the Associated Press identified IDA reform as one of three key outstanding issues in Albany and just yesterday the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle added its editorial voice to the chorus calling for IDA reform to be resolved this session—check out the clips below.

We can’t be satisfied with IDA reform at the top of the list, however—there’s no guarantee that it will get resolved and if it does, we still have a lot of work to do in a few short weeks to ensure that it’s done right. And by “done right” we mean a statewide policy that establishes accountability measures like strong clawbacks and IDA board representation for the school boards, the community, and the workforce. “Done right” means transparency reforms for IDAs and their subsidy recipients that ensure they disclose accurate information about jobs promised, the quality of those jobs, and the impacts of a proposed project for public review before subsidies are approved and each year thereafter.

And by “done right” we also mean business standards to ensure our tax dollars support quality jobs that pay good wages to local workers—not just any jobs for anybody. As the attached memo, “Not Just Any Job: Upstate Needs Good Jobs,” reveals, the number of jobs available in upstate New York has actually increased over the last decade. It’s not that young people are leaving Buffalo and Syracuse and Utica because they can’t get a job at Wal-Mart or other low-road employers—it’s that they can’t get good jobs that will take care of their families.

New York’s economic development resources must be channeled to target quality, not quantity. Our governor must hear this message every day until a comprehensive IDA reform bill is signed, and our legislators must hear it until they deliver such a bill to the governor. Here’s what we’re doing to keep the pressure on until a compromise is reached by the legislature and agreed to by the governor:

 June 11: Last Mobilization to Albany! We have changed the date of our last Albany mobilization to Wednesday, June 11th. The day’s activities will begin at 11 a.m. in the capitol—the attached flyer reflects the date change. More details to follow next week—please reply or call to confirm who will be attending from your region so we can plan accordingly.

 Next Week: Local Coalition Events! Members of our statewide coalition are planning creative events on Long Island, in Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Buffalo and other areas throughout the state to ensure that lawmakers know they can’t come home without an IDA deal that includes prevailing and living wage standards, accountability measures, and transparency reforms. If you are planning an event or would like to, please contact us to share the details—creativity encouraged to keep the story fresh and the fire stoked!

 NOW: Letters, Calls, Stories, Memos that Demand Action from the Governor and Legislature! Dozens of our supporters’ letters and editorials have been printed in outlets across the state. We’ve done memos and calls directly to the governor and legislature at several points throughout the campaign. If you’ve already sent letters, make calls; if you’ve already made calls, encourage others who haven’t. We must continue to have our voices heard in the media and directly with lawmakers.

Eminent Domain Public Hearing #2 - Edward D. Cerra - Prattsburgh, NY

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Noble Environmental IPO Faces Crosswinds

The bad news is that, because the market is still nascent, investing in the IPO means putting money in a company with no revenue on its income statement to date -- and nearly $1 billion in debt.

The Essex, Conn., wind-energy company is filing for a public offering -- under the ticker NEPI -- only four years after it was founded. It's seeking as much as $375 million in proceeds to finance wind-turbine supply agreements and project developments.

Noble began operating its first wind parks in March 2008. So it doesn't have any revenue through its first 46 months in business. (Financials for the first quarter of 2008 aren't yet disclosed.)

But what it does have is $72 million in accumulated losses and massive debt, more than half of which comes due between one and three years from now.

(Click to read entire article)

Recap of Eminent Domain Public Hearing May 22, 2008 in Prattsburgh, NY

5/29/2008

Edward D. Cerra of Dillenbeck Road was kind enough to provide the following summary of the May 22 Public Hearing in Prattsburgh concerning condemnation proceedings against the remaining property owners who have resisted signing easements for Windfarm Prattsburgh.

Due to the large attendance, the meeting was held at the town fire hall, which was full to near capacity.

After a recap by First Wind on the proposed location and properties involved, residents and owners were allowed three minutes each to voice their opinions.

There is no doubt that the eminent domain issue has fueled a larger controversy than the wind turbine project itself. There were a handful of supporters of the turbines, one of which sold a parcel of land to First Wind for double its appraised value. Other supporters live in the town proper and are not directly affected by the construction or the site of the turbines, and they do not pay the largest share of the property tax base.

The majority of those in attendance were, by far, opposed to the eminent domain issue, evidenced by both by their comments and the outbursts and applause of the crowd. Resident after resident lambasted the board for their willingness to accept First Wind’s request, as speaker after speaker reminded the board that they work for the residents and property owners, not for First Wind. Many land owners, who are not residents and whose land is directly affected by the eminent domain issue, spoke out about the irresponsibility of the board. All were notified by certified mail by UPC regarding the eminent domain meeting on April 22nd, but these letters arrived one day before the meeting….too late to travel and attend.

Many residents accused the board of profiting from the project and not doing enough research to acquire the knowledge of a project of this magnitude. Some even compared it to Rochester’s Fast Ferry project, which is still being paid by the taxpayers of NY. The only board members who had the sense enough to vote NO ( Mr. Kula and Mr. Shick) until more facts could be brought to the table, were out voted by Supervisor McConnell, and board members Stacey Bottoni and Sharon Quigley at last month’s meeting. Residents were not allowed to speak at that meeting.

The Board has to publish its “findings and determinations” within 90 days of the hearing. The determination and findings must sets forth:

1. The public use to be served
2. The reason for the location
3. The general effect
4. Other relevant factors.

If, as expected, the Board “finds” to condemn the properties, the “condemnees” have 30 days from the “notice of publication” to appeal. People from all across the state have been sending financial and emotional support to help those whose land is threatened. All donations should be sent to Advocates for Prattsburgh Box 221, Prattsburgh NY 14873

Eminent Domain Public Hearing #1 - Ron Iocono - Prattsburgh, NY

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Iberdrola seeks buyers for wind power

Iberdrola Renewables Inc. is seeking bidders for 593 megawatts of electric capacity generated from three wind farms in the Midwest.

The Portland-based energy production company on Wednesday issued a reverse request for proposals for the bidders interested in buying energy or renewable energy credits generated from three projects:

Farmers City Wind in Missouri, with anticipated capacity of 144 MW.

Streator Cayuga Ridge South in northern Illinois, with anticipated capacity of 300 MW.

Rugby Wind in North Dakota, with anticipated capacity of 149 MW.

Bids are due at 3 p.m. Pacific on June 26. Bidders selected for further negotiations for purchase agreements will be contacted in early July.

Iberdrola Renewables, formerly known as PPM Energy Inc., is a division of Iberdrola SA, a Bilbao, Spain-based gas and electric producer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Iberdrola signs investment deal with Taqa

Iberdrola has signed a contract with Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (Taqa), opening investment opportunities in the Middle East for the Spanish energy group.

Under the contract, both companies will invest in electricity generation, renewable energy and oil exploration and production in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America, Iberdrola said in a statement.

“This new partnership to analyse investment projects in the international energy sector will benefit both companies, and give Iberdrola the opportunity to grow in new markets like North Africa or the Middle East,” said Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galan.

The renewable energy credentials of the world’s largest operator of wind farms are of interest to Taqa, 75 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government which controls over 90 percent of the oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE is the world’s fifth largest oil exporter.

An Iberdrola spokesman declined to say how much either company hoped to invest in the joint venture.

The contract was signed during a trip by Spanish dignitaries, including King Juan Carlos, to the Persian Gulf region to promote Spanish business interests.

Town Board of Italy May 27, 2008 Letter by Jim Sawicki

Italy Town Board
Italy Town Hall
6060 Italy Valley Rd
Naples, NY 14512

Board Members:

It appears that you are putting the proverbial cart (WAY) before the horse! Have you given up supporting what is best for the town and its residents after almost seven years of doing what is right? Why are you concerned with "incentive zones" and zoning regulations for commercial wind turbines, a technology, foisted upon us all by industrial wind developers, that does not support their claims?

Providing "incentive zones" and other regulations will be viewed as a counter-proposal to the developers and all but guarantees that they will be erecting turbines in the town of Italy. It implies to all, but especially the commercial wind entities, that you admit industrial wind turbines really work. The industrial developers will use this to undermine your proposed rules and regulations to their benefit. They will bring in their "experts" to dispute your site proposals, noise requirements, setbacks, etc.

Logical and sound reasoning shows that Commercial/Industrial Wind power does not work.

• It is not a scientifically sound solution to help reduce global warming and CO2 emissions.
• It is not a commercially viable source of energy by itself
• It is not environmentally responsible
• It does virtually nothing to reduce our dependency on foreign oil
• It does virtually nothing to reduce our dependency on traditional sources of energy for producing electricity, e.g. - Coal, natural gas, nuclear.

So, where is the benefit?

Industrial wind developers have bamboozled many of our local officials, state and federal representatives and the general public into thinking otherwise. Why? Not for any of the reasons listed above, but for money and lots of it. As you hopefully know by now, it is very profitable to the wind entities due to huge state and federal subsidies, tax credits and "green" credits.

When a new way of thinking is proposed as a solution to a problem, in this case renewable energy using industrial wind turbines to replace fossil-fuel energy, lessen our dependence on foreign controlled energy, and save the environment, it should be up to the wind companies to prove industrial wind development's worth. Yet, this has not happened! So, why have you chosen the "cart before the horse" path?

Why after twenty-some years of world-wide commercial turbine development, with tens of thousands of turbines marring landscapes and seascapes, splitting communities apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor, have the commercial wind interests not provided independent objective proof that wind power is a viable solution to the points made above?

Once you know the truth that the technology does not support commercial wind developer's claims, these project(s) should never happen. So, please state your true motives. Are you still serving Italy's best interests or are you caving in to the commercial wind developers disseminating misleading and incomplete information?

Everyone makes mistakes. But, it is not too late to correct the mistakes that have been made and are now being made in our beautiful town and surrounding areas concerning industrial wind turbines.

Please, back up a few critical steps and make the wind developers provide actual proof to their misleading claims in real world use, not guesstimates, not projections or capacities, but actual facts. We have plenty of commercial wind developments world-wide to obtain this data. Then, decide if industrial wind development is beneficial to the town of Italy, taxpayers and ratepayers anywhere!

Caving in to a technology that does not work is the wrong way to go. Efforts should be directed to research and technologies that will be a viable solution to our energy needs. Commercial wind turbines not only do not work, but they do not work at great expense to taxpayers and ratepayers everywhere. How will you measure the costs negatively affecting the quality of life, health and safety of ourselves and all creatures around us? Please, take steps in the appropriate order and always pay it forward, not backward.

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,


Jim Sawicki
Parrish Hill Rd
Naples, NY 14512

EMINENT DOMAIN - Information about Its Uses and Effect on Property Owners and Communities Is Limited

Private Property Rights

For half a century, unrestrained local and state governments have taken private property not for "public uses"—such as for bridges or public buildings—as permitted by the Constitution, but for private businesses in the name of "economic development." Private homes and businesses have been bulldozed, replaced by newer businesses and homes owned not by the public, but by private, politically powerful individuals and corporations.

The Institute for Justice began its fight against eminent domain abuse by successfully defending Vera Coking, an elderly widow from Atlantic City, against the condemnation of her home by a state agency that sought to take her property and transfer it (at a bargain-basement price) to another private individual: Donald Trump. Trump wanted the property for a limousine parking lot for his customers—hardly a public use.

Until IJ began fighting eminent domain abuse, the presumption was that people like Vera would lose. But thanks to our path-breaking work in the court of law and the court of public opinion, Vera won. The Institute set an important precedent that it continues to build on to this day, preserving property rights nationwide.

The Institute’s cutting-edge property rights litigation also extends to challenging the abuse of civil forfeiture laws and warrantless searches of homes and businesses. We also team up with Professor Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago Law School to weigh in on landmark property rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Crucial decision ahead for public service commission by Jay Gallagher

Probably as many New Yorkers think that the state Public Service Commission is in charge of TV public-service announcements as know that it oversees the companies that provide electric and natural-gas service to citizens of the state.

But they will likely be hearing more about the commission in the next few years, if the cost of oil continues its climb and finding alternative sources of energy becomes even more critical.

The five-member commission next month has a key decision to make: whether to allow a large Spanish energy company, Iberdrola, to buy Energy East, the corporation that owns Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. and New York State Electric and Gas, which between them serve 1.3 million Upstate homes, farms and businesses. Price tag: $4.5 billion.

The staff of the commission has recommended that the board turn thumbs down, partly because it would give one company control of not only the wires and pipes that carry gas and electricity to customers but also some power plants and other facilities that generate the electricity.

“Full divestiture of all the generation Iberdrola and Energy East own, and their complete exit from the generation business in New York, is needed to fully protect ratepayers from the pernicious effects of vertical market power,” according to a staff report on the plan.

The “pernicious effects of vertical market power” was one thing the commission tried to eliminate in the 1990s when it voted to force utilities to sell most of their power plants to independent entities.

The idea was that if other companies got involved in generating electricity, it would increase competition and lower rates.

Everyone hoped that deregulating the energy business would be as successful as unshackling the telecommunications industry proved to be. Remember the days when long-distance phone calls were expensive, multiple phones in the same house cost extra money every month and it could take weeks to get a new phone installed? Deregulation helped to slay those dragons.

It hasn't worked out as well in the energy field. Prices haven't gone down for the most part, with the skyrocketing cost of oil and gas that still generates much of the electricity in the state playing a large role. New Yorkers still pay more for their electricity than almost all other Americans east of Hawaii — a fact often cited by manufacturers and other business leaders when they talk about New York's tough business environment.

One of the great lures of the Iberdrola proposal is that it calls for building 10 wind farms around the state that would add almost 1,000 megawatts in power. (A megawatt is enough power to supply about 1,000 homes.) The company also owns half of the 321-megawatt Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County.

“We need as much wind as we can get in New York,” said Iberdrola's Pedro Azagara. “The new (energy) capacity we need has to come from somewhere.”

The investment in wind energy would help the state get closer to meeting its goal of generating 25 percent of its electricity by renewable resources (mostly hydropower, sun and wind) by some time in the next decade.

And it turns out New York is a pretty good place for wind generation, Azagara said. New York overall is 30 percent windier than Europe, he said, where Iberdrola has major wind facilities.

But that promise of more wind power runs into the commission's stance that generators and distributors should be separate.

Unlike most states that depend largely on coal to generate electricity, New York has a healthy mix of fuels: 30 percent natural gas, 23 percent nuclear, 14 percent hydropower, 14 percent coal, 8 percent oil, 7 percent imported and 2 percent renewables, according to the state Energy Association, a trade group.

There is no way in the near future that renewables will become a significant part of the mix, but Azagara makes the point that it's still the best direction to go, and Iberdrola is ready to give it a shove that way.

The commission — five members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate — is expected to decide the issue next month.

They are not as visible as state lawmakers since they don't have to run for office. But in a time when energy issues are becoming ever more crucial, New Yorkers are depending more than ever on their judgment.

Contact Gallagher at jgallagh@gannett.com.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Alstom Ecotecnia Signs a Frame Agreement to Supply Wind Turbines to Iberdrola Renewables

Regulatory News:

Alstom’s wind activity Ecotècnia today announced the signing of a frame agreement to supply around 300 MW worth of wind turbines to Iberdrola Renewables, marking Alstom’s first large agreement of this kind in wind energy since it acquired Ecotècnia in November 2007.

Under the terms of the agreement, worth around €300 million, Alstom will supply Iberdrola Renewables with the turbine models Eco 74, Eco 80 and Eco 80 2.0*, totalling around 300 MW, over a period of four years.

“This agreement clearly shows the confidence of Iberdrola Renewables, the world leader in the wind industry, in our renewable energy technology,” said Philippe Joubert, Alstom Executive Vice President and President, Power Systems. “In the wake of the EU’s call for a 20% share of renewables in overall energy consumption by 2020, we expect an ever-increasing demand for Alstom’s wind turbines in the years to come.”

Over 20 GW of new wind turbines were installed worldwide in 2007, boosting global installed capacity to over 100 GW. Europe made up 60% of this total.

About Alstom

Alstom (Paris:ALO) is a global leader in the world of power generation and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, and provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, gas, coal and wind. The Group employs more than 75,000 people in 70 countries, and had sales of €16.9 billion in 2007/08.

Alstom Ecotècnia designs, assembles and installs a wide range of onshore wind turbines spanning 1.7 MW to 3 MW. The company has taken a significant part of the development of the Spanish wind energy market, which is ranked second in Europe, and currently generates about 50% of its sales from other European countries. To date, the company has installed or is installing more than 1500 wind turbines in 72 wind farms, corresponding to a total capacity of approximately 1500 MW (about 2 % of the worldwide installed base).

About Iberdrola

Iberdrola Renewables has become the leading wind power company in the world, with 8,164 MW installed at the end of the first quarter of 2008, and it is a worldwide reference in renewable energies. Present in 19 countries and in nine of the ten markets in the world with the most growth and development potential in the sector, Iberdrola Renovables is to consolidate its world leadership in wind power with the fulfilment of its 2008-2010 Strategic Plan, which forecasts investments of 8,600 million euros and foresees the installation of 2,000 MW per year, bringing the company's total to over 13,600 MW at the end of that period.

*Eco 74 wind turbine owes its name to its 74 m rotor diameter. Its rated power is 1.67 MW and it is suitable for sites with medium wind speeds

Eco 80 wind turbine has 1,67 MW of nominal power and 80m of rotor diameter. It is suitable for sites with low wind speeds

Eco 80 2.0 wind turbine owes its name to its 80 m rotor diameter and its 2.0 MW rated power. It is suitable for sites with medium wind speeds

Websites : www.alstom.com, www.power.alstom.com

Town of Prattsburgh Eminent Domain May 26, 2008 Letter by Joan Simmons

May 26, 2008

Town Board Prattsburgh, NY
19 N Main St
Prattsburgh, NY 14873

RE: Eminent Domain Resolution

Board Members:

I challenge the propriety of using eminent domain for the benefit of a private company, UPC now First Wind, in Prattsburgh. The Constitution of the United States allows eminent domain in cases of “public use” only, and is intended to be used for providing essential services.

Industrial wind development does not meet the qualifications of an essential service, since it only duplicates the generation of electricity, and does not replace our current generating facilities. The existing facilities must be kept on standby as backup for wind power; therefore the wind facility is redundant and not essential.

The perceived “public good” of the wind development helping solve our environmental problems and global warming has not been proven with any actual scientific data, for the reason that real world operation of industrial wind projects does not support this premise. Indeed, there are many negative effects associated with wind turbines, including serious safety issues, that would most definitely NOT be in the interest of Prattsburgh citizens.

An examination of the proposed economic benefit to the community reveals numbers based on estimates, without guarantees and without consideration of the overall costs to the community in lost property values, higher electricity rates and taxpayer subsidies and tax credits to the developer. Again, the public benefit is extremely questionable.

The increase in the abuse of eminent domain for the benefit of private entities has created a groundswell of opposition from New York and Detroit to California. Many individuals are fighting the practice, and the courts, which used to routinely rubber stamp local condemnations, are responding. Six state legislatures have passed bills increasing protections for people threatened with eminent domain. Eleven others are considering such bills, including New York.

Your actions affect not only Prattsburgh, but your neighboring communities as well. A decision to use eminent domain in this matter shows that the Town Board has no interest in protecting the fundamental rights of its citizens or in following the spirit of the United States Constitution. I strongly urge you to reconsider your stance on this resolution and do the right thing for your community and future generations in the Town of Prattsburgh.

Sincerely,
Joan Simmons
Town of Italy

Alstom signs $473 mln Iberdrola wind turbine deal

PARIS, May 26 (Reuters) - French industrial and power group Alstom (ALSO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday it had signed a 300 million euro ($472.5 million) contract to supply Spanish utility Iberdrola Renewables with wind turbines.

Alstom's Ecotecnia unit will supply around 300 megawatts of wind turbines to the Spanish company. The supply includes the turbine models Eco 74, Eco 80 and Eco 80 2.0.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Prattsburgh residents weigh in on eminent domain

Both sides of a dispute over eminent domain proceedings in the town of Prattsburgh weighed in with vigor Thursday night in the volunteer fire station.

Nearly 150 people attended the public hearing on a proposal for the town to seize roadway owned by seven residents. The properties are needed for a 100-mile underground electrical cable system for the 36-turbine wind farm being developed by First Wind.

Carl Raymond said lawsuits recently filed by the school districts means the public benefit of the project is open to doubt.

Others questioned whether McConnell’s vote was legal, since he admitted receiving money from First Wind for helping to broker a real estate transaction. McConnell claimed last month the timing of the payment made his vote valid.

Property owner Ron Iocone said he would never sign the easement, saying the cable would be too close to buildings on his land.

Iocone also challenged the environmental value of the project and said allowing the town to seize land set a precedent for any future projects.

“My issue is with being strong-armed,” he told residents. “And it could be you next.”

(Click to read entire article)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Town of Prattsburgh May 23, 2008 Letter by Sue Sliwinski

Dear Prattsburgh decision-makers,

The use of eminent domain in NY has historically been reserved solely for the purpose of serving the public good. ANY commercial wind farm in the U.S. today is owned by private developers for their own gain, and ANY wind 'farm' today in the U.S. also increases costs for the average citizen. That is NOT good for the public.

Take the case of oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens. He wants to construct the "largest wind farm ever built" in Texas. According to Reuters, Pickens expects to turn at least a 25 per cent profit on his $10 billion investment. And he probably will, but only at the expense of millions of taxpayers and electric customers. He's not betting on the wind. He's betting that wind will continue to require subsidies to be viable, and that Congress will enact a long-term extension of the Production Tax Credit, which alone will reduce his tax liability by more than $2.45 billion over the next 10 years. Add to that the other four federal and state incentives for wind power development in Texas, and it's clear there's little risk for Pickens, who is already working out deals to obtain the nearly 600 easements needed for the massive project. If he has trouble obtaining them, do you think he should be allowed to use eminent domain? The answer is, of course not!!

So what is the difference between "Windfarm Prattsburgh" and T. Boone Pickens? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Eminent domain is completely inappropriate, just like the project itself. Prattsburgh is a COMMUNITY where people have made their homes and invested life-savings and built equity based on the area's character, it's peace and natural surroundings, and existing laws that are supposed to protect them from industrial developments like commercial wind power factories.

It's only a matter of time before every citizen understands the folly of wind power. Yes, on a small residential scale, it could benefit mankind, if enough of it were employed. But on a grand-scale level, the technology is flawed, and the rusting, impractical giant hulks will be the lasting legacy of those who allowed them to proliferate. Is that what you want to leave for your children and grandchildren to remember you by? Your ineptness and your naivety? If you're fortunate enough that they forget, all they'll have to do is look towards the hills to be reminded once again. Don't do this to yourselves, the community, and to future generations. Accept that you made a mistake, and make it right.

Sue Sliwinski
National Wind Watch, Inc.
Sardinia NY Chapter

Friday, May 23, 2008

WIDE OPEN SPACES FOR WIND

It’s OK for oil man T. Boone Pickens to build a mega wind farm in the vast, sparsely populated Texas Panhandle. There are few to complain. Relatively few will ever see it. The Not In My Back Yard factor is low. But build wind farms with skyscraper-high turbines in sight, and within earshot, of communities? Expect some backlash from the locals. And they might have a point. They have to live with it.

Some citizens in the town of Prattsburgh, New York have been fighting a wind project – Prattsburgh Wind – for five years. According to National Wind Watch, in the latest move to see the wind farm built the Town Board resolved to authorize condemnation proceedings against eight specific landowners and against "any other property" along several named roads to secure easements for transmission lines needed by the wind power project being developed by First Wind (formerly UPC Wind).

National Wind Watch (NWW), an advocacy group established in 2005 to promote knowledge and raise awareness of the negative environmental and social impacts of industrial wind energy development, has been urging stakeholders and concerned individuals to make their voices heard regarding the wind project. The group fears that the town fathers of Prattsburgh could set a precedent that may have a grave impact on all towns in New York State that are resisting not just wind development but any other kind of exploitation.

The group also says that First Wind has never proven the positive impact the wind farm will have on the town. Pickens’ company has done so for his project in Texas. The positive economic impact of Pampa Wind, as it’s known, is expected to be considerable.

(Click to read entire article)

Prattsburgh Eminent Domain Public Hearing Remarks by Jim Sawicki

Good evening. I would like to thank the Town Board of Prattsburg and everyone here tonight to give me the opportunity to speak with you.

I am a neighbor of Prattsburgh. My name is Jim Sawicki and I own property in the town of Italy.

So, it has come to this. Here we all are this evening faced with difficult issues. Thank goodness "American Idol's" season finale was last night or the turnout tonight could have been much worse! ;-)

How has it come to this? How has our once great country gone from a government "of, for and by" the people to one of corruption and greed that is now controlled by deep-pocketed corporations through their lobbying and special interest groups?

Rules and regulations originally put in place by our founding fathers made our country a shining example of democracy and our nation a world economic leader with a combination of true free trade policies and limited government regulation. America has been the place to be for quite a long time!

Unfortunately, times have changed for the worse. Not democratically, as originally intended by majority vote "of for and by the people", but through inappropriate judicial activism by robed judges legislating from the federal bench and corporate bullies through their lobbyists foisting their agendas on misguided politicians.

Now, rules and regulations originally put in place to ensure our rights as citizens have been amended, legislated and violated beyond our wishes into a shameful and wasteful government that is controlled by huge corporations. Many of these corporations are foreign. They have a seemingly endless money supply to lobby and influence our officials for their own benefit. Through their lobbying efforts, and other schemes, they convince our officials to enact laws and regulations to benefit themselves at great public expense and against public will. Through their questionable corporate schemes, they also influence decisions regarding our rights in courts of law. Sometimes a decision against our will is made by only one judge, or only a small three out of five majority votes by a town board. In a nation where our government was originally setup incredibly well to protect us, we now have to pay exorbitant legal fees out of our own pockets just to defend what is rightfully ours in the first place. This is madness, AND... this madness has to stop!

So here we are. Neighbor pitted against neighbor. Communities split apart. For what? For whom?

Maybe the State of NY? They have mandated by the year 2013 that 25% of our energy needs come from renewable sources. This is a noble goal. I would like to be a billionaire by the year 2013. This too is a noble goal but it is virtually impossible, just as it is virtually impossible for wind power to contribute any significant amount to the 25% goal set for the year 2013. In fact, NYSERDA (NY State Energy Research and Development Authority) released data that shows even if all the thousands of wind turbines that Industrial/commercial wind companies want to build do get built, they would contribute less than 2% of our state's energy needs.

So here we are. For what? For whom?

Maybe to reduce global warming and CO2 emissions? There is lots of hot rhetoric but very little cool reason here. Global warming is an issue onto itself and a discussion for another time. Regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions -

Over twenty years of real data from around the world show that because of wind's unpredictable nature, wind power will not eliminate our dependence on coal, natural gas and nuclear powered plants. These sources for generating electricity must be available 24/7 to make up for wind's irregular patterns, so what is the benefit? (None.) How is this reducing CO2 emissions? (It is not.) Due to standby mode of these traditional electricity generators there may actually be more CO2 released into our atmosphere by installing wind turbines. In California, the commercial Wind Industries' actual production was so dismal that they lobbied the CEC (California Energy Commission) to not reveal their production records. A California resident said, "They have scraped miles and miles of desert, obliterated our views, rendered adjacent property valueless and impacted us with noise and dust for this miniscule amount of useless energy".

So here we are. For what? For whom?

Maybe to reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Did you know that only about 3% of our whole country's electricity is produced from oil? And, did you know that most of that 3% is from low-grade crude extracted from within the United States?

Last I checked, I still can't hook my car up to a wind turbine!

One of the first responses most folks give for why we should have wind farms is we need to become less dependent on foreign companies. So, even though wind farms will not reduce our oil use or our dependency on foreign oil, is it all right to let foreign companies add to their control of us by taking over our electricity generation AND distribution? This is totally illogical and ignorant!

So here we are. For what? For whom?

Perhaps to make sacrifices that will result in helping the common good and meet our ever insatiable energy needs?

Over twenty years of data from commercial wind turbines around the world show beyond a doubt that their production is small, highly variable and intermittent and yet their size, cost and sprawl are unreasonably huge. Industrializing more of our land and seascapes for wind energy does way more harm than good. It is not an environmentally wise choice. The real danger of allowing this folly of industrial/commercial wind power development to continue is that it is diverting our focus and resources including huge sums of all our money away from finding effective solutions to our energy needs.

So here we are. For what? For whom?

Are we here as a token gesture by the officials that have already made up their minds and may have conflicts of interest representing our public good and welfare? How sad.

Are we here tonight, where ultimately a single judge may decide against us to enjoy our properties in peace? Very sad, indeed.

Are we here tonight, and yet, a town board that includes members with conflicts of interest, may have already made up their minds to vote for us and tell us what we can or can not do with our properties? Unconscionable!!!

Let us not allow ourselves to be misled by questionable motives of corporations, their lobbyists, misguided politicians, officials and the media at great misuse of our resources for their sole gain.

Let us reunite and mend broken relations with our neighbors and our communities by not yielding to the corporate bullies and their misguided followers that have split us apart only for their huge financial gains. Let us return to living together in a community of peace and goodwill as we had all originally intended as a primary motive for living where we do.

Thank you.
Jim Sawicki

NYS Public Service Commission Letter by Jim Sawicki

To New York State PSC

Please keep up your good and vigilant work protecting NY state taxpayers and ratepayers. More pointed, keep up the good fight against Iberdrola. Too many people, including Senator Schumer and CEO Dennis Mullen of Greater Rochester Enterprise, are the myopic-viewed folks concerning Iberdrola. Mullen was quoted in today's Rochester Democrat & Chronicle concerning his appearance of the PSC dragging its feet saying "What does that say? It flies in the face of free enterprise". Am I the only one that thinks his comments are either ignorant or he already has conflicts of interest? Free enterprise? If it were truly free enterprise, then let us take away all the tax and energy credits and subsidies and see where "free" enterprise develops.

Wind power on an industrial scale is not efficient and does not provide any of the corporate/commercial/industrial companies' claimed benefits.

Please, on behalf of all NY taxpayers and ratepayers, hold your strong and tough stance against Iberdrola. Do not succumb to the flawed rhetoric trying to influence you otherwise. Just because Iberdrola has received approval by the federal government and four other states that Energy East serves, does not make it right! Who in their right mind living in America would want a foreign company controlling their electricity generation and distribution?

Iberdrola's director for corporate development, Pedro Azagra, is quoted in today's newspaper article saying his stance on wind farms hasn't changed. He says, "We want to invest in NY, and our key interest in NY is (wind turbines)". He goes on to say, "Wind power is not competitive generation because there is no guarantee the wind will blow". What? Even a company official, from the largest wind developer in the world is quoted that there is no guarantee the wind will blow!!!! That sure says volumes why corporate/commercial/industrial wind companies should NOT be allowed to plunder NY state's natural beauty and pit neighbor against neighbor for excessive costs to taxpayers and ratepayers for unacceptable, unpredictable returns. We should all be focused on technologies and methods of conservation that WILL meet goals for sustainable, renewable energy production instead of this misguided view of commercial/industrial wind power as being our salvation.

Over twenty years of real data from around the world show that because of wind's unpredictable nature, wind power will not eliminate our dependence on coal, natural gas and nuclear powered plants. These sources for generating electricity must be available 24/7 to make up for wind's irregular patterns, so what is the benefit? (None.) How is this reducing CO2 emissions? (It is not.) In California, the Wind Industries' actual production was so dismal that they lobbied the CEC (California Energy Commission) to not reveal their production records. A California resident said, "They have scraped miles and miles of desert, obliterated our views, rendered adjacent property valueless and impacted us with noise and dust for this miniscule amount of useless energy".

Thank you for your time. Please, please, please keep up the good fight in looking out for the best interests of NY state residents. You are to be commended for holding tough against these corporate bullies and misguided politicians. I bet there will come a day when the federal government and the other four states wish they had followed your lead. Please, do not follow theirs.

Respectfully,
Jim Sawicki
jim@flmm.net

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Neighbors Voicing Opinions in Wind Farm Project by Naveen Dhaliwal

PRATTSBURGH - Neighbors in one Southern Tier community want their opinions heard on a controversial wind farm project.

James Hall owns more than 30 acres of land in Prattsburgh. Plans call for a wind farm to be built on 48 properties here. Some land owners have already agreed to sell.

A month ago town officials voted to use eminent domain, if needed, to take the rest, including Hall's. Eminent domain is when a government can force a property owner to sell his land for a project that benefits the entire area. But Hall says the town hasn't proven that the wind farm will be beneficial to the area.

“If we allow the misuse of eminent domain for profit margins from any developer that does not provide a public benefit to the community, we are setting a precedent that can be used by gas leases and oil leases,” says Hall.

“It's just fundamentally wrong. This is not the American way to condemn people's property for a private project that hasn't been deemed as a positive impact on the town,” says Al Wordingham.

The developer, First Wind, plans on building 36 wind turbines like already up in near-by Cohocton. Some Prattsburgh neighbors say the turbines will be too noisy and will affect wildlife. They’re also concerned they will decrease the value of their properties. Neighbors are getting a chance to voice their opinions on eminent domain at a public meeting.

“It will create jobs. I think it'll help the energy situation with the price of gas these days,” says Rich Simpson, who’s lived in Plattsburgh for 30 years.

Town and First Wind officials did not return our calls for comment.

GOING PUBLIC: First Wind Energy Co. IPO Planned In US

In a first-ever for the U.S., a company focused entirely on wind energy is planning to come public, with Noble Environmental Power Inc. registering an IPO to list on the Nasdaq later this year.

Based in Essex, Conn., Noble Environmental registered earlier this month with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise as much as $375 million through an initial public offering. The amounts actually raised in IPOs can vary dramatically from the registration figure; Noble Environmental has not set a price range, share size or date yet for its offering, which it plans to list under the symbol "NEPI."

Noble Environmental currently operates 282 megawatts of electrical generating capacity in New York state and has 950 megawatts that it expects to bring online in 2008 and 2009. By the end of 2012, it expects to have 3,580 megawatts of capacity by expanding to other states, including Maine, Minnesota and Wyoming.

No other company focused exclusively on wind power generation has ever launched an IPO in the U.S., although there have been 17 such offerings in other parts of the world since 1995, according to data tracker Dealogic. But it was inevitable that a wind-related offering would come to market in the U.S., given the growth in the industry and a rise in private investments in the sector, says Randall Swisher, executive director of the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group that promotes wind power.

Europe has about three times the amount of installed wind power capacity of the U.S., but the U.S. has been the largest market in the world for new wind turbine sales in the last three years, reflecting the growth in wind farms across the country, says Swisher. Worldwide, established renewable energy companies are eyeing the U.S. as a future source of wind farm growth due to its size, the available space for wind farms and expectations for changing government policies favoring more renewable energy investment, say experts.

A report earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Energy forecasts that in 2008, wind energy will generate about 1% of the nation's electricity; it modeled a scenario under which the U.S. could generate 20% through wind energy by 2030 " if significant challenges" are overcome, including major changes to the transmission system to deliver it to the electrical grid, improved power turbine technology and expanded markets.

Political, Equipment And Location Obstacles

Wind energy has had its share of challenges already: Federal tax credits have been allowed to expire three times in the last decade, turbine production is having difficulty keeping up with demand, and environmental and local community concerns can be a barrier to locating wind farms. But supporters of wind energy say that they believe the U.S. government will soon shift toward more permanent policies to support clean energy sources and reduce carbon emissions, laying the groundwork for more industry growth.

"We already have renewable portfolio standards (that dictate how much renewable power utilities must use) in 26 states, and no matter who becomes president, there will be a national renewable portfolio standard next year. I believe with certainty that this country is ready to commit to reducing carbon emissions, and that would change the playing field for renewable energy, leveling it out" in terms of price competition with fossil fuels, says Phil Angelides, a principal at real estate investment firm Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC and chairman of the Apollo Alliance, a group that is focused on promoting renewable energy and job growth in the sector.

Apollo communications director Keith Schneider says Noble Environmental was established in large part because state policies in New York expanded the need for renewable energy. The company was founded in 2004, the same year the state's public service commission voted to adopt a renewable portfolio standard.

But Noble Environmental only began operating wind farms three months ago. It's hoping that growth in demand for alternative energy sources, as well as legislative incentives for wind power, will benefit its business. Increased energy demand, rising fossil fuel costs, improvements in wind energy technology and an abundance of wind in the U.S. are among the industry strengths Noble Environmental cites in its prospectus.

However, Noble Environmental has no financial track record and is essentially a development-stage company. It has never generated any annual revenue, and net losses have been rising at a fast clip, doubling to $42.5 million in 2007 from 2006. The company expects to incur "substantial" pretax losses over the next several years as it constructs new wind farms, hires new employees and expands.

Awaiting New Legislation

Legislatively, the wind farm industry is facing the possibility of losing some tax benefits. Federal production tax credits for the wind energy industry are set to expire at the end of this year. The House of Representatives passed a bill extending them this week, but President Bush has threatened to veto it unless provisions he opposes are removed. Noble Environmental doesn't have the taxable income to use the tax credits anyway, but it warns that in the future, if the credits aren't extended or are renewed at a lower rate, its financing and development options for wind farms will be hurt.

The company currently finances its wind farms with a tax equity structure that channels ownership of the farms through limited liability companies. The method allows investors of the limited liability companies to use the production tax credits and allows the company to accelerate tax depreciation.

But investors in the limited liability companies - as opposed to investors in the IPO - typically receive all of the cash flows from the wind farms until a targeted rate of return is reached, reducing the cash available to Noble Environmental. The period of time during which the cash is diverted to these investors can drag on longer than expected if the wind farms underperform, according to the company's prospectus.

Noble Environmental's primary owners, underwriter JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s (JPM) private equity division and the Canada Pension Plan, will continue to hold stakes in the company post-IPO, but that level hasn't been determined yet. In addition to JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) and Credit Suisse Group Inc. (CS) are the co-lead managers on the offering.

Town Board of Prattsburgh May 22, 2008 Eminent Domain Letter by James Hall

May 22, 2008

Town Board Prattsburgh, NY
19 N Main St
Prattsburgh, NY 14873

RE: Eminent Domain Resolution

Board Members:

This public hearing after the 3-2 vote to approve the Eminent Domain resolution is putting the proverbial cart before the horse! In the case of Supervisor J. Harold McConnell, the J must stand for Jack in the Equus asinus sir name. Could a more perfect example of political corruption come off the lips of a public official with Mr. McConnell’s admission of accepting a real estate commission on a transaction involving the developer? And we the victimized property owners of Prattsburgh are supposed to believe that the supervisor represents honest government?

Another real estate “deal maker” named John E. Nicolo has been convicted of criminal violations just this week. It would come as no surprise that the Prattsburgh Supervisor will find himself defending his action over another multimillion-dollar fraud.

Compounding not only the appearance of collusion, but adding fuel to the assertions of professional misconduct is the dubious representation of Town Attorney John Leyden. Or should he be addressed as the SCIDA attorney who gets paid to facilitate the schemes of industrial wind developers? Surely Prattsburgh taxpayers have a rightful expectation that when they pay the fee of the Town Attorney that the interests of ALL taxpayers should be advanced.

Regrettably, the counselor reverts to his consistent pattern of self serving counsel. Ten years ago a complaint was made to the Steuben County Bar Association over the unethical conduct of Mr. Leyden when he was the Cohocton Town Attorney. Another grievance before the bar will be minor compared to charges related to RICO allegations involving SCIDA and wind developers.

The Eminent Domain resolution has only one purpose, to bail out UPC/First Wind by threatening land owners with extortion. Since First Wind can’t legally get property owners to sign leases, the Town of Prattsburgh conspires to exercise an unlawful use of Eminent Domain. The court challenge to this illegal conduct will provide additional substance to the documentary evidence already available for Anti-trust and criminal investigations.

Prattsburgh residents will legally resist any attempt to erode their property rights and the theft of the use of their land from a foreign developer. Board member votes must be absent of any personal or family financial benefit or they will pay the price of misconduct. It is time to void the previous vote and avert further legal actions of malfeasance. That Eminent Domain Resolution violates the law.

Cordially,


James Hall

Town Board of Prattsburgh May 11, 2008 Letter by Kerry and Stephanie Lipp

05/11/08

To the members of the Prattsburgh Town Board,

My husband and I were unable to attend the April 28th meeting regarding the Pratttsburgh Comprehensive Planning Committee's Draft Proposal. We do have a copy of the proposal, and after reading it, we have many questions and concerns.

We understand that members of the public, including tax-paying citizens, were told they were not to ask questions or make comments regarding the industrial wind turbines and how that will affect the future of Prattsburgh. How can this be, especially in light of the fact that in the opening letter to "Citizens of Prattsburgh", in the third paragraph it states: "Power-generating wind turbines are a reality on the ridges to the west, and, in part, their arrival prompted the creation of the special committee"? Why are the authors of this draft "allowed"
to mention the industrial wind turbines, while they attempt to silence others with very valid concerns? Since when does anyone on the Town Board have the right to behave as a fascist dictator would? You are obligated to answer any and all questions, and to allow citizens to speak their mind without being silenced as if they were naughty school children.

The very proposal that "Prattsburgh retain it's rural atmosphere" while the town has agreed to allow the building of an industrial wind complex is at best contradictory, and at worse unbelievably unrealistic. The proposed wind complex will render any hope of a continued "rural" atmosphere an absolute impossibility.

How tragic that the Town Board has sold out to these corporate thieves who have come here under the guise of providing "clean" energy. There are too many unanswered questions about this proposed project to justify ruining what has taken hundreds of thousands of years for the earth to create here. Prattsburgh is an extension of the Finger Lakes Region, an area many have called the "Switzerland of America".

Your comprehensive planning board needs to look at how other communities in this region have sent these multi billion corporations on their way, not willing to destroy something so precious. It's laughable that anyone would ever consider Prattsburgh a "tourist destination" if this project is allowed to proceed.

In addition, we'd like you all to know that many opposed to industrial turbines are very aware of the problems associated with our current dependence on coal, nuclear power, and oil (foreign or domestic). My husband and I have been looking at alternative energy sources for years, and are slowly but surely working towards getting "off the grid". Photovoltaic/solar energy is a viable and much more workable solution for individual homes, and not only will we be reducing our carbon emissions drastically, the enormous amount of money we save won't be going to giant corporations.
Sincerely,

Kerry and Stephanie Lipp
6180 Cook School Rd.
Pattsburgh, NY
607-522-3593

Public Meeting on Steuben County Wind Project

A wind turbine project underway in one Steuben County town could come under threat, pending a meeting Thursday night with some neighbors.

A public hearing is aimed at eight property owners who so far have refused to grant permission to a wind farm company to bury electrical transmission cables on their properties. The company, First Wind, is building thirty six turbines in Prattsburgh. A spokesman for First Wind told the Corning Leader that if the eight property owners don't cooperate, it may create serious problems for the project.

You can speak your mind on the subject at the hearing Thursday night at seven o’clock at the Prattsburgh Fire Hall.

Wind energy: another ethanol?

Re: "Pickens plans huge wind farm – He may build privately owned lines to bring power from Panhandle," last Thursday Business.

People are beginning to wake up to the fact that ethanol may not be the answer to our energy problems and may indeed create more problems than it solves.

I am sure if there were no long-lasting negatives associated with wind turbines, T. Boone Pickens might even build them on his own property. Shouldn't we have neutral agencies examine the impact before we build, or wait until after the fact to find wind – like ethanol – may not be without consequences?

Jay Clement, Dallas

Patience wears thin in Iberdrola bid

A $4.5 billion deal to buy the parent of Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. could sink if a state agency continues with its demands.

Almost a year after the deal was proposed, Department of Public Service staffers continue to mull the sale of Energy East Corp. to Spanish utility giant Iberdrola SA, even after other governments have approved the deal and moved on.

A key step in the New York process could come by the end of the week, when an administrative law judge for the Department of Public Service might issue his recommendation.

Judge Rafael Epstein was asked by Iberdrola to report his findings by Friday because the utility still hopes to complete the purchase of Energy East by the end of June. But Epstein is under no obligation to do so.

Epstein conducted public hearings around the state, including a standing-room-only Rochester hearing in February. His report will help guide the five-member Public Service Commission, which has the final say.

Politicians and business leaders such as Dennis Mullen, chief executive of Greater Rochester Enterprise, generally support the takeover. For some, the lengthy process has embarrassed the state and threatens to scuttle a deal with a company known for investing billions of dollars annually.

Mullen noted Wednesday that the deal has been approved by the federal government and four other states that Energy East serves.

"What does that say? It flies in the face of free enterprise," he said of the New York process.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., recently criticized the staff of the Department of Public Service as "stone-headed" for making demands that would disrupt Iberdrola's wind-power plans in New York.

Concern for ratepayers

A spokesman for the Public Service Commission said the state agency is merely looking out for ratepayers and making sure one company does not control both power generation and power transmission, which it sees as anti-competitive. "Staff wants to ensure that ratepayers receive some forms of benefit from this transaction," said James Denn, the spokesman. That means about $600 million in benefits over an undefined period, he said.

But according to Iberdrola, the state is asking for three times the concessions required of utilities involved in past mergers

One particularly thorny issue is Iberdrola's wind farm in Lewis County, east of Lake Ontario, and the company's proposed 10 additional wind farms throughout upstate, including three Rochester-area facilities that could generate 258 megawatts of electricity, potentially powering more than 70,000 homes yearly.

Under the state's requirements, Iberdrola's ownership of those facilities would have to end.

The Department of Public Service follows a general 1996 rule that forbids ownership of both generation centers and distribution companies. RG&E, for example, is already under order to sell its Russell Station generation plant in Greece.

A deal-breaker?

Iberdrola, the world's fourth largest utility, is best known globally for its wind-power initiatives. So the stalemate over wind-farm ownership could end up killing the Energy East deal.

On Wednesday, Pedro Azagra, Iberdrola's director for corporate development, said the company's stance on wind farms hasn't changed.

"We want to invest in New York, and our key interest in New York is (wind turbines)," said Azagra.

Wind power is not competitive generation, he said, explaining that the power from Iberdrola's turbines would be used internally only by Energy East's utilities. Because there is no guarantee the wind will blow, the company could not manipulate the New York energy market, Azagra said. Competitive energy generation comes from guaranteed sources, such as gas-fired or nuclear plants.

Azagra said the company doesn't need to buy Energy East. Indeed, Iberdrola's operating profit this year is up 66 percent over the same period in 2007. The company has gas-fired and nuclear plants in the United Kingdom, Spain and Brazil. It also has $16 billion in wind-power assets worldwide.

Area projects

Azagra said Iberdrola plans to spend $35 billion in three years on capital projects. Those include three wind-turbine projects, in Monroe, Orleans and Livingston counties.

Those projects would help the Rochester-area economy, said Mullen, who added that he has been making trips to Albany since early fall, consulting with the state on the issue.

Mullen said the state is focusing on rate relief in the Energy East deal that would amount to a few dollars of savings per month for most upstate utility customers.

What's more important, he said, is the need for investment and job creation.

The state "is not looking at this community's need," Mullen. "They are looking at a very, very narrow strip."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wind farm costs rise

We've heard about rising costs of oil and coal. But apparently the cost of building wind turbines is also skyrocketing.

The blog Treehugger reports that the cost of building new land-based turbines has shot up 74 percent over the last three years, in part because demand is rising rapidly. Offshore wind turbine prices are up 48 percent, according to the news article.

It will be interesting to see how these higher prices impact proposals to build wind turbines off the beaches of Ocean City, Md., and in the mountains of Western Maryland. As wind turbines become more expensive, how competitive will their electricity be compared to power produced by burning coal or natural gas?

"The price of offshore turbines rose 48 percent to 2.23 million euros ($3.45 million) per megawatt in the past three years, according to BTM Consult APS, a Danish wind power consultant....

"As we reported recently, GE can't make wind turbines fast enough and there's certainly no recession going on for the wind power industry. The fact that demand is so high pushes prices upward, but that will only serve to attract more players; investors will see that there's money to be made with wind power and large industrial companies might shift more resources to their wind power divisions. In fact, demand has been high for long enough to show the market that wind power is not simply a passing fad," the Treehugger article reports.

Energy rides the wind by JIM CARROLL

WESTFIELD, N.Y. -- The wind that breezes through Chautauqua County could soon generate enough electricity to power as many as 50,000 New York homes.

That energy -- as much as 125 megawatts -- is what a developer hopes to create with a new wind farm that would hold as many as 83 wind turbine generators across parts of Ripley, N.Y., and Westfield in 2010.

And that might be just the beginning.

The developer -- Texas-based Babcock and Brown Renewable Holdings Inc. -- said the project it has proposed looks so promising that it wants to add a second wind farm of equal size in an adjacent area that comes closer to the Pennsylvania border.

But first, the developer has to show that its plans do not represent an ill wind that blows harm to the community, or to migrating birds.

Migrating birds and bats often fall victim to fatal collisions with wind turbines, and that has become a major concern in the development of wind farms nationally.

Babcock and Brown this month submitted its applications for special-use permits from Ripley and Westfield.

"This is really the beginning," said Westfield Town Supervisor Martha Bills. "Now we will begin the environmental review process."

That process could take up to a year or more for the communities, New York State environmental officials and federal environmental regulators to review and approve the plans.

Babcock and Brown senior project manager Peter Gross said the project could cost $100 million to more than $200 million, depending on the size and number of turbines used and how difficult it is to install them.

The company is seeking approval for up to 83 wind turbine generators -- as many as 47 of them in Westfield and another 36 in Ripley.

The turbines produce between 1.5 megawatts and 2.5 megawatts each. If the company is able to fit in larger turbines, it won't need as many, and won't have to put in as many miles of access roads.

The wind farm would be south of the ridge that runs between Westfield and Ripley -- not far from the area proposed for another wind farm about eight years ago.

That plan, by a company called Chautauqua WindPower LLC, fell by the wayside after state and federal environmental officials disputed the company's assessment dangers to migrating birds, and the project lost a government grant along with its contract to sell the power it would produce.

"The former project was very controversial," Bills said.

Bills said Babcock and Brown's project is different, and the reaction this project will generate remains to be seen.

For one thing, the new project would be farther south, away from residential areas and off of the top of the ridge.

The previous plan was for a horizontal placement of windmills along the top of the ridge. Bills said the new proposal has a different configuration.

The new plan would have groupings of turbines perpendicular to the ridge.

In its application, the company said the turbine generators would not be more than 455 feet high from the ground to the tip of an extended blade. Gross said they would probably be about 420 feet high.

Gross said his company's project is a mile or more south of the previous project location -- saying its studies showed that site to be more suited to a wind farm.

Babcock and Brown spokesman Matt Dallas said the company has more experience with wind power. It currently operates 20 wind farms in nine states and has more than 18 other wind farms under development across the country.

The company has installed radar to track bird movements, and Gross said it would comply with new guidelines to limit avian dangers that were established by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Gross said the project would mean at least 75 to 100 construction jobs, and five to eight full-time workers once the turbine generators are built. Property owners are receiving lease payments, and the development will contribute to the local tax base.

But it has already sent up red flags for organizations like the Industrial Wind Action Group, a national organization that Executive Director Lisa Linowes said tries to make sure people are aware of the downside of wind power and don't just hear the benefits.

Linowes said people should closely investigate the threat such a plant could pose to migrating birds and bats, as well as issues with noise and aesthetics.

"I think this should be looked at very closely," she said.
JIM CARROLL can be reached at (814) 724-1716, 870-1727 or by e-mail.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wind tower advice sought

RICHMONDVILLE — The town Zoning Board of Appeals will ask Schoharie County for a recommendation on Reunion Power’s request to keep its wind-measuring tower on Warnerville Hill for another year.

The ZBA’s decision to seek the advice of the county followed a 90-minute hearing where most speakers, including an attorney for Schoharie Valley Watch, a tower opponent, argued that the original permit allowing the tower violated zoning and should not have been issued.

Reunion Power Managing Director Steve Eisenberg said another year was needed to obtain an accurate measurement of wind conditions at the David Huse farm site leased to the Vermont-based company for the 197-foot-high tower.

The first 12 months of measuring the electricity-generating potential at the Karker Road site produced data that was “potentially promising,” Eisenberg told the ZBA, but another year is needed to evaluate potential long-term wind variations.

As part of Reunion’s application, regional company representative Sandy Gordon submitted letters from three meteorological “experts” indicating more than one-year of testing is typically needed.

Gordon is an Albany County legislator from Berne.

Asked after the hearing for specifics about wind findings, Eisenberg said the data “was proprietary” to the private wind power management company.

“It’s promising,” Eisenberg said, “but it turned out weaker than certain forecasts.”

Town Code Enforcement Officer Gene DeMarco said he was only authorized to issue a temporary permit for one year. That permit expired May 1.

Under ZBA permit extension rules, applicants must prove they would sustain “hardship” if a nonconforming permit was denied.

“It’s to inform a business decision. ... It’s not the town’s problem,” said Schoharie Valley Watch Co-director Robert Nied. “It’s a self-inflicted hardship ... by speculating on a project in Richmondville,” Nied said.

SVW Co-director Don Airey argued that Reunion only applied for an extension after the group claimed in March that the original permit was invalid.

Much of the comment at the hearing concerned whether or not Reunion is planning a wind turbine project under which a temporary structure might be legally permitted.

“It’s a question of how zoning is enforced,” said Schoharie Valley Watch attorney Peter Henner. An environmental law specialist, Henner said the tower should not have been allowed in the residential R-1 zone, because it was not “incidental to a housing or construction project,” under zoning regulations.

“The Town Board doesn’t seem to know there’s a project,” said Airey, referring to repeated statements by current Supervisor John Barlow and former supervisor Betsy Bernocco that no project is under discussion.

“If [the tower permit is ancillary to] a project, then a project does exist,” Airey contended.

DeMarco contended the tower was authorized in an R-1 zone “as a temporary structure ... as a nonconforming use.”

Even though no formal wind turbine project has been applied for by Reunion, DeMarco compared the measuring tower to soil borings or water tests in connection with other types of building projects.

Aside from Reunion representatives, the only speaker supporting the permit was Brooker Hollow resident Vernon Hall, a member of the Richmondville Board of Assessment Review. Hall, who said he’s worked on residential wind power projects, said the technology was needed in the face of global warming issues.

In Reunion’s application for an extension, Gordon compared the “meteorological tower” to an “observation tower” that he said was allowed under zoning, but several speakers questioned whether it met that description.

“My concern is setting a precedent,” said Robert “Jack” Gosselink, one of 11 neighboring property owners near Huse’s farm.

“I value the privacy we have,” said Gosselink, an outspoken opponent of any commercial windmill project in the Warnerville Hill area.

“I want peace and quiet,” said Theresa Pagnotta. “I don’t think this company should come in and tell us what to do.”

Once the county Planning and Development Agency makes a recommendation on the permit application, ZBA Chairman Bruce Loveys said the arguments raised at Tuesday’s hearings will be considered in detail. If the county recommends the tower permit be extended, then the five-member ZBA will need a “super majority” of four members to overrule it, Loveys said.

Cohocton Town Highway Superintendent May 19, 2008 Letter by James Hall

May 19, 2008

Tom Simons
Highway Superintendent
15 South Main Street
Cohocton, NY 14826

RE: Rebuilding and repair of Pine Hill and Moore Road

Mr. Simons.

As of this date there has been no written reply to our April 15, 2008 letter - RE: Violation by UPC and Mortenson of road contract agreement. Once again it is necessary to report that the severe road conditions on Pine Hill and Moore Road in the Town of Cohocton remain in disrepair and pose a public safety hazard.

As our verbal conversation this date acknowledges, the promises that you have represented coming from the UPC/First Wind contractor and subs for a resolution of the damages to these two roads have not been fulfilled. A previous phone conversation with you indicated that you were meeting with contractor representatives to map out a plan to fulfill the obligations of the developer and the Town of Cohocton. Regretfully, nothing positive has materialized.

The method that the Town of Cohocton pursues to rebuild the fundamental damage to the road bed is your responsibility. If you rely upon the contractors to provide a permanent remedy, the prospects for a reasonable settlement to this issue is remote.

Mary Ellen Jones and the Johnsons’ of Pine Hill Road have also endured the same safety risks and periodic lack of public emergency vehicle access.

As documented in the April 15, 2008 letter, the extent of the damage on both Pine Hill and Moore Roads is conclusive.

The intent of this second letter is to stress the gravity of this matter. Answers are needed, not excuses. Results based upon professional road repair standards are demanded. This correspondence needs to be read at the May 20, 2008 Town Board meeting and reflected in the minutes of this meeting.

Cordially,


James Hall

cc:
Cohocton Town Board members
Cohocton Planning Board members
Steuben County Highway Department

Gorham residents turn to wind power

Gorham, N.Y.

The town Planning Board will hold a hearing tonight on an application for a 100-foot windmill to power a farm on Jones Road, off Route 364. A second application, for a turbine on Hall Road, is in the works as well.

“Both people are interested in renewable energy and not being dependent on the electric companies,” said Gordon Freida, the town’s code officer.

“I’m 73 years old. I’ll never get my investment back for myself,” said Jack Schilbe, owner of the Jones Road property. Renewable energy, he said, is the right thing to do and he wants to set an example for others. He also bought a hybrid vehicle.

“I’m paying $4.20 a gallon for diesel fuel for the farm. The root of the problem is oil,” he said, explaining that he wants to do his part to decrease dependency on foreign oil and hopes others will follow suit.

Schilbe, Freida said, “gets tons of wind,” enough to warrant a 10-kilowatt turbine. “This will power everything for house and shop,” Freida added.

“He’s got probably the most optimum vista in the area, and the winds come right off the lake from the west to his farm,” agreed Anthea Bulman of North East Renewable Energy Resources in Bloomfield, the company selling Schilbe the turbine.

North East Renewable is also working with John Fuller to put a 100-foot windmill on his Hall Road property.

Fuller got town approval for an 80-foot turbine eight months ago, but North East Renewable’s tests on his property showed average wind speeds at that height were not enough to qualify him for the New York State Energy Research Development Authority Incentive Program, Bulman said. The program distributes grants to offset the cost of renewable energy projects.

“After approval of the town, (applicants) can apply,” said Freida.

“You have to have an eligible installer for turbines to be eligible,” added Bulman. She explained the program was set up to disburse funds through the installer. “There are also state and federal tax credits available for green energy projects,” offered Bulman.
Projects without the benefit of grants range in price from $12,000 to $60,000, according to Bulman.

Startup for the Fuller turbine is an estimated $57,000, offset by $25,000 in energy research grant money, explained Freida. Schilbe’s startup will be $54,000, and he, too, will receive $25,000 in energy research money.

In order to erect a turbine, a permit is required from the town, an interconnection agreement with a utility company must be in place, and an environmental impact form must be filled out with a visual addendum stating that there will be no negative impact to vistas. The town also requires a survey showing the turbine’s placement in relation to other properties, eight photos facing all directions and proof of insurance.

“I think a lot of people object to the visual (effect),” said Freida. “Fuller’s (on Hall Road), you probably won’t even know it’s there. The Schilbe one will be more visible, possibly from across the lake,” added Freida, explaining that Schilbe’s farm overlooks Canandaigua Lake.

North East Renewable Energy ordered a Bergy Wind Turbine with a grid-tide 10 inverter for the Schilbe farm from a company in Oklahoma.

Depending on wind, the 10-kilowatt turbine would produce 12,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. “The amount of electricity it produces functions in conjunction with the amount of electricity you are using,” explained Bulman. The grid-tide inverter converts wind energy to electricity.

No money exchanges hands for excess energy produced. Should the turbine produce more energy than the farm is using, there is an interconnection agreement with the utility company to store the excess energy until it’s needed by the farm. “We couldn’t sell Jack a wind turbine that would produce more than his energy usage,” said Bulman.

The Planning Board will hear Schilbe’s project proposal at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Town Hall, 4736 South St. in the hamlet.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Industrial Wind Turbines Have Never Been About Generating Electricity

Why are wind turbines the size they are

Question: Can anyone tell me why the turbines have to be the size that they are? Years ago they generated electricity and pumped water with a small regular windmill, that didn't clobber birds as it spun around, while standing 1,000 ft. high with blades 800 ft. long.

The answer is that it all comes down to economics. Obviously, wind generators are removing power from the air to generate electricity. Basically, the amount of power in the wind is related to the air density and the speed of the wind. The formula is:

P = (air density x wind speed3)

2

The key component here is the wind speed because the speed of the wind is cubed, or multiplied times itself three times. Wind speed increases as you go higher. The wind speed at 100’ is approximately 26% greater than it is at 20’ above the ground. Since the wind speed is cubed to determine the wind power, a 100’ level will have double the wind power compared to a 20’ level (1.26 times 1.26 times 1.26). Doubling the wind speed will increase the wind power by 8 times (2 times 2 times 2). So wind tower height makes a large difference in the performance of the wind generator and the cost of the electricity that it produces.

With today’s fixed speed AC machines, virtually none of the wind gust gets converted to electricity as the blade speed cannot change. Thus the force of the wind gust gets converted mostly to mechanical stress on the wind generator, the turbine blades, and the tower structure. Turbulence from wind gusts and other sources create mechanical stresses that cause many of the maintenance and failure problems with wind turbines. Minimizing physical stress is very important.

Most wind turbines today (even the arctic models) will shut down at a temperature of -22º F. to -26º F. to reduce the potential mechanical stresses. Estimates are given that the wear and stress on the components at those extreme temperatures is about 50 percent greater than at warmer temperatures.

(Click to read entire article)

Pickens betting the wind farm on tax credit extension

Maverick oilman T. Boone Pickens' plan for a mammoth wind farm in the Texas Panhandle is a $2 billion bet that Congress will extend a tax credit crucial to the industry.

Pickens' company, Mesa Power, is purchasing hundreds of wind turbines from General Electric Co. to create the Pampa Wind Project, which is expected to eventually cover 400,000 acres and generate enough power for more than 1.3 million homes.

"We are making Pampa the wind capital of the world," Pickens said. "It's clear that landowners and local officials understand the economic benefits that this renewable energy can bring not only to landowners who are involved with the project, but also in revitalizing an area that has struggled in recent years."

Pickens said the total cost of the deal will grow to between $10 billion and $12 billion after the initial $2 billion investment in GE's turbine technology. The entire four-phase project is forecast for completion in 2014, and it is expected to eventually have 4,000 megawatts of capacity.

Wind farms and other alternative fuels are gaining more interest as the cost of oil keeps breaking records. Oil prices hit a trading record near $127 a barrel Tuesday.

Pickens, who was born in Oklahoma and made the early part of his fortune hunting for oil and natural gas, said that developing alternative energy projects is crucial for the nation's future. But the industry has relied on federal tax credits to survive, a point that Pickens underscored Thursday.

"I believe that Congress will recognize that it is critical not only to this project, but to renewable energy in this country, that they enact a long-term extension of the production tax credits," he said.

Tax credits of 2 cents per kilowatt-hour are set to expire in December, said Christine Real de Azua, a spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association.

The credits expired in 1999, 2001 and 2003, Real de Azua said. Wind power installation dropped significantly in each year following expiration of the credits, according to the organization.

Because it is unclear whether the production tax credit will be in place, financing for many projects is still pending, she said.

"These projects are being held up, and investment is at stake," Real de Azua said.

More than 5,200 megawatts of new wind power capacity was installed last year, more than double the amount in 2006, the association said.

The deal is a windfall for Fairfield-based GE, which makes jet engines, locomotives and water treatment plants and runs the NBC television network. Normally a reliable producer for its shareholders, GE's failure to hit its own projected earnings marks in the first quarter this year sent a ripple through Wall Street and underscored that even the world's largest companies are struggling with the weakened economy.

The wind announcement came a day after reports surfaced that GE was shopping its 101-year-old appliance business for as much as $8 billion. Last year, it sold its struggling plastics business to a Saudi Arabian company for $11.6 billion.

Although GE has worked in recent years to shed underperforming products, Thursday's deal with Mesa Power was in line with its strategy to grow its renewable energy business.

GE set a goal of investing $6 billion in renewable energy by 2010, increasing its investment by 50 percent.

"As America's demand for energy escalates, it is clear that wind can and will play a bigger part in meeting that need," said Jeffrey Immelt, GE chairman and chief executive. "We're excited to partner with an energy visionary like T. Boone Pickens to bring our wind technology to the marketplace."

GE stock fell 14 cents a share, or less than 1 percent, to $32.37 on Thursday.

Doug Berwanger, Chair-Wyoming Co Board Of Supervisors Wind Interview

(Click to listen to the audio interview)

Understanding your Bill Part 2 of 3 - The Energy Adjustment Charge

This month we discuss the Energy Adjustment charge. This charge is based on the amount that the Cooperative pays for power generation and transmission to deliver to our substations.

The full cost of power and transmission is covered by a base amount that is included in the kWh charge (to be explained in the next special edition) plus the Energy Adjustment Charge. The base amount is set each time that we have a rate increase and right now it is 2.1573 cents per kwh. This base amount covers the amount that we paid for hydro power, incremental power and transmission in 2005, the last full year before our last rate increase. Increases in these are included in the Energy Adjustment.

Hydro power is the allocation of power that we receive from the Niagara Falls Power Plant that is run by the New York Power Authority. Our monthly allocation of this power is 12,814kw. This covers the Cooperatives use each month from April to November. We have a contract to receive this power until 2025 at cost based rates.

Incremental Power is the power we must buy when our use exceeds the hydro power allocation. In the winter our monthly use increases to over 16,000kw. As of January 2008 the cost of incremental power is at “market rates”. Market rates are determined by the market for wholesale electricity that is run by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). We expect that this power will increase significantly in 2008.

Transmission costs are divided into a number of categories. We pay one charge to NYSE&G to use the actual transmission poles and wires and another to the NYISO for so called Ancillary Transmission Costs. The Ancillary costs are to pay for the operation of the transmission system and provide “services” that power plants provide to maintain a stable system. The Ancillary include:
The cost to run the NYISO: 0.1 to 0.5 cents per k\Wh Losses on the transmission system: 0.2 to 1.0 cents per kWh “Congestion” on the transmission grid: 0.0 to 1.3 cents per kWh

B lack start in case of a blackout: Less than 0.1 cents per kWh
Several other items: Less than 0.1 cents per kWh combined

It is easy to see that the Ancillary items 1, 2, and 3 are our major concern. In recent months combined they cost 1 to 2 cents per kWh. Recently the cost of congestion has become a major item. Over four years ago the Cooperatives in New York chose to be charged the NYISO rates for congestion because we could save up to $15,000 per month. By making the change we saved over $500,000 in transmission costs over 4 years.

Congestion occurs when a transmission line is not able to carry all the power that the power users and power producers want to move over that line. When this happens the users are forced to purchase some of their power from nearby power plants that are more expensive than the power that they have a contract for. The NYISO takes care of purchasing this power and divides it among all the users of that line as a “Congestion Charge” for each kWh purchased. Congestion occurs when there is just not enough transmission line in existence, as in the lines to New York City, and when there is an outage on a transmission line in an area that normally has enough capacity but the outage reduces the capacity. We are normally not in a congested area and the congestion charges that we have seen recently, have been caused by outages on the line between Niagara Falls and Rochester.

The Energy Adjustment also includes an amount of 0.1 cents per kWh for cost justified conservation and load management programs Each of these programs must be justified based on its ability to reduce the Energy Adjustment by more than it costs These programs work by reducing our peak demand, allowing us to use less costly hydro power, and by shifting power from the peak use times to the lower cost off peak times. Past programs are saving over 0.3 cents per kWh from what the Energy Adjustment would have been.

To give you an idea of these costs, the amount of base charges and the estimated Energy Adjustment in 2007 and 2008 are:
Base Rate Annual Average Energy Adjustment
Cents/kWh 2007 2008
Hydro Power 0.892 0.089 0.178
Incremental Power 0.305 0.090 0.296
NYSR&G Transmission 0.576 0.082 0.082
Ancillaries 0.425 0.670 0.670
Conservation 0.000 0.100 0.100
Total 2.157 1.031 1.326 Cents/kWh

In order to keep the monthly fluctuations from appearing on your bill we use a 12 month rolling average to determine the Energy Adjustment. Many of these fluctuations are caused by billing errors and adjustments for estimates made by NYSE&G and the NYISO.

Controlling these costs is a major undertaking. To do this we have joined together with the other three New York electric cooperatives and half a dozen of the New York municipals to monitor and intervene when the NYISO takes actions that will add to our costs. This coalition has been very valuable.

To control the cost of Incremental Power we are actively pursuing power contracts with several power plant developers and a possibility of building a power plant ourselves. With these our goal is to have long term stability at a cost lower than the market rates.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Battle over power blows in the wind

Most New Yorkers could care less about a ruling that an administrative law judge could make on the Iberdrola-Energy East merger as early as Friday.

But the decision could have huge implications for upstate New Yorkers and their energy usage.

Iberdrola SA is a Spanish utility that ranks as the world's largest developer of wind farms. The company is a 50 percent owner of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County, which at 321 megawatts is the largest wind farm in New York state.

Iberdrola wants to buy Energy East Corp., an electric and gas utility headquartered in Maine that has 1.3 million upstate New York customers through its New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric subsidiaries.

But the merger has faced opposition from the Department of Public Service, the state agency that oversees utilities in New York.

Staff at the department, who provide guidance and recommendations to the five-person Public Service Commission that must ultimately approve or deny the merger, have argued that the deal does not provide the public with enough benefits and that it could cause disruption to the state's wholesale electric market.

Agency staff believe Iberdrola will hold too much sway over the state's wholesale electric market if it owns a substantial amount of generation in the state, which is why the company has been pushed to sell Energy East's power plants and divest itself of its wind business in New York.

(Click to read entire article)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More testing towers for Arkwright

ARKWRIGHT — Horizon Wind Energy is in the process of installing more meteorological test towers, Arkwright Town Board members learned Monday.

Horizon representative Tom Stebbins said one was being constructed on Ruttenbur Road this week and a second is planned for Center Road by the end of June.

Councilwoman Linda Fairbanks asked what procedures need to be followed to notify Horizon when the wind escrow account established with Arkwright needs to be replenished.

She said she did not like that a temporary stop order was issued last month because of this.

She was assured this has been taken care of by Horizon’s attorney and direct contact with Stebbins.

Supervisor Fred Norton said the escrow account needed replenishing again.

Councilman Jeff Dietrich asked Stebbins if an updated list of participating Arkwright land owners was available. The response was no.

In other business, Park Road residents Ed and Peg Brisky said an excessive amount of brine has been used on the road and asked that it not be applied in front of their home.

Highway superintendent Steve Mead announced Arkwright’s participation in the county’s tire amnesty program will run from June through July.

He said he will be accepting up to a total of 247 tires, 19" or smaller, off rims, at the town’s highway barns.

Those wishing to take advantage of this free disposal of used tires may call Mead at 679-9515 for times when the tires will be accepted.

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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