Cohocton Wind Watch: June 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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Monday, June 30, 2008

Prattsburgh NY Eminent Domain Vote

Prattsburgh, NY citizen being assaulted

The photo that's really worth the 1000 words

Alas, I had never even heard of Tundra Swans until my husband Tom and I recently became involved in the siting of the swans' deadliest enemies ... industrial wind turbines. Now I can and do identify with them. The field shown in Ken Bell's photo is one of many Canadian Tundra Swan migration areas where thousands of these birds congregate annually as they migrate between Alaska and the Chesapeake Bay.

The Canadian field is marked for wind turbines. Who will monitor the carnage?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the makeup of New York, each county is divided into towns which are, in turn, further divided. Within the Town of Clayton, there are inhabited islands, individual villages, large farms, residential areas, ponds, streams and marshlands. Our northern-most boundary is the St. Lawrence River, with Canada on the other side. Bell's photo symbolizes the Horse Creek Residential Area within the Town of Clayton where 330 houses are threatened by a plan to build 62 industrial wind turbines (Phase One) much much too close to the 1,000 people. Apparently, neither the Town nor PPM could find a better location. I question whether they even tried. If 1,000 people live where winds are considered adequate, and if the Town ignores warnings of documented risks, it is likely the developer will be allowed to build them there.

(Click to read entire report)

The fraud and monopoly of Iberdrola s Pennsylvania operations

Dear PSC Chairman Brown and Ms. Jodi Fansler:

Please immediately step up and permanently rescind NYSERDA's ruling that 635 MW wind generation facilities located in Pennsylvania are eligible to be paid NY State residential utility ratepayers’ monies (from all of NY State’s residential ratepayers).

There are three other significant reasons why New York State must remove NY State's taxpayers money and residential ratepayers' monies from Pennsylvania: (1) those wind farms are unscrupulously claiming far more megawatts than they can actually produce to rake in those monies; (2) those wind farms are raking in those monies years before any actual electricity is ever produced; and (3) NY State has no authority to oversee business pursuits in Pennsylvania.

Iberdrola SA (under wholly-owned affiliate names such as PPM Energy, Community Energy Inc, and Gamesa) owns and operates numerous wind generation facilities located in Pennsylvania.

Iberdrola's (Community Energy Inc's) Bear Creek project was "...largely made possible by commitments from PPL Corporation and leading wind energy customers such as the University of Pennsylvania and PECO Energy Services, says Paul Copleman, CEI's sales and marketing operations manager." PECO is Philadelphia Electric Company. PPL is Pennsylvania Power and Light. After filling its contracts and orders in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and elsewhere, the Bear Creek Wind Project, which has an effective output capacity of 2.4 MW (10% of its 24 MW nameplate bogus capacity) has no REAL ELECTRICITY left for NY State use. So for what in tarnations is NYSERDA doling out NY State's taxpayers money and residential ratepayers' monies to Pennsylvania?

As for the Casselman Wind Power Project (PA) and the Waymart Wind Power Project (PA), Iberdrola (etc.) markets its electricity to First Energy Corporation which sells that electricity to a very large clientele throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

So for what in tarnations is NYSERDA doling out NY State's taxpayers money and residential ratepayers' monies to Pennsylvania?

GAMESA -- its takeover by Iberdrola SA:

On the same date of 16 June 2008 that NY PSC Administrative Judge Rafael A. Epstein announced his decision recommending that the NY State PSC not approve Iberdrola’s takeover of Energy East, Iberdrola (at its headquarters in Spain) was already announcing its next monopolization conquest – it’s 70% ownership takeover of Gamesa.

At the Bear Creek Wind Power Project operational since 2006 in Pennsylvania, Iberdrola SA-owned Gamesa ‘s wind turbines are used to generate the wind power electricity. Gamesa and Iberdrola SA are both Spanish companies.

Gamesa wind turbines -- Gamesa’s wind turbine division is 76% owned by Iberdrola SA as of 16 June 2008.

As announced on 16 June 2008. Iberdrola SA and Gamesa have agreed to a turbine building partnership deal in joint company in which Iberdrola SA has bought a 76% controlling ownership.

Stated another way, Gamesa’s four wind turbine factories located in Pennsylvania (PA being adjacent to NY State) and Gamesa’s wind turbine division office in Pennsylvania, are all now 76% owned by Iberdrola SA.

Iberdrola's fraud at the BEAR CREEK WIND PROJECT (PA) funded by NY State:

Nameplate capacity maximum electrical output placed on wind turbines by wind turbine manufacturers is a useless predictor of actual electrical output.

Actual output is about 90% less than turbine nameplate capacity.

Iberdrola SA knows this. So do other wind companies.

The Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) owned Bear Creek Wind Project (in Pennsylvania) has 12 Gamesa 2.0 MW nameplate capacity turbines for a total of 24 MW.

Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) deceptively and fraudulently issues Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for the Bear Creek Wind Project based on that unrealistically very high 24 MW output. That fraudulent practice results in a massive cash fleecing of New York State taxpayers' money and of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania taxpayers' money.

NYISO states that wind turbines will likely produce only 23.5 percent of those megawatts at any given time, that according to the 13th paragraph of Schenectady Gazette news reporter Jason Subek’s 01 June 2008 article “Companies poised to profit from state wind-power push”. Using NYISO's calculation percentage, the Bear Creek Wind Project is a 5.64 MW wind farm, not a 24 MW wind farm as Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) have misled us to believe in order to fleece taxpayers.

Wind power company FPL's community outreach manager Mary Wells, the community outreach manager at FPL's Lancaster, PA office [FPL operates a wind power generation facility in Pennsylvania], was on 02 April 2007 quoted as saying that: “…a 30 percent capacity factor… is standard for a Pennsylvania wind farm.”

Using FPL's calculation percentage (which is likely too high), the Bear Creek Wind Project is a 7.2 MW wind farm, not a 24 MW wind farm as Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) have misled us to believe in order to fleece taxpayers.

General Electric [aka GE Energy], the turbine manufacturer, in a report to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on 04 March 2005, stated: “Capacity factors of inland sites in New York are on the order of 30% of their rated [nameplate] capacity. Their effective capacities, however, are about 10% [of rated capacity], due to both the seasonal and daily patterns of the wind generation being largely ‘out of phase’ with the NYISO [New York Independent System Operator] load patterns.”

Using GE's 10% effective capacity calculation percentage, the Bear Creek Wind Project is a 2.4 MW wind farm, not a 24 MW wind farm as Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) have misled us to believe in order to fleece taxpayers.

Iberdrola SA submitted its own brief to the NY State Public Service Commission judge [Rafael Epstein], In that brief, Iberdrola SA said it couldn't exercise vertical market power with wind generation because wind power is an "intermittent and unpredictable" power source. That means it's difficult to sell wind power into NYISO's "day-ahead" market, the company said. As a result, energy from these wind projects cannot reasonably be sold in NYISO's day-ahead market, in which the substantial majority of New York electricity is bought and sold," Iberdrola's brief states.”

Intermittent and unpredictable wind, coupled with many lulls in grid demand, make the 10% effective capacity calculation percentage viable for the Bear Creek Wind Project.

Iberdrola SA's fraud remains. Iberdrola SA is using nameplate capacity to issue far more RECs than Iberdrola's capacity to produce.

And what makes this fraud even worse is that Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) is issuing RECs for contracts which don't receive any wind electricity whatsoever for the first few years. Cash was flowing from RECs, absent any generated product.

In July 2003 the Bear Creek Wind Farm in Pennsylvania was being planned by Community Energy Inc (CEI) for future construction and for future operation.

In July 2003, Community Energy Inc (CEI) was already selling long-term contracts for the wind electricity to be someday generated at the Bear Creek Wind Project (PA).

No electricity would be produced at the Bear Creek Wind Project (PA) for another 31 months.

Nevertheless, Community Energy Inc (CEI) was in July 2003 already making contracts and issuing transferable Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to CEI's customers to enable those customers to purchase CEI contracts for Bear Creek Wind Project (PA) wind electricity.

The very same 23 July 2003 media announcement by Community Energy Inc's (CEI’s) and Pepco Energy Services that stated that all of that contract wind electricity will be Community Energy Inc (CEI) produced/marketed electricity and that 90% of that electricity is from CEI’s Bear Creek Wind Farm, then contradictorily and deceptively states that only 12 MW of the 24 MW [only 50%] of that contract wind electricity is NewWind Energy® purchased from Community Energy Inc (CEI).

Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) is using this deceptive and market monopolizing marketing tactic throughout New York State, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, etc. by marketing about 50% of its product under the Iberdrola (CEI) name/brand; and by marketing (either directly or indirectly) the other almost 50% of its same Iberdrola product anonymously under other names. ESCOs and utility companies throughout New York State and Pennsylvania and New Jersey are carrying: (1) what have been named to look like competitor brands (but which in truth are Iberdrola CEI marketed products) and (2) Iberdrola CEI brands, deceiving the citizenry that there are competing products in the statewide marketplace when, in truth, its virtually all a Community Energy Inc (CEI) product.

There are three elements of fraud to the foregoing scheme.
1. The State of New York and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are likely paying cash for a double-issuance of each REC, enabling double-dipping fraud.
2. The transferability of the RECs (a wind industry designed very confusing shell game) allows for massive defrauding of that unscrupulous system.
3. The State of New York and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are paying out money for each 1 MW (equaling 1 REC) of generated electricity, without any actual generation of that 1 MW of electricity occurring.

Bear Creek Wind Farm, PA is supplying its electricity into Pennsylvania and into New Jersey by having Iberdrola's own Community Energy Inc market it to: PPL Energy Plus.

PEPCO Energy Services.

PEPCO specializes in developing innovative, cost-effective energy solutions for commercial, government, education, health care, and industrial customers throughout the mid-Atlantic region.”

In other words, this is simply just another energy company participating in the wind industry corrupt scheme to offer significant electricity price discounts to Governments (NJ; U.S., NY; etc.) and large private companies, by creating long-term large quantity bulk contracts to drive down the wind electricity price for those large purchasers, and by transferring tradable renewable energy credit (REC) certificates to those large purchasers so those purchasers can cash in those RECs to obtain large amounts of taxpayers’ monies; then paying those large amounts of taxpayers’ monies in this particular case to energy company PEPCO Energy Services which takes its cut and sends all the remaining money to Community Energy Inc (CEI) – often many months/years before any wind-generated electricity is actually generated and delivered.

The University of Pennsylvania.

One hundred eighty (180) State Government Agencies of New Jersey (NJ is adjacent to NY State) such as Rutgers [State University of New Jersey], New Jersey Highway Administration, New Jersey Transit, and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

The mid-2003 made 33-month wind electricity contract with the 180 State Government Agencies of New Jersey was made between the State of New Jersey Government and that Government’s supplier Pepco Energy Services.

However, Community Energy, Inc (CEI) is the generator and power marketer of all the wind electricity that PEPCO Energy Services received and sold under that 33-month contract with the State of New Jersey Government.

Ninety percent (90%) of the wind electricity for that 33-month contract was stipulated as coming from Community Energy Inc's (CEI’s) Bear Creek Wind Farm near Wilkes-Barre, PA, within 60 miles of New Jersey. The other 10% of the wind electricity for that contract came from another CEI-owned wind farm in Pennsylvania.

Corruptly, for 28 months of that 33-month July 2003-made contract, the Bear Creek Wind Farm was not completed nor operational nor generating any electricity.

Preposterously, the very same 23 July 2003 media announcement by Community Energy Inc's (CEI’s) and Pepco Energy Services that stated 100% of that contract wind electricity will be Community Energy Inc (CEI) produced/marketed electricity of which 90% of that electricity is from CEI’s Bear Creek Wind Farm, then contradictorily and deceptively states that only 12 MW of the 24 MW [only 50%] of that contract wind electricity is NewWind Energy® purchased from Community Energy Inc CEI). (see link)

In other words, in order to defraud the public into falsely believing that there are other brands of wind electricity competing with the Community Energy Inc (CEI) product, Community Energy is marketing half of their same product under their own brand name and half under a name not associated with Community Energy Inc.

Sincerely,
Daniel M. Wing, Jr.
(ph: 585-224-6758)
139 Thistledown Dr.
Rochester, NY 14617-3020

Stop Iberdrola SA's takeover of Energy East and its Community Energy Inc is already a monopolistic marketer in NYS

Dear PSC Chairman Brown and Ms. Jodi Fansler:

Every e-mail I've sent to you, I've separately also sent to the Secretary of the Commission.

As you will see below, through deceptive marketing practices, Iberdrola SA's Community Energy has already monopolized the renewable energies which are the public is being offered in NY State. Virtually all of the product offerings are coming from Iberdrola (Community Energy Inc), with a variety of names to make the NY State public falsely believe there is product competition when, in reality, there is no substantive competition.

For this reason, please clamp down on the Iberdrola SA nightmare and reject in its entirety Iberdrola's takeover bid for Energy East.

Each of the utility companies in NY State (NIMO-National Grid; Energy East / RG&E / NYSEG Solutions; LIPA; ConEdison; Orange & Rockland) offer a choice of Community Energy Inc (Iberdrola Product) or a competing ESCO-named product [which in reality is also an Iberdrola CEI marketed product whose name has simply been changed].

In fact, Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) has taken its marketing secrecy of its product line / product deceptions to such an extreme that Iberdrola SA has labeled with the State of NY their Community Energy Inc MARKETING CONTRACT (DPS-123, IBER-0197) with Energy East as being "HIGHLY TRADE SECRET".

People want to know who the marketer is that the energy services companies (ESCOs) wind power offerings actually come from. The ESCOs listed on NYPIRG’s website as Renewable Electricity Suppliers[marketers]are not the source marketer of any of the actual renewable energy products that the ESCO is offering to NY State’s residential consumer:

ConEd Solutions:

NYPIRG, on its website (see link), tries to deceive the residential consumers and the government regulators/investigators that regulated “utility companies” (e.g., RG&E; NYSEG; O&R; ConEd) are selling “ConEd Solutions” brand renewable energy electricity options.

But “utility companies” are not allowed to “sell” ESCO company products to the consumer, so why is NYPIRG involved in such deception.

Only an ESCO itself can sell the ESCO’s own products.

The ConEd Solutions Green Power brand blend of 35% wind / 65% small hydro which is offered by ConEd Solutions to falsely make it appear that Iberdrola / CEI is not monopolizing the allegedly competitive brands of wind /renewable energies offered by ConEd Solutions when, in truth the ConEd Solutions Green Power brand blend of 35% wind / 65% small hydro is exactly the same stuff marketed to ConEd Solutions by the same power marketer Iberdrola SA’s wholly-owned CEI affiliate.

The Iberdrola-owned Community Energy Inc (CEI) website reveals that Iberdrola-owned CEI is the electrical power marketer of that “35% wind [CEI’s NewWind Energy trademark] / 65% small hydro” blend.

The ConEd Solutions Wind Power brand of 100% wind electricity is offered by ConEd Solutions to falsely make it appear that Iberdrola / CEI is not monopolizing the allegedly competitive brands of wind energies offered by ConEd Solutions when, in truth the ConEd Solutions Wind Power brand is exactly the same stuff marketed to ConEd Solutions by the same power marketer Iberdrola SA’s wholly-owned CEI affiliate. The Iberdrola-owned Community Energy Inc (CEI) website reveals that Iberdrola-owned CEI is the electrical power marketer of that “100% wind” [CEI’s NewWind Energy trademark].

In the earlier years, starting in 2003 of For example, under the name CEI “Green-E certified blend” of “…New York-based wind (25%) and [small] hydropower (75%)”, ConEd Solutions offered that Community Energy Inc (CEI) marketed renewables-blend energy from May 2003 to May 2006 and clearly identified it as a CEI product.

Energetix:

[Energetix offers Energetix Option 1; and Energetix Option 2; and Energetix Option 3 (the latter only in the Long Island region of NY State) -- hiding from the public and from government regulators/investigators that these wind energy / renewable energy products come to Energetix from a marketer monopololizer Community Energy Inc (CEI) which is a wholly-owned affiliate of Iberdrola SA].

Energetix Option 1 is a 50% wind / 50% small damless hydro mix, blended with conventionally generated electricity, forming a 50% renewables / 50% conventional electricity blend.

This is the same exact Iberdrola-owned Community Energy Inc (CEI) supplied renewables portion of 50% wind / 50% small hydro that Iberdrola-owned Community Energy Inc (CEI) markets to the State of Connecticut under the Community Energy Inc. name and its NewWind Energy registered trademark.

Energetix Option 2 is a 50% wind / 50% small damless hydro mix of electricity.
This is the same exact Iberdrola-owned Community Energy Inc (CEI) supplied 50% wind / 50% small hydro that CEI markets to the State of Connecticut under the Community Energy Inc. name and its NewWind Energy registered trademark.

Energetix Option 3 (offered only to customers in the Long Island region serviced by utility company LIPA).

This is also an Iberdrola-owned Community Energy Inc (CEI) supplied and marketed wind / small hydro product, only in a slightly different percentage blend of 60% wind / 40% small hydro which has had all “labels” removed that would otherwise show it is an Iberdrola-owned CEI power marketer product.

NYSEG Solutions:

Using the NYSEG Solutions name, without mentioning that Iberdrola-owned Community Energy is the marketer/provider of its wind electricity products, NYSEG Solutions is only offering various blends of Community Energy Inc (CEI) products.

Central Hudson Enterprises Corporation (CHEC),: This subsidiary of CH Energy Group, Inc. owns Lyonsdale Biomass in Lyonsdale, NY. The Lyonsdale Biomass facility burns wood to produce electricity. Wood burning, on the scale needed to produce electricity, pollutes the air, but the company and State of NY ignore the pollution because there is a lot of freebies (tax credits, Renewal Energy Certificates (REC) monies, and Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) monies) to be corporately gained.

Iberdrola-owned Community Energy Inc (CEI) markets the CHEC Lyonsdale Biomass electricity product by marketing blends of it mixed with Iberdrola-produced / Iberdrola (CEI)-marketed wind power electricity, offered under various names to deceive the NY State citizenry from recognizing the fact that Iberdrola (CEI) has a stranglehold in NY State of virtually all power marketing of all renewable energies, giving the public a false belief that there are competitive choices when in fact Iberdrola’s Community Energy Inc has a product power marketing stranglehold on the entire State of New York.

A cozy marketing arrangement exists between Iberdrola (Community Energy Inc) and Central Hudson being that Central Hudson is one of the co-owners which support Iberdrola’s (Community Energy Inc’s) ownership of the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project, NJ.

EnviroGen:

[EnviroGen offers its renewable energy product under the name EnviroGen; -- hiding from the public and from government regulators/investigators that these wind energy / renewable energy products come to EnviroGen directly (or indirectly) from an unrevealed power marketer, most likely from Community Energy Inc (CEI) which is a wholly-owned affiliate of Iberdrola SA].

In fact, EnviroGen is one of the companies listed as buying wind power electricity generated at the Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) owned Bear Creek Wind Farm, PA.

Sterling Planet:

[Sterling Planet offers its renewable energy product under the name Sterling Planet; -- hiding from the public and from government regulators/investigators that these wind energy / renewable energy products come to Sterling Planet directly (or indirectly) from Community Energy Inc (CEI) which is a wholly-owned affiliate of Iberdrola SA].

Sterling Planet buys the same 50% wind / 50% small hydro electricity blend from the same power marketer of the same 50% wind / 50% small hydro electricity blend that Energetix is buying from, (that being from Iberdola SA-owned power marketer Community Energy Inc), and, in the same manner as Energetix is doing, has had all “labels” removed that would otherwise show it is an Iberdrola-owned CEI power marketer product.

Sterling Planet also buys a 50% wind / 50% small hydro / 30% landfill gas (biomass) blend, but it won’t disclose who the power marketer is that it buys from, and then markets that blend as Sterling Green.

However, it is known that Iberdrola-owned CEI has, under the Community Energy Inc product name, marketed landfill gas dating back to March 2005 when CEI marketed from its NY City office a 50% wind / 50% landfill gas blend.

Thus, Iberdrola SA-owned CEI is the probable unnamed power marketer who is providing the landfill gas that Sterling Planet is now (in 2008) offering under its Sterling Green option.

US Energy Partners:

US Energy Partners offers renewable energy product under the name US Energy Partners; and also under the name EnvironGen which is another ESCO which is an “affiliate program: green energy” (see link) -- hiding from the public and from government regulators/investigators that these wind energy / renewable energy products come to US Energy Partners directly (or indirectly) from an unrevealed power marketer, most likely from Community Energy Inc (CEI) which is a wholly-owned affiliate of Iberdrola SA].

IDT Energy:

[IDT Energy offers its renewable energy product under the name IDT Energy ; -- hiding from the public and from government regulators/investigators that these wind energy / renewable energy products come to IDT Energy directly (or indirectly) from an unrevealed power marketer, most likely from Community Energy Inc (CEI) which is a wholly-owned affiliate of Iberdrola SA].

Accent Energy (aka Accent Energy Group LLC):

Accent Energy offers its renewable energy product under the name Accent Energy ; -- hiding from the public and from government regulators/investigators that these wind energy / renewable energy products come to Accent Energy directly (or indirectly) from an unrevealed power marketer, most likely from Community Energy Inc (CEI) which is a wholly-owned affiliate of Iberdrola SA or from another Iberdrola SA affiliate].

Sincerely,
Daniel M. Wing, Jr.
(ph: 585-224-6758)
139 Thistledown Dr.
Rochester, NY 14617-3020

Suzlon Wind Turbines Miss Some Performance Benchmarks, WSJ Says

Turbines supplied by India's Suzlon Energy Ltd. to wind farms managed by Deere & Co. are producing less power than contracted, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Suzlon, the world's fifth-largest maker of wind turbines, promises customers its turbines will be available to generate power at least 95% of the occasions when there is wind, and that they need only a limited amount of time for repair and maintenance, the newspapers said. The so-called availability rate has been lower in some cases, exposing Suzlon to the risk of penalties, it said.

Deere has 250 Suzlon turbines, making it one of the company's largest customers in the U.S. customers, the report said. Some turbines produce insufficient power because they aren't compatible with the U.S. electricity grid, it said.

Suzlon, in a written reply to the newspaper, said a version of its main turbine is compatible with the U.S. electricity grid, according to the report.

Politicians intervene in Iberdrola merger

Some business leaders and politicians are upset that a state agency is putting roadblocks in the way of a merger between a Spanish power company and RG&E's parent company.

They like the idea of a merger between Iberdrola and Energy East, which owns RG&E and NYSEG, largely because the company promises to invest up to $2 billion in wind energy development. Greater Rochester Enterprise, for example, pitches Rochester as a high-tech community on the forefront of renewable energy development. Its leaders see Iberdrola as a good fit in the community.

The state's regulatory watchdog, the Public Service Commission, has the final say on the merger. Its staff, as well as a judge involved in the proceedings, have recommended against the merger as proposed. They are concerned it would give the company too much clout in the power market. Competition could be stifled, they say, because Iberdrola would own both the means of producing and distributing energy. If the commission does allow the merger, Iberdrola should have to sell off its wind power assets, they say. Iberdrola officials, meanwhile, have said that they will walk away from the deal if they're forced to give up those assets.

"I think it's good the PSC has asked the questions, but I think clearly the right decision is to endorse the proposal," says Sandy Parker, CEO of Rochester Business Alliance.

Iberdrola owns a 50 percent stake in the state's largest wind farm, Maple Ridge, and has plans to develop around a dozen more. Worldwide, they are one of the largest wind energy producers.

Politicians think the company could be a valuable partner in helping the state meet its renewable energy goals - 25 percent of the state's power is supposed to come from renewables by 2013. So some influential Republicans and Democrats are starting to run interference with the process.

During a radio show appearance, Republican State Senator Joe Bruno said the judge involved in the proceedings should be "dismissed" for ruling against the merger.

United States Senator Chuck Schumer has been especially vocal on the merger, which he favors. He's called the demand that Iberdrola sell off its wind farm assets "irrational and illogical." He'll meet with PSC chair Gary Brown to discuss the judge's recommendations that the company not be allowed to own renewable energy facilities, including wind farms.

The PSC staff and the judge are just doing their jobs - to independently review whether the transaction is in the public interest - and politicians shouldn't criticize their recommendations, says Fairport resident Charles Straka. He's not involved with the merger case, but he is an unpaid representative of the average customer - an intervener in technical terms - in an ongoing RG&E rate case. And much of his interest in the merger deals with competition and its effect on rates.

"If the Public Service Commission process is overruled, who's going to control rates at all?" he says.

New York's experiment in power utility deregulation is key here. The underlying concept is that fostering competition between power producers should result in lower energy costs. Part of that effort has involved separating energy production and distribution so that one company doesn't control both.

If Iberdrola owns both the production facilities - wind farms, in this case - and the means of distribution, says Straka, it will give the company an advantage and may stifle competition, he says.

In public documents, an industry group has also voiced concerns that an Iberdrola-Energy East merger could hurt utility competition. The Independent Power Producers of New York, which represents power generating companies, favors Iberdrola's plans to sell RG&E and NYSEG's fossil fuel plants. If the merger happens, it also wants Iberdrola to sell Energy East's New York hydroelectric plants and refrain from connecting any new power plants, including wind farms, to RG&E or NYSEG distribution systems.

"It's a question of being fair," Straka says. "We don't need Iberdrola to own a utility company."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wind power investment may fly away

It’s coming down to the wire for Iberdrola SA’s $4.6 billion bid to buy the company that owns New York State Electric & Gas Corp., and all eyes are on the state’s Public Service Commission.

The PSC is the final regulatory agency that needs to sign off on Iberdrola’s purchase of Energy East Corp. — a deal that already has won approval from regulators in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine, the other states the company has utility operations.

While the deal has a long list of supporters, it is opposed by a couple of key players in the review process, the PSC’s staff and a state administrative law judge who reviewed the proposed merger.

That raises questions, not only about whether the deal will go through, but also whether Iberdrola will look elsewhere with the $2 billion it says it could invest in new wind energy projects in New York. Those projects could go a long way in helping the state reach its goal of getting more of its electricity from renewable — and nonpolluting — sources.

“That is totally unrelated to the case for the merger,” says Pedro Azagra, Iberdrola’s director of corporate development.

The administrative law judge, Rafael Epstein, also agrees, arguing in his recommended decision that if the wind projects Iberdrola is considering make economic sense, the company likely would build them regardless of whether the merger goes through. And if not Iberdrola, then another wind power developer probably will.

Azagra, however, points out that while the state has as much as 7,000 megawatts of wind power projects on the drawing board, very few of those have actually been built. Iberdrola, he notes, has the financial clout to do it and is the world’s largest owner of wind power projects. The company also has enough turbines for 1,000 megawatts of wind projects in the United States.

“I think New York should be targeting 15 megawatts to 20 megawatts of [wind] capacity,” Azagra says. “You’re missing huge investments. You’re missing huge opportunities.”

At the crux of the issue is the PSC’s 13- year-old policy that aims to keep utilities from owning power generation facilities in an effort to spur a competitive wholesale electricity market.

Owning power plants, the PSC staff and Epstein say, gives utilities too much market power and the opportunity to use their transmission and distribution capabilities to favor their own power plants.

“They would impair the potential economic advantages of wind generation and deter potential competitors from developing wind energy resources,” Epstein wrote. A utility, for example, could make it difficult for a competing power project to connect to the power grid.

Iberdrola’s Azagra says there’s a big difference between utilities owning baseline power plants on the scale of the Huntley Station in the Town of Tonawanda, and owning wind power projects that provide only a small percentage of the state’s overall electricity demand.

Big, conventional plants “are the ones that can fix the market price,” says Azagra, noting that utilities continue to own small hydroelectric stations and that Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. owns some sizable conventional power plants that Iberdrola has agreed to sell if the merger goes through. “Wind power can not fix the market price.”

Iberdrola says it will rethink its plans for its potential $2 billion investment if state regulators reject the Energy East deal when it comes before the full PSC, possibly as early as its July 16 meeting.

“We believe in predictable and consistent regulation. If those things are not there, there are many other states and countries where it is,” Azagra says. “If you’re in a state where regulation is not predictable, we’re out of there.”

Iberdrola s fraud at the ATLANTIC-JERSEY WIND PROJECT, aka Atlantic City Wind Project (NJ) funded by NY State

Dear PSC Chairman Brown and Ms. Jodi Fansler:

No later than noon this coming Monday 30 June 2008, I will send you other issues about Iberdrola SA defrauding the State of New York and its citizenry.

Please permanently remove Iberdrola SA (and its affiliates) from doing business in NY State.

Iberdrola SA (including, but not limited to its wholly owned affiliate Community Energy Inc) is defrauding the monies of the residential ratepayers of NY State in the "Renewable Portfolio Standard Fund" and is defrauding the NY State taxpayers of monies via the REC program.

1. ATLANTIC-JERSEY WIND PROJECT, aka Atlantic City Wind Project (NJ):

Each of the five 1.5 MW turbines at the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project (aka Atlantic City Wind Project) can produce 1.5 megawatts of electricity for a total wind farm nameplate capacity of 7.5 MW … “That’s equivalent to the annual energy consumption of about 2,500 homes,” said Paul Copleman, marketing operations manager at Community Energy Inc.

However, Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) knows that the wind turbines at the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project (aka Atlantic City Wind Project) only have a 10% effective capacity. The wind turbines installed in 2005 at Community Energy Inc’s (CEI’s) Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project are the same GE model 1.5 MW wind turbines in the same year 2005 that General Electric [aka GE Energy], the turbine manufacturer, in a report to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on 04 March 2005, stated: “Capacity factors of inland sites in New York are on the order of 30% of their rated [nameplate] capacity. Their effective capacities, however, are about 10% [of rated capacity], due to both the seasonal and daily patterns of the wind generation being largely ‘out of phase’ with the NYISO [New York Independent System Operator] load patterns.”

Therefore the 2005 version of the five GE 1.5 MW turbines being used at the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project will only power 250 homes. That's only 10% of what Iberdrola falsely claims it is generating there.

Even taking into account Atlantic City's coastal location in New Jersey, the effective output of the five GE 1.5 MW turbines at the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project would never more than double (due to coastal wind conditions) to 20% effectiveness, meaning that the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project might be able to power a meager 500 homes.

Iberdrola SA (CEI) is claiming and collecting (from NY State) RECs and RPS money based on a 7.5 MW total output capacity at that wind farm, when Iberdrola SA (CEI) knows that the real output capacity of that coastal wind farm is somewhere between 10% (250 homes) and 20% (500 homes).

It is FRAUDULENT that CEI (Iberdrola) is fraudulently claiming it's supplying wind electricity from the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project [electricity that will only power 250 to 500 homes regardless of state or location] to New York State when, in actuality, the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project is supplying the entirety of that wind electricity throughout New Jersey.

It is similarly FRAUDULENT for Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc), in order to obtain RPS and REC money from New York State, to be falsely claiming a 7.5 MW output capability at the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project which even GE says far exceeds the output capabilities of the GE wind turbines in use at the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project.

It is also FRAUDULENT for Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) to have written delivery contracts for future deliveries of Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project electricity which excessively exceed the ouput capacity what that wind farm's GE generators can actually provide the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project's extensive list of already contracted New Jersey customers it specifically lists.

And it is FRAUDULENT, in order to obtain RPS and REC money from New York State, for Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc), which has contractually more than committed and used up all of the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project electricity capable of being produced there, to write long-term supply contracts for electricity from the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project electricity with customers located in New York State.

The Iberdrola SA affiliate-owned Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project lists long-term multi-year contracts of Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project electricity to numerous large New Jersey located customers which include but are not limited to: institutions (Rowan University), industries (Johnson&Johnson’s New Jersey corporate locations), businesses (nine New Jersey stores of Whole Foods Market plus NJ-located warehouses plus one NY City store of Whole Foods Market; and to the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; and to the Sandy Alexander lithography/printing Company) -- that's far more than the equivalent of the 250 to 500 home real maximum capacity output of its five GE 1.5 MW wind turbines, the effective rating output of which GE Energy brought to NYSERDA's attention in 2005. That's DEFRAUDING the NYS "RPS" Fund and the NYS "RECs payout system, etc.

Additionally, the Iberdrola (CEI) operated Atlantic City Wind Project also supplies wind electricity to the New Jersey facility of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) waste water treatment center (handling 70% of that ACUA's site's total electrical requirements).

Additionally, six utility companies in New Jersey are offering to each of their customers three wind electricity products generated at Iberdrola's (Community Energy Inc's) Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project. The six utility companies are: Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G); Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L); Atlantic City Electric; Rockland Electric; Orange & Rockland; and Jersey-Atlantic Wind. The three Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project generated products which all six companies offer their customers are:

(1) A 100% New Jersey-based wind product in 100-kWh monthly increments is being offered under the brand name Jersey-Atlantic Wind. By clicking on the wind product “Jersey-Atlantic Wind” at this website, it opens the website of the owner and marketer of that product who, you guessed it, is Community Energy Inc (Iberdrola SA).

“New Jersey Wind is a renewable electricity certificate product delivered to the regional electric grid ... by the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm in Atlantic County, NJ.”

(2) Under the Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) brand name NewWind Energy®, a blend of A 100% New Jersey-based wind product in 100-kWh monthly increments is being offered under the brand name Jersey-Atlantic Wind. By clicking on the wind product “Jersey-Atlantic Wind” at this website, it opens the website of the owner and marketer of that product who, you guessed it, is Community Energy Inc (Iberdrola SA).

New Jersey Wind is a renewable electricity certificate product delivered to the regional electric grid ... by the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm in Atlantic County, NJ.”

(3) Under the Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) brand name NewWind Energy®, a blend of wind (50%), low-impact hydro (49%), and solar (1%) is being offered.

Obviously, Iberdrola's (Community Energy Inc's) Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project which can only produce enough electricity for 250 to 500 houses cannot possibly produce the massive quantities of wind electricity which Iberdrola SA claims to be producing for numerous very big electricity using customers and markets in New Jersey. “New Jersey Wind is a renewable electricity certificate product delivered to the regional electric grid ... by the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm in Atlantic County, NJ.”

(2) A blend of New Jersey-based wind (50%) and low-impact hydro (50%) is being offered under the brand name Jersey-Atlantic Wind. By clicking on the wind product “Jersey-Atlantic Wind” at this website, it opens the website of the owner and marketer of that product who, you guessed it, is Community Energy Inc (Iberdrola SA).

“New Jersey Wind is a renewable electricity certificate product delivered to the regional electric grid ... by the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm in Atlantic County, NJ.”

Obviously, there is nothing left for New York State, whose residential ratepayers have had their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) monies swindled in 2005 by NYSERDA action which sent their monies to Community Energy Inc to build that out-of-state project in New Jersey (the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project), and whose NY State taxpayers have had their NY State income tax monies swindled by NYSERDA's payment of that money to Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) in exchange for Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) self-issued RECs for Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project electricity. Clearly it is a facade to believe that actual wind generated electricity from this project.

The fact that the the relatively tiny Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project (aka Atlantic City Wind Farm) had a $12.5 million project cost when it opened 12 December 2005 but only 21 full months later had $0 debt is indicative of massive defrauding of the RPS fund and the REC system.

New Jersey has its own Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) fund to develop wind farm projects in New Jersey. So wasn't New Jersey's own RPS monies being used to fund and develop the New Jersey located Community Energy Inc (CEI) Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm? Or has Iberdrola SA (Community Energy Inc) instead been windfall profiting (at an alarming rate) by double dipping RPS monies from both of the states (New Jersey and New York) for Iberdrola SA's wind farm located in New Jersey?

Crookedly, New York State (NYSERDA) has given away its NY State residential ratepayers' RPS fund monies to develop the New Jersey located wind project (giving its owner Community Energy Inc / Iberdola SA immediate windfall profits). But New Jersey does not use any of its New Jersey State residential ratepayers' RPS fund monies to develop any wind projects located in New York State.

The Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm is a New Jersey located project. Therefore, its owner (Iberdrola SA's Community Energy Inc) was paid numerous free grants awarded by the State of New Jersey, among which are:

(1) A State of New Jersey huge monetary grant under the New Jersey's "Grid Supply Program".

(2) Community Energy Inc received a $1.7 million grant from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities [aka the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Office of Clean
Energy's (OCE) new REED (Renewable Energy and Economic Development) Program].

(3) A $1.92 million supply grant through Atlantic City Electric [most likely garnered by Atlantic City Electric from State of New Jersey and Federal tax monies].

(4) The State of New Jersey also offers [to Community Energy Inc's Jersey-Atlantic Wind Project] a 'new technology incubator' additional tax write-off / additional grant program for wind power project companies (new technology companies) which are already operating in the State of New Jersey and to other 'new technology companies' which are newly locating to New Jersey.

Plus, because it is located in New Jersey and sells it electricity to New Jersey customers, Iberdrola SA's Community Energy Inc's Atlantic City Wind Farm issues massive numbers of Renewable Energy Certificates which are redeemed for massive amounts of State of New Jersey provided cash. In fact, the New Jersey REC payments fund is quickly approaching bankruptcy due to the extraordinary numbers of RECs that Iberdrola SA's Community Energy (and others like them) are self-issuing in New Jersey.

Plus, because it is located in New Jersey, Iberdrola SA's Community Energy Inc's Atlantic City Wind Farm receives massive amounts of tax breaks from the State of New Jersey as:

(1) Production Tax Credits (PTCs) deducted from a New Jersey income tax form.

(2) [Rapidly] Accelerated Depreciation deducted from another New Jersey income tax form.

(3) Carbon Credits.

Plus, Iberdrola SA's Community Energy Inc's Atlantic City Wind Farm receives massive amounts of tax breaks from the Federal Government as:

(1) Production Tax Credits (PTCs) deducted from a U.S. income tax form.

(2) [Rapidly] Accelerated Depreciation deducted from another U.S. income tax form.

(3) Carbon Credits.

NY State's REC and RPS payout system is a joke. You're seeing the financial fraud that happens with the fox (Iberdrola SA) in charge of the henhouse.

Iberdrola's use of New York State monies for wind power projects in New Jersey (and Pennsylvania) is deplorable, corrupt, and is part of a massive wind power racketeering scheme.

Kick Iberdrola SA (and its affiliate Community Energy Inc) permanently out of the State of New York for having its wind electricity customer Whole Foods Market sell wind REC cards to grocery shoppers at Whole Foods Market.
Stop sending RPS monies out-of-state. In February 2005, the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) "ratepayers" fund of NYSERDA paid NY State ratepayers' monies to build a NEW JERSEY located wind "farm" (the Atlantic City Wind Farm).

Stop the unethical practice of allowing Iberdrola to combine the use of REC money and RPS money for the same facility and its output.

Stop allowing New York State to issue RPS money and REC money to Iberdrola SA (and its affiliates) for any purpose anywhere.

Sincerely,
Daniel M. Wing, Jr.
(ph: 585-224-6758)
139 Thistledown Dr.
Rochester, NY 14617-3020

FERC OKs NYISO Plan to Integrate Wind Power

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today approved tariff revisions that will allow the New York Independent System Operator Inc. (NYISO) to better incorporate wind power into its day-ahead and real-time energy markets.

Background

NYISO in April proposed tariff changes that would better integrate the increased presence of wind generating resources into the day-ahead and real-time energy markets in New York by increasing the amount of intermittent renewable capacity eligible for special market rules from 1,000 MW to 3,300 MW and incorporating a wind forecasting system into NYISO's processes. NYISO would exempt eligible facilities from charges for persistent under-generation, and would pay them for over-generation in the real-time energy market.

NYISO also proposed to implement a centralized, mandatory and enforceable wind forecasting mechanism for all facilities larger than 12 MW to allow NYISO to more accurately commit and dispatch resources in the New York Control Area and schedule imports from neighbors that will reduce system operating costs and improve the reliability of service to New York loads. Under this mechanism, wind plant operators must collect, from equipment on at least one point in the wind farm, data regarding wind speed and direction and transmit the data to NYISO at least once every 15 minutes.

Each wind resource would be responsible for the cost of installation and maintenance of any equipment necessary to collect the required data. NYISO also would add a new rate schedule to recover its cost of providing the wind forecasting service by assessing both a $500 fixed fee and a separate fee of $7.50 per MW of nameplate capacity each month.

NYISO also proposed to impose daily financial sanctions on wind resources that fail to provide the required meteorological data and that do not cure that failure after a reasonable notice period. The daily sanctions would be equal to the greater of $500 or $20 per MW of nameplate capacity per day until the failure is corrected.

Order

FERC approved the proposal, finding that the tariff revisions will benefit and encourage wind and other intermittent generators. FERC also required NYISO to file an informational report within two years apprising the Commission of its evaluation of progress in the program and providing information regarding the costs of the service, the revenues collected under the new rate schedule and the disposition of those revenues.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Speaker outlines wind power 'myths'

CAPE PRESENTATION: Ecologist says wind not best answer to global warming, pollution, oil dependency

CAPE VINCENT — The attraction of wind power is based on some myths.

That's what D. Daniel Boone, an ecologist and natural resources policy analyst from Bowie, Md., told members of the Wind Power Ethics Group and the public at a presentation Friday evening.

While global warming is used as a reason for supporting wind turbine development, Mr. Boone said, "I'm convinced they're not the best way of dealing with this issue."

Mr. Boone said onshore wind power development won't solve air pollution problems, won't reduce the current rates of burning or mining coal and won't reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil.

He credited the Clear Air Act for the current and future progress of cleaning air over the eastern U.S.

The act requires use of a cap-and-trade program, in which power plants — among others — are allowed a certain amount of nitrogen oxide and sulfuric oxide emissions. If they do not use all of their allowance, the producers are allowed to trade or sell the remainder.

"But meanwhile, the ceiling is getting lower," Mr. Boone said.

According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, emissions of nitrogen oxide, a key substance in smog, decreased in the mid-Atlantic states between 1995 and 2003. But at the same time, electricity output increased 15 percent. The mid-Atlantic states are Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

When wind power is introduced into a region's grid, the allowance for pollutants isn't immediately decreased. Ideally, wind-generated electricity would replace power from plants that emit gases.

But those plants still have their allowances, which may be used by burning cheaper, less efficient coal, or sold to other plants.

So as emissions in the eastern U.S. decrease, "wind turbines are not going to have anything to do with it," Mr. Boone said.

On coal burning, Mr. Boone said the demand for electricity will push further growth in the coal industry even if wind energy resources are used. New York used 9,417 tons of coal to produce electricity in 2006.

The National Renewable Energy Lab estimated that in 2050, wind power generation would produce 10 percent of electricity in the U.S., while coal would produce more than 50 percent, about the same proportion it produces now. But overall demand would more than double.

As demand increases and the allowed emissions decrease, new technology will be needed to make coal plants cleaner. Or they need to be replaced with cleaner alternatives.

"I think there's downsides to everything," Mr. Boone said. "But as far as emissions are concerned, nuclear would have way less."

On foreign oil use, Mr. Boone cited a Rocky Mountain Institute study that said only 3 percent of oil use in the United States goes to electricity production. And of that, five-sixths comes from useless byproducts of the refining process.

So oil is not a competitor for wind energy.

Wind energy, especially onshore in the eastern U.S., does not produce close to its rated capacity. The turbines produce the most during winter nights and the least during summer afternoons, when demand is highest.

"It's out of whack seasonally and during the day," Mr. Boone said.

But offshore wind turbines would more closely mirror demand.

"The future is offshore," he said. "But there needs to be environmental studies first."

Wind critics appeal ruling

CAPE VINCENT — The Wind Power Ethics Group has appealed a state Supreme Court judge's ruling that three documents cannot be included in the record of an earlier appeal regarding dismissal of the group's Article 78 proceeding against the town's Zoning Board of Appeals.

The citizens organization that opposes large-scale wind power development brought an Article 78 suit in March 2007 against the ZBA, claiming it incorrectly classified industrial wind turbines as utilities. Judge Hugh A. Gilbert dismissed the petition in August, ruling the classification was correct under existing zoning law.

The group appealed the decision in September to the state Appellate Division, Fourth Department, Rochester. It also made a motion to have three documents that were not part of the lower court's administrative record included in the record of appeal.

Judge Gilbert denied the request June 16 and WPEG has now filed an appeal of that decision, according to documents filed Wednesday at the Jefferson County clerk's office.

The disputed documents are a draft local town law dated June 28, 2006, a 2003 joint comprehensive plan and the Aug. 28, 2006, meeting minutes of the town board.

The group contends the draft local law, while never adopted, was used by the town Planning Board as "guidelines" in processing wind turbine applications. The group claims the proposed law is also "critical" because it "expressly acknowledged" that the town's zoning law does not include turbines in its definition of utilities.

The group further claims the joint comprehensive plan refers to considerations that run counter to the ZBA's findings regarding turbines, such as the visual impacts and the location of the towers. The town board's meeting minutes of Aug. 28, 2006, are relevant because, the group claims, a town attorney is quoted as saying town law "doesn't specifically address wind power," which is the group's main contention with regard to its appeal of the Article 78 dismissal.

Both sides acknowledge the documents were referred to during the Article 78 proceedings, but were never entered into the record. The group contends the references were sufficient to make the documents part of the record of appeal, but Judge Gilbert disagreed in his June 16 decision.

"Petitioners could have but apparently chose not to submit the three documents to the Court for its consideration on the Petition," Judge Gilbert wrote. "We cannot permit Petitioners to expand the record to include documents which were not before the Court on their Petition."

The appeal of the decision was filed Wednesday.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Energy East asks for Delay

Energy East asks for extention of merger
June 25, 2008 at 1:23 pm by Larry Rulison, Business writer
Energy East Corp. has asked that Iberdrola SA extend the deadline to complete their $4.5 billion merger.

The deadline was today, but the state Public Service Commission has yet to vote on the merger.

Interested parties in the case have until July 3 to respond to a recommended decision made in the case last week by an administrative law judge. The judge recommended that the PSC’s five commissioners approve the deal only with significant conditions.

The PSC next meets July 16, but it’s uncertain if the commissioners will vote on the proposed merger that day.

The agenda for that meeting will likely be issued July 11, the previous Friday. It’s unclear if that will give the commissioners enought time to study the matter.

The deal has huge implications for New York. Energy East has 1.3 million upstate New York customers, and Iberdrola, the largest wind developer in the world, wants to invest $2 billion in wind-energy projects in the state.

In a June 20 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Energy East said that because of the “current schedule” of the proceeding, it has asked Iberdrola to extend the deadline. In a previous SEC filing, Energy East said it was allowed to extend deadline for 6 months.

“Energy East is unable to predict either the outcome of this proceeding or the timing of a (PSC) decision,” the company said in the filing.

Clipper Windpower may unionize

CEDAR RAPIDS -- Some 165 employees of Clipper Windpower's wind turbine factory in Cedar Rapids will decide whether to unionize in a vote this weekend.

Local 204 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers filed a petition to represent 165 plant employees on May 20, said Bob Chester, regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Minneapolis.

Chester said the bargaining unit sought in the petition includes all fulltime and part-time workers and lead people in the base, hub, gearbox and surface finishing operations, along with maintenance and facility employees.

The vote for union representation would be a new foothold in the wind turbine industry for Local 204, which already represents workers in the energy industry at Aquila Gas, Duane Arnold Energy Center and Alliant Energy.

Union Business Manager Dave George said the union was encouraged to organize the plant's work force by employees who were concerned about issues of fairness, safety and qual ity. He said some employees who have been with the factory since it opened in 2006 feel they have been passed over for job advancement in favor of new hires, and some employees don't feel the company's management structure enables them to speak out about issues that affect product quality.

"People are afraid to speak up," George said.

Company officials with Clipper Windpower, which is based in Carpinteria, Calif., declined to comment on the organizing issue.

One employee, Kevin Rawson, said he is opposed to bringing a union into the plant.

Rawson said Clipper has been a good employer. He said the company provides free soft drinks and coffee, and found a better health insurance deal for employees after some complaints were made about insurance benefits.

George said the union does not want to hamper the competitiveness of the plant but would like to improve it by providing more organizational structure.

The company has hired a law firm specializing in anti-union campaigns and required employees to attend mandatory meetings on the issue, George said.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PSC Commissioners Iberdrola Merger June 25, 2008 Letter by James Hall

June 25, 2008

Jodi Fansler
New York Public Service Commission
Empire State Plaza
Agency Building 3
Albany, NY 12223-1350

RE: Iberdrola/Energy East acquisition

Ms. Fanslet, it is our understanding that you will accept responsibility that Chairman Garry A. Brown and all PSC commissioners will receive this message.
Cohocton Wind Watch has worked closely with the New York Public Service Commission. Several of our members have contributed significant information on energy policy with the PSC staff. CWW is concerned about ill-conceived wind turbine projects in NYS. The proposed approval of the Iberdrola acquisition of Energy East would create a virtual industrial wind monopoly. Long standing NYS energy policy and laws are clear. Deregulation requires that Iberdrola must not own generation facilities of any kind, while providing distribution and transmission functions.

Proponents of the Iberdrola acquisition are demanding that the PSC violates NYS law and their own energy policy. Such a departure from sound deregulation PSC policy will surely set off endless rounds of litigation and cause incontrovertible damage to electric consumers and taxpayers.

Enclosed is a summary - Iberdrola needs to walk away from the Energy East acquisition – that provides the essential argument why the PSC should adopt Judge Epstein’s conclusion to reject the Iberdrola/Energy East application.

Cohocton Wind Watch stands ready to cooperate with the PSC to ensure rational and balanced energy policy for all of New York State residents.

Cordially,

James Hall for CWW
cc: Ethics/Secretary to the Commission

Green technology: Inside an advanced wind turbine - Clipper Windpower Liberty Turbine

Prattsburgh’s Educational Legacy

Prattsburgh board rules in favor of eminent domain

STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Prattsburgh town board has ruled in favor of eminent domain. The decision means First Wind, the company that wants to build a 36 turbine wind farm in Prattsburgh can now take portions of land from property owners who oppose the project.

Eminent domain was proposed after seven property owners said they would not sell their land to the company. First Wind wants the property along the town highways to lay underground cables.

The board voted three to two Tuesday in a decision which allows the wind project to move forward.

"It's been under debate for a long time. It's considered the opinion of the board, it's to the town's advantage to proceed with action. It wasn't decided spontaneously. It did take a lot of consideration," said Prattsburgh Town Supervisor Harold McConnell.

"It's frustration at feeling more people don't understand the real issues. It's sadness because it's important to have renewable energy and it's not being done right," said Prattsburgh resident Ruth Matilsky.

First Wind will be allowed to build the underground cables strictly on the right of way of town highways.

Wind Farms In Prattsburgh by Raegan Medgie

Prattsburgh - Seven property owners in the Town of Prattsburgh must allow a wind farm developer to dig on their land.

That's because the town board voted to proceed with eminent domain Tuesday night.

Neighbors lined a street outside Prattsburgh town hall before the town board held its meeting to determine if they should use the power of eminent domain for a wind farm project. Several neighbors for wind farms held signs and wore green just to show their support for the project.

Town hall was packed inside with neighbors.

Officials voted three to two to proceed with eminent domain. That's when a government can force a property owner to sell their land for a project that benefits the entire area.

The move comes after seven property owners who, officials said, wouldn't give permission to have a cable be buried underneath a town road to connect the wind turbines.

Wind farm developer, First Wind, plans on building 36 wind turbines that look much like turbines already operating Cohocton. 48 properties in Prattsburgh would be affected by the project.

"I believe in clean energy and we now have an oil crisis in our nation, electricity bills are going up and everything is sky-rocketing." said supporter Joe Barkalow.

"I think small wind towers in conjunction with solar and hydro could be better than this project. I don't feel it will be beneficial for our community." said protestor Ruth Matilsky.

Town officials have been going through negotiations with First Wind since July of last year.

Board members were also expected to iron out legal issues involving two local school districts. Earlier this year, the school districts challenged a deal between the town and first wind. Districts are concerned about the loss of tax revenue because of the deal. Neither school district officials nor town officials would comment last night.

AFP summary of Eminent Domain vote by the Prattsburgh Town Board

Tonight, just a month after the public hearing, the Prattsburgh Town Board voted to continue on with eminent domain. We do not know the wording of the resolution and we don’t know what their “findings” are. Chuck Schick asked Harold to recuse himself from voting because of his professional (real estate) connection with First Wind/UPC, and John Leyden, town attorney, spoke for Harold and said that Harold would see how the vote went. Stacy Battoni and Sharon Quigley voted in favor while Chuck Schick and Steve Kula voted against. Harold then broke the tie by voting in favor of the resolution. The issue, however, is not nearly resolved because July 1 there will be a motion in Bath to throw out Harold’s vote due to conflict of interest. And, should it be necessary, three of the “condemned” are prepared to appeal.

According to what I understand of eminent domain law, at this time the Board is supposed to publish their findings in the newspaper, they are supposed to make an earnest effort to obtain the desired easements and if they are unsuccessful then they will go before a judge to get permission to condemn the property. Once they serve condemnation papers on the landowners, the landowners have 30 days to appeal the condemnations. Judith Dudley, one of the “condemnees” was present for the meeting.

The vote came after nearly a two hour executive session to which the school boards of Naples and Prattsburgh were invited, along with UPC officials, in an attempt to work out the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) disagreements that have led to two lawsuits against the town. According to John Leyden, no settlement was reached other than an agreement to meet again.

During the executive session, thirty or more people who are opposed to the eminent domain issue waited outside. The “other side” had asked school kids to carry signs and make a lot of noise. The kids were fed pizza for their trouble. Very few landowners or residents in favor of the project showed up.

We will provide more details in the next few days. Please remember to check http://advocatesforprattsburgh.org frequently for updates.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Critical Condemnation/ Eminent Domain Meeting June 24 at Town Hall

Next Tuesday, June 24 at 7:00PM the Town of Prattsburgh has planned a special meeting at the Town Hall. They are inviting the school boards, SCIDA and UPC/First Wind to meet with them in executive session to try to resolve the lawsuits. When they come out of executive session they plan to vote on the "Determination of Findings" concerning eminent domain. The Determination is being written by our Town attorney, John Leyden, who is also the attorney for SCIDA, the lead agent for this wind farm project.

Our understanding is that if they vote to accept the determination, then they will have to approach the landowners to try to pay for the easements. If the offers are rejected, then the Town Board will go to a judge, show that they have tried to buy the easements and ask for permission to condemn the properties. Once the landowners are notified of condemnation, there will be 30 days to appeal.

We learned at this past Tuesday’s Town Board meeting (June 17) that the town received 70 written comments, in addition to those presented at the public hearing itself. There are over 100 pages in the transcript of the meeting alone. A big thank you goes to everyone who took the time to make your opinions be known.

There are a lot of unknowns about this meeting. At this time we don't know whether the school boards will accept the invitation, so it could conceivably turn out that they will not be in executive session for that long. They did say, however, that they are committed to voting next week, and for this reason it will be good for people to be there for this vote. Please come prepared to wait comfortably until they let us in. A Board member suggested that the meeting be in a bigger place, but Town Supervisor Harold McConnell vetoed this, so it is unclear whether they will move the meeting if the crowd is large.

We will try to send out last minute e-mails on Tuesday, June 24, if things change. A video of the June 17 Town Board meeting will be posted on this website shortly. Please see Ruthe Matilsky’s report below on the meeting, the town supervisor’s rant and his failure to condemn violence at the meeting.

Draft Scope of 2009 New York State Energy Plan And Public Solicitation of Comments

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to set forth a Draft Work Scope (“Scope”) for the 2009 New York State Energy Plan, and to solicit public comment and input on the Scope.

(Click to read entire report)

NEW YORK STATE ENERGY PLANNING BOARD

"New Yorkers continue to face numerous serious energy and environmental challenges that impact all facets of their lives. Issues of major concern include high energy costs, continuing reliance on imported fuels, aging energy infrastructure, and climate change.

In March 2008, Governor David A. Paterson issued Executive Order 2 directing the creation of a State Energy Plan stating that "...the development, implementation, and periodic review of a sensible comprehensive energy plan will enable the State to determine its future energy needs and facilitate a deliberate, efficient, and cost-effective means of meeting those needs."

To create the new State Energy Plan, the Governor convened the State Energy Planning Board to conduct the planning process, which will culminate in recommendations that, when implemented, will keep New York at the forefront among the states in providing its residents with reliable, economical, and clean energy resources.

This process and document will be key to the discussion of wind and other renewable development in NYS in the coming decade. Will also significantly influence Article X discussions in 2009:

Purpose

The purpose of this Working Paper is to create a framework to assist the State Energy Planning Board (the “Board”) to complete its assigned task of creating an Energy Plan for the State of New York. This framework is guided by Executive Order No. 2, Establishing a State Energy Planning Board and Authorizing the Creation and Implementation of a State Energy Plan, which is attached to this document as Appendix 1. The framework is intended to guide the agency participants in drafting and completing the plan, and to describe the process for stakeholders and the general public to participate in the development of the plan.

(Click to read entire report)

PSC Commissioners Iberdrola Merger June 24, 2008 Letter by Don E. Sanford

To: Public Service Commission Members

After many months of listening to verbal and reading written testimony of facts pro and con, Judge Rafael Epstein and staff issued his fact finding recommendations that would ensure safe, reliable electric service at reasonable rates which was not the case provided in its original presentation by the Iberdrola/Energy East proposal since it would give it a virtual monopoly on the generation and distribution of NYS electricity if approved and was clearly not in the best interest of NYS public. Judge Epstein's report clearly wasn't well received by Senator Schumer, Gov Patterson and other entrenched politicians in Albany and Washington. Since we have all seen this disgraceful movie before of politics, money and backroom deals for special interest motives resulting in honorable intentions and goals left by the wayside, one can only hoped this time it will be different. But sadly once again dissatisfied individuals have begun the disgraceful smear and intimidation tactics seen in the media in an unashamed attempt to influence the PSC Commissioners and discredit the scholarly hard work of Judge Epstein and his unbiased recommendations and conclusions to protect all New Yorkers.

I urge The Public Service Commission Members not to be intimidated, pressure or influenced by desperate but common political tactics now being pursued by some. With Senator Schumer's pending private behind close doors meeting with PSC Chairman Gary Brown, he hopes this political pressure will result in a backdoor deal of his liking and if successful, short-circuiting and disregarding the views of all New Yorkers who testified against the Iberdrola/Energry East buy out as proposed and a tragic reversal of the positive recommendations presented to the NYS PSC by Judge Epstein. Public Service Commission Members: Make the right and honorable decision and show the deserved respect for the work of the Honorable Judge Epstein who knows this subject inside and out and NOT the career partisan politicians such as Senator Charles Schumer and others. Judge Epstein's work deserves nothing less. When your vote on the Iberdrola/Energy East matter is finally counted, stand up in favor of the facts as shown by Judge Epstein.

Thank You

Don E. Sandford
3668 Brown Hill Rd.
Cohocton, NY 14826

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sign and Support the petition against the Iberdrola/Energy East PSC approval

N.Y.S. Public Service Commission Chairman Gary Brown and Commissioners,

I / We the undersigned ask that you continue to OPPOSE the Iberdrola/Energy East merger. The Public Service Commission made an “informed” decision, acting in the best interest of the “People”. Do Not let the NYS Governor or other Politicians influence your final decision.

Iberdrola should not be allowed to monopolize electricity generation and supply in NYS.

Please ignore attempts by politicians such as U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and N.Y.S. Senator Joseph Bruno to pressure the Public Service Commission into changing your decision on the issue. Judge Rafael Epstein’s recommendation should weigh heavily on your final decision. In this recommended decision, the primary recommendation is that the Commission disapprove the transaction on the ground that it does not satisfy the “public interest” requirement of Public Service Law (PSL) §70. If the PSC allows the merger, wouldn’t you be breaking one of your own laws designed to protect the people?

The New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) does not believe that the quantifiable benefits expected from the proposed transaction sufficiently outweigh the risks that it creates for consumers.

Iberdrola, (a Spanish company backed by Middle East Oil Companies) has already swayed some politicians to their side by offering to infuse $2 Billion into New York State with wind projects, over the next five years. Iberdrola has fed Senator Schumer a $2 Billion carrot, when in fact the $2 Billion includes projects already scheduled to be built. Iberdrola is buying up companies with already approved projects but counting them as part of the $2 Billion infusion of capital. Furthermore, of this $2 Billion, how much is for the turbines and other components which are made out of state or overseas, and how much will actually be infused into our local economy in the form of labor and material purchases? Our tax dollars, through subsidies will be funneled out of the U.S.

A few politicians are now ready to sell out the beautiful hill tops and communities of New York State to a Spanish Company who will cover every hill top with thousands of 500’ tall wind turbines. And to make matters worse they want to give them complete control of delivering the electricity to our homes and businesses. What was the reason for electricity deregulation? Will “Natural Gas” be next for Iberdrola in NYS? Please, PROTECT the consumers! OPPOSE the merger!

(Name)________________________________________________ (Address)______________________________________________________

(City)_______________________________ (State)___________ (Zip)______________ (Signature)________________________________________________


(Name)________________________________________________ (Address)______________________________________________________

(City)_______________________________ (State)___________ (Zip)______________ (Signature)________________________________________________


(Name)________________________________________________ (Address)______________________________________________________

(City)_______________________________ (State)___________ (Zip)______________ (Signature)________________________________________________

Fax to: 1-518-486-6081
Phone the Secretary to the PSC @ 1-518-474-6530 or Acting Executive Deputy @ 1-518-473-4544 with your comments. E-mail any comments to: jodi_fansler@dps.state.ny.us & secretary@dps.state.ny.us

Print to petition form

PSC Garry Brown Iberdrola Merger June 23, 2008 Letter by Glenn R. Schleede

Dear Mr. Chairman & Commissioners:

Please be aware that Iberdrola's "commitment" to invest $2 Billion in wind energy in New York is NOT in the best interest of New York's electric customers, taxpayers or economy.

As the attached paper illustrates, individuals and organizations are "investing" in wind energy primarily to take advantage of extraordinary tax breaks and subsidies for wind energy -- not because of benefits to the environment, energy supply or New York's economy.

Almost certainly, Iberdrola's desire to build "wind farms" in New York would permit Iberdrola to shelter from federal and New York corporate income taxes much of its profit from the electric distribution companies that it wishes to acquire.

Why would the PSC (or Senator Schumer) want to help Iberdrola avoid paying federal or NY income tax and, thereby, (a) shift tax burden to ordinary taxpayers and (b) send to another country more of the money paid by NY electric customers?

Glenn R. Schleede

(Click to read report)

PSC Garry Brown Iberdrola Merger June 23, 2008 Letter by Gary A. Abraham

Dear Chairman Brown:

Please accept the following comments on the above-referenced matter.

I am a public interest environmental attorney currently representing two community groups raising concerns about local utility-scale wind power plant proposals, and I have become aware of well over a dozen similar situations around the state. This gives me a unique perspective from which to comment on some likely results of the proposed merger. I support Judge Rafael Epstein’s and PSC Staff’s recommendations that approval of the merger should not be granted without a divestiture of wind power by Iberdrola.

Prominent public officials have urged you to consider the benefits of wind energy development that purportedly would flow from the merger if approved, but this consideration is irrelevant to PSC’s decision. However, to the extent these voices are endeavoring to cultivate your sympathy for approval, the asserted benefits are largely a fiction. As the following comments show, wind energy can make no more than an insignificant contribution to New York’s electricity needs and promoting unplanned further development will result in specific harms to New Yorkers.

1. Approval would exacerbate an already irrational and harmful siting regime.

Because there is no comprehensive state regulation of the siting of utility-scale wind energy projects, developers including subsidiaries of Energy East and Iberdrola have become excessively aggressive, prevailing on unsophisticated rural town officials to adopt local standards that are woefully deficient in achieving minimally reasonable health and environmental protections. I understand Your Honor has heard much about the deficiencies in the siting process for these projects from residents of host communities.

I have followed closely the regulatory climate governing wind projects and, from what I have seen I do not believe the absence of state siting rules will be addressed any time soon. It therefore falls more heavily on PSC than perhaps it should to protect New Yorkers from excessive concentrations of power within the industrial wind industry in the state. Already the inability of rural town officials to shoulder this burden is threatening the state’s land resources, community character and the health of residents of the communities that host these projects.

The wind projects that would be developed in New York by a post-merger Iberdrola should the Commission approve the proposed merger without divesting New York wind project holdings are likely to be segmented in phases, with about 100 MW of installed capacity in each phase, and phases approved separately by adjacent towns. For example, last year a developer won local and PSC approval for 67 1.5 MW turbines in the Town of Eagle (Wyoming Co.); this year it seeks approvals for 67 more in the adjacent Town of Centerville (Allegany Co.); and next year it plans to seek approval for 67 more in the adjacent Town of Farmersville (Cattaraugus Co.) and to add about 50 turbines to its project in Eagle for a continuous wind farm comprised of 200 to
250 turbines. Each phase of this project requires half or more of each town’s land area.

A similar situation is developing in Steuben County, where a developer has approvals for a wind farm in one town, a wind project pending approval in an adjacent town, and another wind project planned in the town adjacent to that. The developer has prevailed on the second town to institute a condemnation proceeding against property owners unwilling to grant an easement for the developer’s proposed transmission line.

In all of these cases and others with which I am familiar, towns adopt new performance standards (including setbacks and noise levels) at the urging of the developer without consulting specialists in acoustics or other environmental disciplines. When public comments identifying such issues are submitted, the town rejects them as appropriate only later, when a project application under the local standards is submitted. I know of no New York town that has planned for wind turbine siting in any other way. Where wind project applications have been reviewed, to my knowledge no developer has offered to mitigate adverse impacts by altering the location of turbines, reducing their number or concentration, or obtaining higher-rated machines so as to avoid the most intrusive sites.

Until rational siting rules can be developed, Commission approval of the proposed merger without wind power divestiture would promote more unplanned development of highly intrusive projects without adequate protections for public health and the environment.

(Click to read entire letter)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Call and contact each PSC commissioner and urge they vote to accept Judge Epstein's ruling

ALL:

This coming week is very important. Senator Schumer has a scheduled meeting with NYPSC chairman Gary A. Brown to push the commission to over ride Judge Epstein’s recommendation to reject the approval for Iberdrola acquisition of Energy East. The main argument that has surfaced in the press is that Iberdrola promises to invest over $2,000,000,000 on new wind projects.

It is a FACT that industrial wind developers (using shell LLC’s) have scores of applications already in the queue that exceed this amount. All Iberdrola is really saying is that this foreign Spanish company intends to buy out Wall Street backed wind developers. These LLC’s are already engaged in spending this same amount of money to build these identical projects. Iberdrola will ultimately serve as the actual owner and buy out the interests of these LLC’s.

Therefore, it makes no difference to the actual monies spent on wind development. Iberdrola is not saying it would invest an additional 2 Billion if granted approval to acquire Energy East.

What will happen if the PSC approves the Iberdrola/Energy East deal is that a foreign company who has Middle East oil sovereign fund backing will have a virtual vertical monopoly on the generation and distribution of NYS electricity.

The stated policy of NYS has been very clear since electric utility deregulation. If the PSC commissioners ignore Judge Epstein’s ruling, NYS will be violating their own policies and laws.

CWW urges everyone to write the PSC this week and express your outrage that Senator Schumer is pressuring New York State to accept a fraudulent attempt to approve and place our infrastructure under the world’s largest industrial wind owner with Middle East Gulf oil partners.

FAX your letters, call Mr. Brown directly, and express your support of Judge Epstein’s ruling.

James Hall

http://www.dps.state.ny.us/phonebook.html

Executive Office - Garry A. Brown, Chairman
Judith Lee, Acting Executive Deputy Phone:
518-473-4544

And

Hon. Jaclyn A. Brilling - Secretary to the Commission
New York State Public Service Commission
Agency Building 3
Albany, NY 12223-1350
Phone: (518) 474-6530
Fax: (518) 486-6081

More calls for PSC change by LARRY RULISON

ALBANY -- A Rochester-area Democrat is joining state Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno in calling for reform of the Public Service Commission.
Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, says he is preparing legislation to re-evaluate the role of the five-member PSC and its staff, known as the Department of Public Service.

Morelle and Bruno expressed outrage this week when an administrative law judge urged the PSC to place significant conditions on Spanish utility Iberdrola SA in its $4.5 billion acquisition of Energy East Corp.

Based in Maine, Energy East has 1.3 million customers in upstate New York through its Rochester Gas & Electric and New York State Electric & Gas subsidiaries. The RG&E and NYSEG service area reaches from Rochester to Binghamton and to parts of the Capital Region and the North Country.

Legislative leaders from both political parties, as well as U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., have been critical of the PSC's handling of the case.

The commissioners, who are appointed by the governor, have yet to vote on the merger or even discuss it.

But as part of the proceeding, staff at the Department of Public Service have opposed the merger on several grounds and called for a number of conditions to be placed on the deal.

The staff have urged PSC members to ban Iberdrola, the world's largest wind developer, from owning or building electric generation in the state. They have also asked Iberdrola to set aside $640 million in customer benefits, although Iberdrola has only offered $200 million.

The judge overseeing the case, Rafael Epstein, recommended on Monday that the PSC ask Iberdrola for the full $640 million in customer benefits.

Epstein also wants to ban Iberdrola from owning or building power generation, including wind turbines, within the RG&E and NYSEG territories.

Bruno and others say limiting Iberdrola's wind development in the state would be foolish because Iberdrola wants to invest $2 billion in wind projects in New York over the next five years.

Gov. David Paterson, an advocate of renewable energy, has pointed out the judge's ruling is not binding. In a statement, Paterson said he is specifically focused on Iberdrola's $2 billion wind development plan.

Paterson called the $200 million in customer benefits Iberdrola has already offered to consumers "significant" and hopes commissioners "would not let the perfect be the enemy of the good" when it comes to the final amount they request.

The PSC meets next on July 16, though a vote on the Iberdrola case hasn't yet been scheduled.

Assemblyman Morelle said in a statement he wants the "scope and authority" given to the PSC and the Department of Public Service to be examined in light of the state's deregulated energy market.

"Over the last 12 years, New York's energy industry has gone through a massive and unprecedented restructuring designed by bureaucrats without a single legislative act," he said.

Babcock & Brown de-gears to appease its bankers

A PROMISE to unwind gearing and undertake a full review of operations might be sufficient to let Babcock & Brown off the hook with its bankers.

It is now looking as if the beleaguered company might have done enough to prevent a formal review being called on its $2.8 billion corporate facility from its bankers.

A decision on whether the syndicate of 25 banks initiates a formal review, prompted after Babcock's market capitalisation fell through the facility's $2.5 billion value trigger, is expected within the next two weeks. But it is now looking more likely that this process could be expedited, with an announcement made possibly this week.

Expectations are building that Babcock will avoid a review, most likely because the banks have been reassured by Babcock that it is committed to a progressive de-gearing process and its plans to undertake an independent analysis of how its future growth strategy might be refined to take account of the current market conditions. The banks are also likely to keep a watching brief on the company.

Babcock's corporate gearing level is now sitting at about 50 per cent. That will be "progressively" de-geared, possibly to about 40 per cent.

Future deals are likely to have a greater emphasis on third party capital arrangements, such as the joint acquisition of British freight company Angel Trains last week. That means Babcock will rely less on its own balance sheet to fund future acquisitions.

It is understood that assets on the Babcock balance sheet -- predominantly wind farm assets and some infrastructure assets -- might also be sold.

Babcock is this week expected to appoint external investment banks to begin a strategic review. The review is expected to look at the positioning of the group and strategic alternatives but it is believed Babcock is unlikely to privatise any of its listed funds.

Some of the listed funds, such as Babcock & Brown Power, have also flagged their intention to de-gear, through asset sales.

A sale process is already under way for numerous wind farms -- mostly in Europe -- and power stations which could be worth $4 billion.

Last Monday, Babcock chief Phil Green and his senior lieutenants -- chief financial officer Michael Larkin and capital markets boss Trevor Loewensohn -- made a two-hour presentation to its bankers, which was "reasonably well" received.

The trio's key message was that Babcock was currently in much the same position as it had been less than two months ago, when the banks completed due diligence and signed off on the corporate facility.

Babcock's shares have taken a beating in the past couple of weeks and since the start of June have lost about half their value, amid concerns about the $46 billion in debt across Babcock's investment funds and doubts about its business model amid the global liquidity crisis.

Such is the unease around Babcock that one trader said on online trader forum HotCopper last week: "If the 'business model is flawed' we all should be shorting Macquarie."

Babcock & Brown stock closed 28c weaker on Friday at $6.42.

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