Sunday, September 30, 2007

Group challenges wind farm zoning by MARY PERHAM

BATH | Sides will line up early this week for more legal action over wind farms in the town of Cohocton.

Arguments over stop orders filed by wind farm opponents, Cohocton Wind Watch, are scheduled to be heard at 10 a.m. Tuesday by State Supreme Court Justice Marianne Furfure. The group is seeking to halt construction of a 53-turbine wind development in the town by UPC/Canandaigua Power Partners, LLC.

On Sept. 24, Furfure denied an earlier challenge by opponents to the town's local Law No. 2, which set out regulations for setbacks, noise and other zoning issues. Opponents charged the town should have undertaken an environmental study on the impact of the 440-foot high wind turbines before the law was passed.

Furfure ruled industrial wind mills were not “the action under review” and noted the law called for a state environmental quality review for any wind farm developments. Reviews for changes in land use are different than reviews of a specific project, Furfure wrote in her decision.

She noted the local law was more stringent than a previous law. The first law was also upheld by the courts, and an appeal by Cohocton wind opponents was recently denied.

James Hall, spokesman for Cohocton Wind Watch, said the group is considering an appeal of Furfure's decision and looking forward to their next day in court Tuesday.

Hall said the rulings have ignored the merits of the cases.

“To this date, to my knowledge, not one court has ruled in favor of opposition to these projects,” Hall said. “The merits have not been ruled on, they've been ignored.”

Cohocton Wind Watch is still pursuing its anti-trust complaints and recently picked up the backing of congressional candidate Democrat Eric Massa, of Corning.

Hall said the group attended a forum by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in Rochester this week to urge the attorney general to get involved in their complaints.

“We wanted to inform him there is enough information to warrant a full investigation for the sake of public safety and public integrity. This is a scheme to defraud,” Hall said.

The wind project in Cohocton is the first of six potential wind projects in the county to reach near-construction stage.

UPC also plans to set up a wind farm in the Town of Prattsburgh, where rival developer EcoGen has also proposed a wind farm.

Other towns considering wind farms include the towns of Hartsville, Howard and Caton.

The projects generated considerable opposition from local residents, beginning in 2001, when UPC proposed the first project in Prattsburgh.

Opponents say the turbines are inefficient generators of electricity and pose serious threats to humans and the natural habitat.

Supporters argue the projects are a source of renewable energy and provide needed revenues for small towns.

UPC signed an agreement in August with the town of Cohocton to pay $1 million next year and an average of $500,000 annually for the next 20 years.

The European-based UPC has encountered some delays since the agreement was signed. In September, the Steuben County Public Works Department temporarily posted weight restrictions on county roads, preventing UPC from hauling heavy equipment until road studies were completed.

Thursday, the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency delayed final approval of a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the project. Board members, and local labor leaders, were concerned about allegations UPC was not hiring local workers.

Wind power not so green by Stephen McCarthy

Presently the issue of wind power is affecting communities throughout New York state. The lines have been drawn between the wind companies and those who support industrial wind power against those who object to this enormous threat to their quality of life. In many towns, the fight has become ugly, objecting to this enormous threat to their quality of life, pitting neighbor against neighbor and family against family. This is exactly what the big corporations want: Keep the general public from really understanding the issues; if possible, keep them from even seeing what the issues are. By the time we realize what's hit us, the corporations will have made their bundle of money, and our beautiful countryside will be gone, altered beyond recognition.

I am sorry to say that most positions taken by the people -- and it doesn't matter if it is pro or con -- are made mainly through emotion and not with real facts. The issue should not be about "Yes to green energy." I am sure we all can agree that true green energy is good for all of us. The real question: is wind power the answer and do the facts back it up as our green energy savior?

Wind as a green energy source, once operating, is a good thing. What we do not know is how much damage is done to the environment from inception through manufacture to installation and operation. MIT is attempting to answer this question, calculating the energy used and CO2 emissions put into the atmosphere from conception to operation of a wind park. I believe we may all be shocked by the results of this study!

Common sense should tell us that we need another approach. Wind is not a miracle cure. It is like putting a Band-Aid on an amputation. It may have its place, but that place isn't Meredith, or anyplace else in the Catskills. The way it is being done will only enrich the pockets of the wind companies, and of the small handful of people who have made business arrangements with the companies. Their gain is our loss.

If this is to be stopped, it has to start with us. We do not need corporations making billions of dollars because we will not change our lifestyles. We need to reduce our consumption, and we need to do it now. Anyone who thinks wind is a magical cure or even a practical solution, is in for a rude awakening. We need to drive fuel-efficient vehicles, turn off the lights, use energy-efficient appliances, turn down the heat and turn off the air conditioners. Those who can, need to generate their own electricity using solar and small wind.

This change needs to start from the ground up. Do your part, force your elected officials to do their part and make them accountable for their actions. And most of all, say "YES to green energy" and "NO to corporate greed."

McCarthy of Meredith is a member of the Meredith Defense Fund,

FORE Requests PSC Rescind Decesion - Andy Minnig

Attached is a request from FORE asking the PSC to rescind its elimination of 19 turbines from the Jordanville Project.

This front group for Community Energy has neither the funds nor wit to successfully mail a postcard on its own, let alone file such a brief. Although I detect some of Chairwoman Kay Sheldon Moyer's unprofessional peek in the filing.

Community Energy's Community liaison Kristen Sullivan does have the wit and the means. I believe she and Community Energy are the actual authors of the dovcument.

Ms. Sullivan is currently living in Fly Creek, although home is in Pennsylvania

For some additional local color, consider that following a School Board meeting in April 2007, a group of lease holders and town officials repaired to the local watering hole, The Bowling Alley. Kay Moyer was buying successive rounds of drinks at $5 a drink. Among those present were Les Miller (Warren Town Board), Tucky Miller (Stark Town Board), Rick Bronner (Stark Town Supervisor), Janice Whipple (Springfield resident), Ed & Shirley Mower (Stark turbine leases), Tony Grescheck (Stark Highway Supervisor) and the Moyers.

Kay Sheldon Moyer signed the letter in the recent Direct Mail allegedly from Friends of Renewable Energy (FORE) It was a slick four-color mailing, with tear-off return form and post paid return envelope addressed to Kay Moyer at a P.O. Box. It was even mail merged for tailored individual addresses, and tailored greeting line. No one in FORE has the skills to put together a mailing like this. Clearly, it was done by Community Energy.

FORE's website is registered in Pennsylvania to Kristen Sullivan of Community Energy.

In January the Stark Town Board appointed Kay Sheldon Moyer to the Planning Board, to fill out a term left by the resignation of Kent Hogeboom. It was a three-year appointment, to 2010. There were no official announcements, no legal notices, no process in this appointment. It was a total surprise. When the Town Board voted on it, the citizens present did not even know what they were voting on, until after the unanimous vote was taken. Only then did the Town Supervisor look at Kay and say, "Congratulations. You're on the Town Planning Board until 2010."

Recently, a member of Advocates for Stark suggested that Kay Moyer may be in the employ of Community Energy. She goes to every public meeting and speaks out in favor of the turbines. At first, her vernacular was a little rough, peppered with curse words. More recently, she has cleaned that up, perhaps with coaching. As "chairperson" of FORE, she has a post office box, and her name is being used to advance Community Energy's agenda. She is obviously the cheerleader who calls the turbine lease holders together for important meetings. The Moyers have never been wealthy, and neighbors doubt they can afford to buy multiple rounds of drinks for a dozen or more people. Someone is picking up that tab.

As one lifetime resident observed, "Kay Moyer does nothing for no one for free. Either she's been promised a job, or she's being paid." At the very least, it is likely her expenses are being covered. Since she is not a turbine leaseholder, there may be some other incentives, too.

Although I understand there is nothing strictly illegal in all of this, lack of transparency does raise some serious ethical questions.

Andy Minnig


Report: NYRI isn't needed by Tom Grace

New York Independent System Operator has issued a report concluding power from the proposed NYRI transmission line will probably not be needed through 2016.

The nonprofit organization that operates the state's bulk electricity grid and administers wholesale markets also classified the project below at least a dozen others.

The New York Regional Interconnection proposal calls for building a 1,200-megawatt transmission line from Marcy in Oneida County through parts of Chenango and Delaware counties to New Windsor in Orange County.

Proponents have said it is needed to meet the rising demand for electricity in the state.

However, the NYISO board of directors approved a report this week that indicates that other, less-expensive proposals appear likely to satisfy the state's demand through 2016, according to spokesman Ken Klapp.

``We have identified eight market-based proposals that appear viable,'' he said Friday.

A market-based proposal is one where the project's costs is assumed by the developer and not used to increase the price of electricity charged to ratepayers.

``We prefer market-based proposals to those that increase the rate base,'' Klapp said.

In addition, NYISO evaluated four proposals from utility companies to increase the flow of electricity in the state, he said.

If the market-based proposals fall short of meeting demand, the options from traditional utilities, which would raise the cost of power, could be implemented.

NYRI is classified in a third category, as a project that would raise the price of power from a firm that is not a utility.

Klapp said Friday that the NYISO board of directors had reached the same conclusion _ that NYRI appears not to be needed _ last year.

``But we always re-evaluating the system,'' he said. ``I like to compare it to the weather. A meteorologist may say on Wednesday that it will be sunny on Saturday, but he doesn't stop looking at what is developing as the week goes on.''

An opponent to NYRI's $1.6 billion proposed line cheered the NYISO's report.

In an e-mail sent to The Daily Star, Chris Rossi, co-chairwoman of Stop NYRI Inc., said, ``The NYISO report confirms what we already understood: The NYRI project was not created to meet the electrical needs of NYS consumers and businesses.

``Its chief purpose was to generate profits for Canadian shareholders," she continued. "The NYISO report is one more solid reason for New York State to say no to NYRI.''

David Kalson, NYRI's spokesman, could not be reached for comment Friday.

NYRI's application to the state's Public Service Commission remains incomplete. The firm also has been working to have the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission supercede the authority of state regulators and permit the project to be built.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Energias de Portugal to monetize more wind tax credits; plans IPO

New York (Platts)--28Sep2007 Energias de Portugal plans to monetize about 650 MW of tax equity credits by the end of 2007 that it gained through its acquisition of Horizon Wind Energy from Goldman Sachs in July, Antonio Mexia, EDP CEO, told Platts Friday.

On the eve of its $3-billion acquisition of Horizon Wind, EDP monetized the 722 MW of Horizon's operational wind farms by selling them for $700 million in deal facilitated by a Citigroup-led group of banks.

Under federal law, wind farms generate tax credits, known as production tax credits, but since EDP is not headquartered in the US it has little use for the credits, except to sell them.

'Unlike other companies, we are not here for the tax credits,' said Mexia. Instead EDP has chosen to monetize the credits and use the proceeds reduce the debt associated with the Horizon acquisition.

The second monetization would strip out credits from Horizon wind farms that were under construction at the time of the acquisition and are expected to be online by year end.

Mexia declined to name the bank that would handle the monetization, but said it would be a different bank for this transaction, although it would still be an American bank.

The Horizon acquisition doubled the size of EDP's worldwide wind power portfolio by adding Horizon's 1,700 MW of US wind farms -- 722 MW in operation and nearly 1,000 MW under construction -- to its portfolio.

Mexia said EDP is also studying an initial public offering for its worldwide wind assets in 2008. There is strong demand for green energy and wind power is a proven technology, said Mexia.

The result, he said, is that investors are valuing wind assets at higher price/earnings multiples than those assets would fetch than in portfolios that included conventional thermal generation. 'We have already been approached by top investors who want to be involved,' he said.

Overall, Mexia said that by 2010 EDP would have 3,400 MW of wind power in operation in the US and 4,200 MW online in Europe. --Peter Maloney, For more news, request a free trial to Platts Renewable

Energy Report at or subscribe now at

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Radio Report Coverage of SCIDA Meeting Sept. 27, 2007


SCIDA Sept 27, 2007 Anti-trust Notice Letter by James Hall

September 27, 2007

Steuben County IDA
7234 Route 54 North
Po Box 393
Bath, NY 14810-0393

Messrs Sherron - Executive Director, Michael Doyle - Chairman, Philip Roche - Vice Chairman, George Connors - Secretary, Richard Weakland - Member, Michael Nisbet - Member, Douglas Malone - Member and John Sirianni – Member:

This letter serves as official notice that SCIDA and the above individuals are being named to the expanded Anti-trust complaint and investigation. It is alleged that criminal conduct, collusion, bribery and an organized effort to fix market allocation has been going on in the industrial wind industry in Steuben County, other NYS counties and regional states.

SCIDA is urged, in the strongest terms, to withdraw and withhold any PILOT approval with the Town of Cohocton, the Cohocton-Wayland School District and the County of Steuben. Construction has started in Cohocton before a PILOT agreement has been approved. Full industrial tax rates must be assessed on the value of the UPC Project and also applied to the tax accounts of every property owner who has an industrial structure on their property.

UPC has already stated in writing to SCIDA a minimum of $2.9 million for the Cohocton project and $1.5 million for the Dutch Hill project per year. Why are we not holding them to anything even close to that amount?

IDA’s have a mandate to create local jobs. From the righteous outrage of Union rank and file at this meeting, it is obvious that for SCIDA to ignore the need of NYS job creation malfeasance of your duty will be committed. The general contractor Mortenson and UPC has broken their pledge to develop this project using NYS union labor.

Therefore, it is not only prudent but legally necessary to reject any PILOT approval for the UPC Cohocton/Dutch Hill project. UPC has violated the law by starting the project without required building permits and payment of permit fees.

Approval of a PILOT De Facto is unconstitutional and would be challenged in court. SCIDA is at grave risk and bears the responsibility and liability of enacting a fraudulent scheme to defraud the tax payers of the Town of Cohocton and the State of New York.


James Hall for CWW

Union to protest UPC Wind in Bath

BATH – Members of several area labor unions plan a protest today against UPC Wind, a wind farm company developing projects in the Cohocton area.

Tom Stephens, business development specialist for the International Union of Operating Engineers in Rochester, said the protest concerns what he called “UPC Wind’s plan to use non-union, out-of-state labor” to construct the wind farms.

The protest will take place at noon at the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency office at 7234 Route 54 in Bath.

The agency is considering an agreement allowing UPC Wind to make payments in lieu of taxes on its Steuben County projects.

UPC spokesman Lawrence Mott denied that the company is using only non-union, out-of-state labor.

“We are hiring local employees,” Mott said. “We are finding some good skilled local people. We have (local) International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (members) on the job. The statement that we are not hiring union workers is a lie.”

Mott said he could not immediately estimate what percentage of UPC Wind workers on the Cohocton jobs are union members.

Attorney General Cuomo Sept 26, 2007 Letter by James Hall

September 26, 2007


The Honorable Attorney General Andrew Cuomo,

Cohocton Wind Watch membership and several of our members individually support the Anti-trust and RICO complaint against the Industrial Wind Turbine industry. It is our request that your office investigate the systemic pattern of corruption and collusion that is currently repeated throughout New York State.

Criminal conduct and violations of New York State and Federal laws are common occurrences. Market allocation and the absence of any competition from developers are manifested in virtually every town that has been targeted for a wind project. Town Boards have been bribed, Planning Boards have been bought and Government Agencies ignore their own regulations in favor of expedited developer approvals.

The NYS Attorney General's office needs to be apprised of specific examples of coordinated illegal business practices among scores of shell LLC companies, controlled and directed by a small cabal of ex Enron executives and foreign companies.

The recent example of a federal grand jury indictment of a Twin Cities, MN wind energy developer, Gregory Jaunich, for mail fraud and money laundering is only the tip of an iceberg that will melt down and flow back to New York State jurisdiction.

CWW seeks a meeting, with your senior staff to provide evidence and documentation of criminal conduct. Local District Attorneys are not equipped nor have the needed resources to investigate a public fraud on the scale of the Industrial Wind Industry.

We implore that the NYS Attorney General directs a wide range investigation and intercede with the U.S. Attorney General DoJ office for Anti-trust enforcement. Our executive committee is available to meet with you or your staff and offer access to our research files. Please consider the urgency, since several projects are causing irreparable harm.


James Hall for CWW

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fears over rush into green funds by Steve Johnson

Fears are mounting of a bubble in funds investing in renewable energy stocks as asset management companies rush to launch funds to tap into the environmental zeitgeist.

In the first seven months of 2007, 15.2 per cent of net inflows into equity funds across Europe, some €4.6bn (£3.2bn, $6.5bn), went into ecological or environmental funds specialising in areas such as alternative energy, according to data from Lipper Feri, up sharply from 2.6 per cent of flows in 2006 and 0.6 per cent in 2005.

Comments on this article courtesy of PM.

Clearly the markets have sensed that the falsehoods the wind industry are constantly banging on about are gaining traction with the general public, and smell a profit. The quip about growth being "underpinned by regulation" speaks volumes.

The trouble with such "City Institutions" is that their thirst for profit seems to cloud any common sense they may have once had. Believe me I work in this industry and the players care not a jot about anything except their own profits and bonuses.

The current "credit crunch" was caused by this kind of pumping the regulations and investors. Banks were willing to sidestep traditional capital adequacy ratios, whereby they did not lend more than their deposits. Banks then had a great idea, get the liabilities "off balance sheet". That meant they sold them on, "sliced and diced" to other banks (who by all accounts were doing the same) or used "conduits" - separate companies owned by the bank but that did not appear in their accounts.

In effect, a bank swept it's dodgy loans under the carpet of another bank, whilst simultaneously allowing other banks to sweep theirs under it's carpet.

In this way the risk was "dispersed" and lessened. Except the stupid idiots have no idea what the total liabilities amount to and where they now lie, so they cannot trust each other anymore to lend. This is how we got into the credit crunch.

It is the British Tax payer, thanks to the generosity of Gordon Brown, who will be left picking up the tab and clearing up the mess.

They will do the same with the "green funds" bubble too, and it will not be the "brightest and best" who lose – no, they will get their huge profits and bonuses. In an equity bubble, it is likely our pensions that get hit.

So what can we do to stop the investment bankers have a feeding frenzy around renewables and thereby destroy our countryside and our retirement funds? Here are a few ideas:-

1. Ensure your pension provider is aware you do not want any of your savings invested in wind power and other false "green initiatives" such as carbon trading schemes.

2. Lobby your MP, MEP, ministers and your local councils to remove the disgusting subsidies.

3. Buy stocks in the energy companies, and ensure you have voting rights by holding your shares yourself. Go to the AGMs and make your point. It is a strange truth, that because of CREST, many institutional investors do not have voting rights. Many activist fund managers do this kind of thing and can exercise influence control with only a minority holding.

4. Change energy suppliers away from those who have Wind Plant operations.

The suggestion of an activist fund approach is a good one and FirstMistake believes we should start a private equity anti-wind activist fund.

Check out www.firstmisatake. org for an up and coming article on this.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Italy wind farm talk heats up Legislature meeting by LouJane Johns

The usually short and to the point Yates County Legislature meeting earlier this month lasted for almost two hours, mostly due to discussion over wind farms in the town of Italy.

Ecogen LLC of West Seneca wants to purchase 90 acres of county-owned land in Italy to place two wind turbines. Attorney Robert Burgdorf, representing Ecogen, last month presented the company's proposal to the county Finance Committee to take to the full Legislature, according to Legislator Taylor Fitch.

After consulting with an attorney, Fitch said the committee learned the land could not be sold because it is reforested. Ecogen returned to the September meeting and claimed it could buy the land acting as a public utility.

Fitch said Ecogen is looking for an answer from the county as soon as possible, and asked Italy Supervisor Margaret Dunn to address the Legislature.

Dunn said she wasn't surprised Ecogen had approached the board, but thought it was wrong to place the turbines on county land. She hoped the county would show support for her town - which has placed a moratorium on wind farms - by not selling the property.

"I am disappointed the board would consider this, knowing how our town feels," Dunn said.

She said only a few of some 130 people who attended a recent public meeting on the subject were in favor of wind farms in the town.

Dunn said Ecogen officials have been talking about how money spent on wind farms will benefit the town, but they have not contacted the Yates County Industrial Development Agency about a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program. Also brought up several times was whether Ecogen is a public utility; Dunn contends it is not, but rather sells to a utility.

"They have cost the town a lot of money," Dunn said, referring to Ecogen's lawsuit last year challenging the legality of the town's wind farm moratorium, which was upheld in court. "They have ripped our town apart. I don't want to appear rude, but I am mad."

According to Dunn, Ecogen has purchased 294 acres of land on Emerson Road, is proposing to buy another 410 acres, and now wants 90 acres from the county.

"Their plan has gone from the original 10 to 26 (turbines), and I am afraid we will see more," she said.

"They consistently have told us they will see us back in court," she said. "We have been told the town of Italy will be a 'case study' for future court cases. Our small town is being bullied."

District 1 Legislator Donna Alexander, who represents Italy, wanted to know if other companies had shown interest. Dunn told her they had, but Ecogen asked first.

District 3 Legislator Robert Nielsen said it was his understanding that Dunn is against all kinds of wind farms. He wanted to know what Italy would do about pending federal regulations coming 2013 on alternative energy sources.

"If wind farms come, we have already lost, so then the county and town should get some money," Dunn replied.

Burgdorf said he agreed with Dunn on wanting the county to wait on the sale of the property, and referred to the 90 acres as a very small piece of the overall project. The Emerson Road area has a very specific wind source and that's why it was chosen, he said.

Burgdorf said the county would get added tax revenue and $25,000, even if the project didn't go through.

"Wind power is a clean, renewable energy," he said.

Burgdorf also said Ecogen is classified as a public utility, noting that court cases have been won on cell phone towers.

"We believe the state will not let this valuable property be squandered," Burgdorf said, citing the possibility of eminent domain laws being brought into play. "We have submitted legal papers to the county."

Alexander said area residents had been hearing about wind farms since 2003.

"As a county, we have been told we cannot sell this land. We have hired an outside legal consultant," Alexander said. "Ethically and honestly, we are here to serve all the citizens. However, in Italy people are really upset over this."

From the audience, Italy Town Board member Amanda Gorton interjected: "There are three important things to remember. They are not a public utility. In Italy, our law says there will be no windmills. This is an illegal act. The town made the law, and you are being asked to sell county property as an illegal act."
Referring to Burgdorf's actions in last year's court case, Gorton said, "We watched Mr. Burgdorf spin his tale."

Burgdorf countered that he took exception to being called dishonest in court.

District 1 Legislator Doug Paddock, who also represents Italy, estimated broad figures about how much the company might make from two windmills on the county property, compared to what it would pay the county. A frustrated Burgdorf replied that he was just a lawyer and didn't work with figures.

State rules wind farm is not electric corporation

The state Public Service Commission ruled last month that Windfarm Prattsburgh LLC, which has proposed building 44 turbines on 2,500 acres in Prattsburgh and Italy, is not an electric corporation and is not subject to jurisdiction by the commission.

Advocates for Prattsburgh, Cohocton Windwatch and Concerned Citizens of Italy had filed a petition in June with the commission asking for what's known as a declaratory ruling that the PSC had jurisdiction over the project.

They argued that the output of Windfarm Prattsburgh and neighboring projects proposed by Ecogen LLC in Prattsburgh and Italy and Canandaigua Power Partners LLC and Canandaigua Power Partners II LLC in Cohocton should be be considered one project, which would bring it above the 80 megawatt threshold and thus subject to PSC regulations. Windfarm Prattsburgh and the two Canandaigua Power Partners companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of UPC New York Wind LLC.

The commission ruled that there is no precedent for adding together projects by affiliates or projects that may share some transmission infrastructure and that state law does not define alternate energy production facilities as electric corporations.

The full ruling is available at the Public Service Commission Web site File Room at Search for Case No. 07-E-0674.

LIE#1 by Mike Altonberg published in the Valley News 9/25/07

As a matter of introduction I am Mike Altonberg, Business Agent for The Ironworkers in Rochester.

Four or five months ago I was told by UPC Wind Manage­ment that their general contractor for the wind turbine projects in Cohocton & Prattsburg would be hiring all local people to the building of the towers. At a meeting last Tuesday, in Cohocton, we were informed that things have changed and now all the workers will be brought in from out of state. The company Mortenson Construction from Minnesota will bring workers from out west and local construction workers are locked out of all that work. All those wages paid will not be invested in our local economy but instead went out west. This is a slap in the face to all the hard working unemployed construction workers in our area? Now that the project is a go & they're caught in a lie, how many more lies have they told . . . UPC should be escorted to the state line and told not to come back. Your company should be ashamed of what you're doing and ashamed of the lie you've been telling us.

For the record, we intend to make all the residents and politicians in Steuben County aware of the underhanded tactics that you're using to block local people from these jobs. We will be very visible from the start to the finish of these projects and where ever you go we will inform people of your companies true charac­ter!

Mike Altonberg, Business Agent, Ironworkers, Local 33, Rochester, NY 14810 585-330-3109

Union Announcement on UPC Wind Projects




Monday, September 24, 2007

Schumer slams plans for Russell Station by Daniel Wallace

(September 24, 2007) — Sen. Charles Schumer , D-NY, said today he is unhappy with the lack of disclosure about future plans for Russell Station by Iberdrola, the Spanish utility company that wants to purchase Energy East Corp.

The senator met with Iberdrola officials in July to discuss plans for Russell Station and its interest in reopening the site as environmentally-friendly facility. Thus far, he said he has received only “vague” responses. “That’s not acceptable,” said Schumer.

Russell Station is among the worst polluting power plants in the state. It supplies only a quarter of Rochester’s power supply, partly because it is so inefficient, Schumer said.

Schumer said until the Spanish utility company details its plans for Russell Station, he will do everything in his power to prevent Iberdrola’s $4.5 billion bid from getting state approval.

Representatives from New York Public Interest Research Group were also at the site in support of the senator’s stand.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

NYS Senator Mary Lou Rath Sept 12, 2007 Letter

Senator Rath can't get the information!! It's as you can see, there is no way that they, the company, is going to give this information out to the public, if they can help it. It's "proprietory" due to its "effect on real property tax assessment" ????? give me a break. If she hasn't got the information, then how could she have made a decision to vote for article X?

Phyllis Darling

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wind energy exec indicted by JENNIFER BJORHUS

A federal grand jury has indicted a Twin Cities wind energy developer for mail fraud and money laundering, accusing him of overbilling Xcel Energy for electricity and collecting wrongful incentive payments from the state of Minnesota.

Gregory Jaunich, 46, of North Oaks, was charged with 33 counts of mail fraud, three counts of lying on loan applications and six counts of money laundering, according to the indictment filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

The state Commerce Department estimates the total allegedly bilked from Xcel and the state may have been around $500,000, with another $2 million in allegedly false loan applications.

However, the charges are serious ones and target a renewable energy industry not known for financial hijinks.

Jaunich (pronounced YAW-nick) did not return telephone messages. He is scheduled for his first court appearance Oct. 3.

Jaunich's attorneys acknowledged accounting errors but said Jaunich never intended to defraud anyone. Employees who handled the billing at one of his power companies made the mistakes, the lawyers said.

When Jaunich learned about the discrepancies, he repeatedly asked Xcel and the state Commerce Department to tell him what he owed so he could reimburse them, the attorneys said, but neither would respond. Jaunich estimated what he owed Commerce, they said, and paid it back.

Jon Hopeman, Jaunich's attorney at Felhaber Larson Fenlon & Vogt in Minneapolis, called Jaunich a pioneer in Minnesota's wind energy industry. Jaunich is "disappointed and distressed" by the indictment, Hopeman said.

"There weren't a lot of lenders when he started in this business in promoting wind energy," Hopeman said. "The last thing this guy would do is jeopardize all of that in order to intentionally defraud the state or anybody else."

According to the indictment, Jaunich founded NAE Shaokatan Power Partners LLC around 1999 and had an arrangement to generate electricity for Xcel Energy. Between September 2003 and 2005, he allegedly submitted numerous inflated invoices to both Xcel and the state Commerce Department, which runs an incentive program subsidizing alternative energy projects with direct payments.

Jaunich also is accused of lying on $2 million worth of loan applications to Anchor Bank in North St. Paul in 2004, using as collateral wind turbine generators he didn't own, for instance. He allegedly used part of the ill-gotten gains to write a $20,000 check to Kline Volvo in Maplewood, according to the indictment.

The payments from the Commerce Department came out of its Renewable Energy Production Incentive program, at the time using money from the state's general fund, Commerce spokesman Bill Walsh said. Commerce was paying NAE Shaokatan 1.47 cents per kilowatt-hour it generated and paid the company about $140,000 before Commerce investigators got involved, Walsh said.

"Our energy folks auditing the program saw results from this wind project that were so good they questioned whether it was possible under the laws of physics," Walsh said. Walsh confirmed NAE Shaokatan returned $144,561 to the department.

NAE Shaokatan Power Partners is in Vadnais Heights, according to records at the Minnesota secretary of state's office. Jaunich's legal team would only say he has been a president there.

Jaunich also co-founded at least one other company at that address: Boreal Energy Inc., where he is a strategic consultant.

He also founded at least two other companies, Northern Alternative Energy Inc. and Minneapolis-based Navitas Energy Inc. Jaunich apparently is no longer involved with either company.

The companies Jaunich currently is involved with together have more than 100 turbines on wind farms across the Upper Midwest, his attorneys said. That would make him a relatively small player, said Lisa Daniels, executive director of Windustry, a Minneapolis nonprofit promoting wind energy for rural economic development.

Daniels said she wouldn't describe Jaunich as a pioneer but agreed he was an early wind developer in Minnesota.

"He was one of the first people who was actually putting together projects in Minnesota - one of a handful of local wind developers," Daniels said. When informed of the indictment, Daniels said she was surprised at the extent of the charges but had been aware Jaunich was having financial difficulties.

Daniels called Jaunich's case "rare" and said she hopes it doesn't taint investors interested in wind energy.

Jennifer Bjorhus can be reached at or 651-228-2146.

Ironworkers Local 33 - 9/21/07 Letter to SCIDA

Ironworkers Local 33
International Association of Bridge, Structural,
Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers
154 Humboldt Street-Rochester, NY 14610
(585) 288-2630 fax(585) 288-3115

Gary Swanson Michael Altonberg
Business Manager Business Agent


Dear Board Member,

This is a formal request to have this letter read and entered into the official minutes of The Steuben County IDA meeting on September 27, 2007.After years of planning and anticipating, wind turbines are finally going to be a reality in Stueben County. The skilled construction workers, who live, pay taxes, shop and help support the local organizations and economy are being cheated out of the opportunity to work on these projects. Why, because of greed on the part of UPC Wind Management and Mortenson Construction. The millions of dollars in payroll will be going out of state right along with the workers when the job is complete. Don’t be fooled by the age old scam of advertising in the local papers for workers to do these specialized jobs, because there are few, if any that would be qualified. UPC and Mortenson will tell you they tried to find local people but could not, when in reality we have an abundance of qualified, trained people available and were told on several occasions that they would be employed and at the last minute because of greed we are being denied this work. The majority of work generated by these types of projects, are the temporary construction jobs. The Southern Tier Building Trades represents the largest group of workers in the area, and they deserve to get a share of this work. For the record we are proud union members and enjoy benefits that include health care and pensions, which I’m sure the workers being trucked in do not. I have enclosed a copy of a letter sent to Cohocton residents dated April, 11 2006 from Chris Swartley, Development Manager for UPC that clearly states in bold print in the last paragraph UPC’s intention. UPC also advertises on there website the fact that they give these jobs to local people. At this time we are asking that you table the request for a PILOT for any projects that UPC or their subsidiaries are planning until this matter is resolved.

Gary Swanson Michael Altonberg
Business Manager Business Agent
Ironworkers Local 33 Ironworkers Local 33

Elliot Spitzer-NYS Governor
Andrew Cuomo-NYS Attorney General
George Winner-NYS Senator
Thomas DiNapoli-NYS Comptroller
James Bacalles-NYS Assembly
Cohocton Town Board Members
Prattsburgh Town Board Members
Avoca Town Board Members
Chris Swartley-UPC Development Manager
Executives-UPC Wind Management

Friday, September 21, 2007

Future Look Of Dutch Hill Wind Project Soon After Completion?

Question: Who will pay to remove these "Towers of Rust" when UPC is long gone and Dutch Hill residents all moved away?

Answer: Anyone foolish enough, still owning property in Cohocton . . .

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Charles P. Bliss, PE Response Letter to Judith Hall

ALBANY , N Y 12231-0001


P.O. Box 129, Rushford, NY 14777
Tel: (585) 437-5534
Fax : (585) 437-5708

September 19, 2007

Judi Hall
P.O. Box 657
Naples, NY 14512

Dear Ms. Hall:

This is in response to our telephone conversation this afternoon.

Free standing towers and the associated generating equipment are not subject to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. This is true for any tower, including cell towers, as long as the tower is not supported by a building. Although the building code references towers, the Executive Law only refers to the protection of people from the perils of fire and shoddy building construction.

That being the case, building permits can only be required for towers if towers are specifically mentioned in Cohocton’s local law for enforcement of the New York State Uniform FirePrevention and Building Code. Without such a reference, there is no legal method for requiring a building permit for a windmill.

The changes to Cohocton’s local zoning law, seem to indicate that a special use permit is required for windmills. However, it appears as though none of those changes contains any inspection requirements.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to give me a call at the above number.

Very truly yours,

Charles P. Bliss, PE
Senior Building Construction Engineer

Dutch Hill UPC Construction - No building permits issued

Above photo is Lent Hill Staging Area

This photo of Dutch Hill construction of two industrial wind turbine locations

Dutch Hill UPC Construction - Canandaigua Power Partners II

Above photo is Dutch Hill tree clear cut to fit a location of an wind turbine

Look at the scale and depth of surface soil removal. Blasting is the next step to get down to 30+foot depth

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Clipper plans huge new turbines by Ben Bland

"Clipper's latest turbine concept, which is expected to move into the testing phase in 2009 or 2010, is based around a 7.5 megawatt machine. The turbine, which would be placed on a 115 metre-high tower [377 feet] and have a diameter of 150m [492 feet]."

From ground to blade tip height would be 190 metres [623 feet]! This monstrosity would obstruct 17,662.5 square metres [57,949 square feet – 1.3 acres] of sky - a killing field of birds over water.

For much of the past year, Clipper Windpower proved to be something of a darling among the large City institutions whose forays into the world of Aim are generally few and far between.

But the wind-turbine developer soon found itself out on a limb after a series of production problems emerged. Clipper's share price had soared from under 200p shortly after its flotation in 2005 to a staggering 916p in June this year.

But two profit warnings related to production difficulties – the first in July, the second early this month – took the wind out of its sails and the stock tumbled to below 500p last week.

However, Jim Dehlsen, Clipper's chief executive and a veteran of the American wind-power industry, is undeterred and unapologetic about his shares' recent performance.

"It's a normal response to early stage activity," he notes. "We've indicated that we expect Clipper to be hitting bumps on the road."

Mr Dehlsen pins the blame for Clipper's difficulties on glitches with components supplied by outside companies. However, he stresses that Clipper is on its way to ironing out these problems as its manufacturing process matures.

"We're working our way through the supply problems," he says. "I think we're in good shape on building a global supply chain but it's a new process."

Despite the latest upsets, Mr Dehlsen says that he enjoys his relationship with Clipper's investors and the financial markets more generally.

He insists that he is happy with Clipper's listing on Aim, although he concedes that the frequent travel to London can be "a bit of a burden". (Clipper's headquarters are in California).

Mr Dehlsen was one of the pioneers of the wind-power industry in the US. He founded Zond Corporation, one of the early movers in modern wind-generated energy, in 1980 and grew the business until he sold it to Enron, the now-collapsed energy group, in 1997.

But, by the early part of this century, traditional wind turbine technology had hit the buffers in terms of scale, with most turbines only able to produce about one megawatt of electricity.

Mr Dehlsen says that Clipper has managed to attract so much interest from the financial community because it has come up with a design that will take the next generation of turbines beyond the 2.5 megawatt barrier.

Clipper's latest turbine concept, which is expected to move into the testing phase in 2009 or 2010, is based around a 7.5 megawatt machine. The turbine, which would be placed on a 115metre-high tower and have a diameter of 150m, is designed to be located offshore, where winds tend to be stronger and planning restrictions less strict. Each massive turbine should be able to power 3,000 houses over its 30-year life span.

But Mr Dehlsen is realistic about the limits of wind power to replace carbon-based energy sources such as coal, oil and gas.

"The US Department of Energy said that you would need to cover four states with wind farms to supply America's energy needs," he admits.

So while wind has a role to play, Mr Dehlsen accepts that any genuine attempt to tackle climate change must be much more holistic.

"It's going to take everything we can muster, from energy-efficient light bulbs to new types of car, and we need to do it very quickly," he adds.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Vote for the Reform Cohocton Republican Candidates in the Primary

Be sure to vote in the Republican Primary at your normal voting place - Town Hall, Cohocton and Court Office, Atlanta - NOON to 9:00 PM Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007.

Robert C. Strasburg II – Town Supervisor
Steven M. Sick – Town Council
Cesare F. Taccone – Town Council
Blair Hall – Town Clerk
Dr. F. Stoner Clark – Town Justice
Christina Brautigam - Town Assessor
Rebecca Conard - Town Assessor

Sweep clean past failures!
A bright future demands new leadership.

UPC Business Practices, SCIDA PILOT email from Mike Altonberg - Business Agent for The Ironworkers in Rochester, NY

Cohocton residents:

Below is an email from Mike Altonberg with more proof of the UPC fraud and why the Town of Cohocton and SCIDA is violating NYS law by approving a PILOT program.


As a matter of introduction I am Mike Altonberg, Business Agent for The Ironworkers in Rochester. Four or five months ago I was told by UPC Wind management that there general contractor for the wind turbine projects in Cohocton & Prattsburgh would be hiring all local people for the building of the towers. At a meeting last Tuesday, in Cohocton, we were informed that things have changed and now all the workers will be brought in from out of state. The company, Mortenson Construction from Minnesota will bring workers from out west and local construction workers are locked out of all that work. All those wages paid will not be invested in our local economy but instead sent out west. Is that a slap in the face to all the hard working unemployed construction workers in our area? I've been told that UPC promised local governments (as they promote on there website) that it's important to hire locally but obviously not in our case! Now that the project is a go & they've been caught in a lie, how many more lies have they told? UPC should be escorted to the state line & told not to come back.

Just for the record you most certainly can post my comments & phone # on the website. We were promised three years ago by Jim Sharon, Steuben County IDA that this would be a project that would use local labor. Lawrence Mott from UPC actually told me a couple of weeks ago that Jim told him to contact me about the labor, of course that went down the drain. We are extremely upset & plan some job actions against UPC & Mortenson. In the past Mortenson has used local people all across the country but in Cohocton & Prattsburgh they feel like they can run ramped & do as they please!

Mike Altonberg
(585) 330-3109

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Feds Want More Input On Wind Farm Project by JEANNE MILES

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are concerned about waterways and wetlands that may be disturbed during the construction of a wind farm in Sheffield.

Because of these concerns, the two have decided UPC Wind must file for a federal permit under the individual review process rather than under a general permit. The individual review is more time consuming than a general review, according to Matt Kearns, project manager for UPC.

"There is nothing new here," Kearns said Friday. All large development projects need federal permits under the Federal Wetlands Protection Act, he said.

"Just because we're clean and green doesn't mean we are exempt," Kearns said.
UPC filed for a general permit July 3, he said. But the letter from the Army Corps of Engineers states, to qualify for a general review, the project will have to be modified.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that more studies need to be done on risks to birds and bats, according to a letter sent by Col. Curtis Thalken, district engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, to David Cowan, vice president of environmental affairs for UPC.

The service also has concerns about the proposed access road, stating it is not the least environmentally damaging and use of Dareois Road may have less impact.

These views are in direct conflict to those of the Vermont Public Service Board. When the PSB issued a certificate of public good in August to UPC to construct 16 420-foot wind turbines in Sheffield, the board placed 32 conditions to the permit.

One of those conditions states: "UPC may not use Dareios Road to access the project site during construction, except in the case of emergencies."

Kearns said Friday Dareios Road would be the best option, but due to concerns raised during PSB hearings the road is now off limits.

"We are abiding by the PSB requirements," Kearns said. "We have to go to the next best thing. Our goal is to minimize any wetland disturbance."

For that reason, UPC would like to start some site preparation this winter, Kearns said.

As far as impacts on wildlife, the PSB noted in its decision, "the applicant has, commendably, conducted studies in accordance with the requests of the Agency of Natural Resources. The applicant also has entered into an agreement with ANR that includes measures to reduce, mitigate and further assess the project's impacts on wildlife. With the benefit of the solid groundwork provided by the applicant and the protective measures set forth in the agreement with ANR, we have been able to conclude that the projects, as conditioned in this order, will not have an undue adverse impact on wildlife or on necessary wildlife habitat."

Cowan, has been talking with Michael Adams, a staff member at the Army Corps of Engineers in Essex Junction, Kearns said, and meetings are scheduled for next week.

Cowan and Adams could not be reached for comment Friday. No one was available at the Corps' office in Essex Junction Friday afternoon.

In February 2006, UPC filed for a certificate of public good to build a 52-megawatt facility in Sutton and Sheffield. UPC pulled out of Sutton after the townspeople said they would fight the project. The wind farm has been a controversial issue dividing towns and pitting neighbor against neighbor. Voters in Sheffield supported the project in 2005. The town and UPC have worked out an agreement whereby the town will receive between $400,000 and $550,000 a year, if the project is completed.

Gorham, NY Industrial Wind Turbine Local Law by Debbie North

Yes, it is a great law and I will tell you why. When my husband and I started this fight in our town, we approached it from a MONEY standpoint. Farmers are an independent bunch, and don't like being told what they can and can't do with their land. That's why you see so many sign up for the leases, for the MONEY. Their bottom line usually contains a fair amount of red ink, and a few thousand dollars for doing “nothing” sounds pretty good.

However, in our research, we came across issues that spoke loud and clear to the fact that turbines are not good for our town. Stray voltage was top on the list. $22 per hundred-weight is a great price for milk, unless your herd is affected by stray voltage. Production goes down, health issues arise, and your milk check get smaller. So much for the “extra” money from turbines! If your farm isn't productive, the value could drop - affecting the tax base, among other things.

Another issue, very important to us as well as our Mennonite neighbors, is the lack of control over your own property once a lease is signed. When we found out that a wind company can tell you you can't build that new silo or heifer barn because it impacts THEIR wind, or that their reps can drive on your property 24/7 (including Sundays and Christmas if they like), alarm bells sounded. I am not sure if you are familiar with Mennonites, but their lives are built around their faith, and Sundays and religious holidays are days of rest. Only the necessary chores are done, and they do not generally interact with the “English” neighbors on those days other than to wave as they pass by in their buggies on the way to church.

2000 ft setback in our town severely limits where these turbines can go, as there are 40 dairy farms surrounded by single family homes, Mennonite one room schoolhouses and churches , the Marcus Whitman school district buildings, and hobby farmettes. There are very, very few large plots of land owned by cash crop farmers (who DO want them in our town) that can meet the parameters of the law.

300 feet height includes the blades, and that restricts using alot of the current technology. Shadow flicker and noise levels are moot points if the damn things never get erected.

Yes, we DO have GUTS here in Gorham. Our town leaders came up with a law that will help us to avoid litigation because the wind farms are not completely outlawed. At the same time, they will be extremely difficult to site. The law protects all landowners, whether you won a doublewide on an acre lot or 300 acre dairy farm.

That is why it is a great law. Any questions?
Debbie North, Gorham, NY

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Windfarms could destroy bugs and worms that are the basis of the food chain, according to scientists and environmental experts.

They are fearful of a potentially catastrophic gap in knowledge about the industry's possible effects on the Highland landscape.

One academic has urged the Scottish Government to order a moratorium on onshore windfarms to allow a scientific study to establish whether or not turbine vibration and sub-sonic noise threatens some our tiniest and rarest creatures.

Forres-based retired ethics professor Dixie Deans has written to ministers, telling them: "Every single thing depends on fungi, mushrooms, lichen, invertebrates and insects which lie at the very base of the food chain. We know that many species are extremely vulnerable to small environmental changes.

"Windfarms are said to be environmentally friendly. In fact, there is no reliable, sustainable or provable way of forecasting what the noise or vibration levels from any windfarm will be. Let's get knowledge of this before we rush into building more." He has contacted a wide range of government agencies, environmental and trade organisations for feedback, finding that few had considered the issue. Most were keen to establish the facts.

Adding his voice to a chorus of which dismisses the industry's claimed efficiency of turbines, Mr Dean also echoed the growing concern surrounding the implications of building windfarms in peat bogs, believing high frequency vibrations would lead to a collapse of the terrain leading to foul water seeping into surrounding rivers and burns.

John Etherington, a retired reader of ecology at the University of Wales in Cardiff and specialist in environmental science, argued that highly decayed peat can "liquify" through vibration.
He said: "I am sure vibration might cause liquifaction. In other circumstances it might cause degassing of occluded 'air' or methane in peat or compaction of wet mineral soils. All of these would influence organisms.

"The problem in battling with the developers and a government which supports them is that one has to provide documentation of any claims and preferably peer-reviewed publication."

The Bug Life charity states that one in three mouthfuls of our food depends on insect pollination and that luxuries such as honey, chocolate, coffee and silk would not exist without invertebrates. It also claims 90% of wild flowers could be threatened with extinction if there were no invertebrates to pollinate them. "Bugs are a vital food source for wild animals and birds. Our countryside would be an empty, silent place without them," according to a spokesman.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Trust-buster: Massa vows to go after ‘foreign' wind companies, says they're monopolies: Wind power the major issue in event hosted by Reform Cohocton

COHOCTON - Wind power topped a Reform Cohocton town hall-style forum Tuesday night.

Congressional candidate Eric Massa and Reform Cohocton candidates answered questions from a crowd of more than 60 Cohocton residents at Cohocton Elementary School. Wind power and turbines dominated the meeting, with every candidate and Massa speaking about the issue.

“(Current wind power contracts) constitute a monopoly,” Massa, a Democrat, said. “If elected, I will invoke the Sherman Antitrust Law to combat this.”Massa, a critic of international companies developing wind power in the 29th Congressional District, added he felt federal intervention is necessary to stop the takeover of natural resources and the power grid by foreign companies.

(Click to read entire article)

ENVIRONMENT: Wind storm - a debate over power and place by Jeremy Moule

In the latest debate over power plants, the symbol of controversy isn't a smokestack or a reactor. It's blades. Along country roads around Upstate New York, you see the signs: pictures of windmills and words of support or opposition: "Wind Power Yes," "Clean and Green," "No Wind Turbines."

(And, in Hamlin, the Burma-Shave adaptation: "The bird was fast / the blade was too / I guess he'll make / some kind of stew.")

Wind-power developers are paying increasing attention to Upstate New York. They've proposed projects - large and small - for hills and shorelines. They've promised money for municipalities. And they've polarized communities.

In Hamlin, where the Spanish company Iberdrola wants to install wind turbines on a 3-square-mile section in the northwest part of the town, neighbors, friends, and families are divided. The company - the same one that is trying to buy Rochester Gas and Electric's parent company, Energy East -is one of the world's largest wind-power operators.

To proponents, in Hamlin and elsewhere, wind power is a part of a renewable energy solution, a way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. And it's a way to curb the pollution, danger, and waste associated with coal and nuclear plants. The proponents also see wind power as a way to bring money into their towns.

To opponents, wind power is an inefficient power source that relies too much on public subsidies and causes sound and visual pollution. Windmills are also a danger to birds, bats, and other wildlife, they say. And although wind power may be a source of renewable energy, critics say the drawbacks outweigh the benefits.

Nationally, both the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society back wind power. But they do so with the stipulation that site selection and studies of the environmental impact should be a careful, painstaking process. Some environmentalists oppose the projects entirely.

Upstate New York is well-suited for wind power, and the areas with the good wind - the Lake Ontario shore and the ridges of the Finger Lakes area and the Southern Tier - have been popular with wind-power developers. The problem is, they are also popular with birds, says June Summers, president of the Genesee Valley Audubon Society. The Lake Ontario shore is part of a bird migration path.

"We're in favor of green sources of energy that take into account any impact they will have," says Summers. But the local Audubon Society also believes that turbines should not be located in migratory paths and other areas that birds frequent, she says. That includes the area within 5 miles of the Lake Ontario shore.

And the Hamlin land targeted by Iberdrola falls within that limit.

Last year, Upstate New Yorkers consumed 518,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity, says Sal Graven, a spokesperson for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. That's enough juice to power 86,000 homes for a year, based on NYSERDA's estimates that the average home uses 6,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year.

Right now, there is around 370 megawatts of wind-generation capacity in New York State, says Ken Klapp, a spokesperson for NYISO - New York Independent System Operator - which oversees the state's power grid. There are more than 50 wind-project proposals statewide, with a combined total of 6,000 megawatts of capacity.

"Capacity" is an important word: If a wind-power plant has a capacity of 20 megawatts, that means that at a given moment, if all the turbines are running full tilt, the plant can produce 20 megawatts of power.

But turbines typically generate only a fraction of their capacity: 10 percent, according to the most liberal estimates, says Brad Jones, a wind-power opponent and activist who lives in Italy, Yates County. That's because the wind doesn't blow all the time, and even when it does, it doesn't blow at a force strong enough for windmills to produce power at their maximum capacity.

Nonetheless, wind power will probably be key in meeting Upstate's energy needs. Ultimately, 10 to 25 percent of the state's power could be generated through wind, says Carl Lundgren, an RIT engineering professor who teaches courses on alternative energy. But it won't replace high-capacity coal, natural gas, or nuclear plants. Wind farms "have to be part of a larger system," he says. "We're not going to stand alone on wind energy."

Wind-generated electricity is best used close to its source, since some of it is lost when it is transferred over distances, says Keri Kaminsky, co-chair of the local Sierra Club's global warming and energy committee. That means the plants must be scattered across a region.

The state's largest plant - and the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi River - is the 192-turbine Maple Ridge Wind Farm in the Tug Hill region of Lewis County. It has a production capacity of more than 320 megawatts.

On the other end of the scale, the Steel Winds project in Lackawanna, Erie County, has eight turbines, capable of generating 20 megawatts.

Roughly a dozen projects are operating, under construction, or under review in Monroe, Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Ontario, and Steuben Counties. (Wyoming and Steuben Counties have the most.) And they vary in size. The 10-turbine Wethersfield Wind Farm in Wyoming County would be able to produce, at most, 6.6 megawatts. Invenergy's proposed High Sheldon Wind Farm, also in Wyoming County, would have 86 turbines and would be able to produce, at most, 129 megawatts.

And some individuals and businesses have entered the field on their own. HARBEC Plastics in Ontario, Wayne County, for example, gets power from its own wind turbine.

Wind developers are interested in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region for a couple of reasons. In the hillier areas, such as Bristol, the slopes are relatively gentle, easing the placement of the wind farms, says RIT's Carl Lundgren. But more important, the area has enough sustained wind to power the turbines, he says.

Also attractive: there is a market for wind power in this area. In New York, consumers can choose, through their electricity providers, whether they want to buy wind power. (That option is typically more expensive than standard electric, often because it costs more to produce.)

Under former Governor George Pataki, the state set a goal of having 25 percent of electricity generated in New York come from renewable sources by 2013. Governor Spitzer has also pushed for the expansion of renewable power - wind power in particular.

Some cash-strapped municipalities have found another advantage: wind-power projects provide revenue, which can mean lower property taxes or better services. Earlier this month, the Town of Cohocton, in Steuben County, approved UPC Wind Management's Cohocton Wind and Dutch Hill Wind projects. Under a proposed payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, the company will pay the town $11.5 million over 20 years: $725,000 up front, and then yearly payments starting at $950,000 and declining to $600,000 over the next four years.

But opponent Brad Jones says the money's not as much as it should be. Typically, wind-farm projects make payments in lieu of taxes, but that's just a fraction of the taxes they'd pay if the towers were assessed at market value, he says.

And Jones says that wind projects don't lead to lower power rates for nearby residents. In fact, he says, since wind power generally costs consumers more than electricity produced through from other sources, dumping it into the grid could raise overall prices.

Municipalities across the state are under some pressure to pass regulations governing wind-power projects: the state is preparing to reinstate a law controlling the siting of power plants. The law - known as Article X of the Public Service Law - is intended to streamline the construction of new power plants, to meet the state's power needs. Article X expired in 2002, and the State Assembly and Senate have approved new versions. Governor Spitzer has also submitted a proposal. Differences in the three bills will have to be reconciled, but all give an appointed board the power to decide where power plants can go, superseding local laws. And all three would cover the location of wind-power projects.

In Ontario County, the Town of Gorham is considering regulations that would permit wind farms, though with restrictions. The proposed regulations declare some parts of the town off-limits for wind-farm development. To build turbines in other parts of town, the property must be rezoned as a wind-farm district. The law also limits the height of towers and turbines to 300 feet and establishes a property-line setback of one and a half times the windmill's highest point.

In Hamlin, half a mile inland from Lake Ontario, an Iberdrola test tower is collecting data on the area's wind patterns. It's a subtle sign that big wind has its eye on the town.

But in living rooms and meeting halls, the issue has been in the forefront.

After Iberdrola approached town officials about locating a wind farm on Monroe-Orleans County Line Road near Hamlin Beach State Park, the Town Board created a Wind Tower Committee to research the issue. Ultimately, the committee was to present recommendations that the board could use to develop wind-tower regulations.

The committee was supposed to make its recommendations to the Town Board in December of this year. But after the state Senate and Assembly passed bills to reinstate Article X, Supervisor Dennis Roach and the Town Board asked that the committee submit its recommendations by the end of July. Committee members presented their report on July 30, although they issued a strong caution that their research was incomplete.

The committee recommended that windmills would have to be set back 1,500 feet from roads and 2,640 feet from dwellings. And it recommended that there be noise limits; that the town require in-depth studies of the effects on birds, bats, and other wildlife; and that there be a full evaluation of the financial impacts of any proposed project.

The committee disbanded August 28.

Hamlin officials still have to draft regulations and hold public hearings, but the Town Board is expected to follow the committee's recommendations. If it does, it's not likely that wind turbines would be banned.

The issue has spilled over into Hamlin's politics. Candidates in the November town election include two members of the now-disbanded Wind Power Committee: Linda DeRue, who is running for Town Board, and Jerry Borkholder, who is running for supervisor. The Town Board, they say, halted the committee's work prematurely.

The committee, says DeRue, was meant to make the town look good - to give the appearance of gathering community input.

"We weren't meant to really make progress," DeRue says.

DeRue says she started work on the committee with an open mind, but has since soured on the idea of wind power in her town. The impact is too much for a town like Hamlin, where hundreds of residents would live close to the project. Wind power, she says, is more suitable for offshore development or in scarcely populated areas.

Roach, who is running for re-election, says he pushed for the early recommendations because of the state's action on Article X. (DeRue, he charges, is using her position as a way to "further her political ambitions.") The town has benefited from the committee's work, Roach says, and its recommendations have been given to attorney Dan Spitzer, who has been retained to draft Hamlin's wind-power regulations.

Although he couldn't comment on any specific proposal because Iberdrola hasn't submitted one, Roach says he favors wind power as long as there are good regulations in place.

Roach says he hopes to submit proposal regulations to the Hamlin Town Board by October, "so we can schedule some public information meetings and public hearings."

The damage question

One of the most frequent criticisms of wind turbines is that they kill birds and bats. Critics, supporters, and wind-power developers all agree that it happens. But there's no agreement on the extent of that damage. National Audubon Society officials say that there isn't enough data about turbines' effects on birds and bats to draw solid conclusions.

Bat Conservation International, a bat conservation organization, estimates that a single turbine can kill up to 50 bats a year. But other studies say that no more birds or bats are killed flying into windmills than they are flying into tall buildings, says Keri Kaminsky, who co-chairs the local Sierra Club's global warming and energy committee. That amounts to one or two birds or bats killed per turbine per year, according to Josh Dorner, a spokesman for the national Sierra Club.

Study results also depend on location. For example, Bat Conservation International says bat fatalities tend to be higher at turbines in or near forests.

But industry studies, which maintain that windmills don't cause excessive harm to wildlife, are often flawed, says Brad Jones, a wind-power critic and activist. In radar studies meant to determine area bird or bat counts, for example, the companies often use low-powered marine radar units that aren't effective at tracking the animals, he says. High-powered radar capable of tracking and counting smaller objects should be used, says Jones.

Critics also charge that the low-frequency noise from the moving blades can be disruptive to animals.

And Jones and Troy Nesbitt, who lives near the site of a proposed wind-power project in Hamlin, insist that there are health risks for humans, too. The low-frequency noise - Jones compares it to bass from a subwoofer, with sound pressure you can feel in your chest - combined with shadow flicker from the blades, can be a problem for people living near the turbines.

In papers she has written about the health effects of wind turbines, Dr. Nina Pierpont, a Franklin County pediatrician, argues that noise and flicker can aggravate migraines, cause headaches, and cause sleep disturbances and associated mood and anxiety problems. Pierpont, who has testified about the health effects of wind turbines before the State Legislature, says turbines should be located at least 1.5 miles away from homes and other places people congregate.

And while some say the noise is no louder than a hushed conversation, that's enough to disrupt people's lives, Nesbitt says.

"If you've got someone talking in your room at night, are you going to be able to sleep?" he says.

Proponents say that wind power's critics exaggerate its ill effects, however, and, they say, new wind turbines are quieter than older ones. And an industry website the American Wind Energy Association suggests that setback regulations and tree plantings can mitigate noise and flicker problems.

Bringing wind power home

When New York State deregulated the electricity market, it gave consumers the ability to choose their power providers. And renewable energy supporters suddenly had a way to put their money behind technologies like hydroelectric and wind power.

Each year, New York consumers select a company to buy their electricity from. Among the dozen suppliers, most offer a renewable-energy option. Typically, the power is some mix of wind power, hydroelectric, and biomass.

Consumers choosing a renewable source will pay for their environmental activism: while standard electricity costs about 7 or 8 cents per kilowatt hour, renewable sources cost around 10 cents an hour.

If you buy wind power, that doesn't mean the electricity arriving at your home comes from a wind turbine, though. The electricity from all of the power plants in New York - including wind turbines and hydroelectric generators - goes into the state's power grid. The electricity you receive is a mixture of the output from all the plants in the area.

If you choose a supplier that sells power from renewable sources, the money you pay for the electricity you consume goes only to those sources, not to coal or nuclear plants. Your choice, then, indicates that there's a demand for wind power, and it helps finance the production of that power.

Where the farms are

Roughly a dozen wind farms are being built or have been proposed in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region - the bulk of them in Steuben and Wyoming Counties. In most cases, the Department of Environmental Conservation is part of the review process, typically for environmental impacts. Following is a list of projects involving the DEC that are in stages of review or construction.

Batavia Wind Farm (118 megawatts): Alabama, Genesee County; under review.

Noble Bliss Wind Park (100 megawatts): Bliss and Eagle, Wyoming County; under construction.
High Sheldon Wind Farm (198 megawatts): Sheldon and Orangeville, Wyoming County; under review.

Dairy Hills Wind Farm (120 megawatts): Perry, Warsaw, and Covington, Wyoming County; under review.

Wethersfield Wind Power (129 megawatts): Wethersfield, Wyoming County, under review.

Prattsburgh Wind Farm (79.5 megawatts): Prattsburgh, Steuben County; under review.

Cohocton Wind One Power (82 megawatts): Avoca, Cohocton, and Prattsburg, Steuben County; under review.

Hartsville Wind Power (50 megawatts): Hartsville, Steuben County; under review.

Howard Wind Project (62 megawatts): Howard, Steuben County; under review.

Paragon (100 megawatts): Schuyler, Steuben County; under review.

Prattsburgh Wind Farm (75 megawatts): Prattsburgh, Steuben County, and Italy, Yates County; under review.

Cohocton Wind (82.5 megawatts): Cohocton, Steuben County; approved by town.

Dutch Hill Wind (42.5 megawatts): Cohocton, Steuben County, approved by town.



Maybe they are great investments but betting on industries that thrive on the basis of propaganda and government tax breaks and subsidies can also be a bit risky.

Still, I have to admit that the FPL Group (parent of (a) regulated utility Florida Power & Light, and (b) unregulated FPL Energy -- largest US owner of "wind farms") has done well -- heavily due to tax breaks -- as I pointed out in the attached, now somewhat dated, paper. FPL Energy has continued to buy & build "wind farms" since the paper was written.

Interestingly, the 5-year double declining balance depreciation break can be especially attractive to a corporate CEO who is nearing retirement and who enjoys a bonus program that is tied to earnings. A big depreciation deduction (35% of which goes directly to the bottom line) can give earnings a nice temporary boost. Of course the Production Tax Credit also goes to the bottom line.

Glenn Schleede

Cuomo wants NYRI lawsuit dismissed by Nancy Dooling

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed against state Assemblywoman Donna A. Lupardo, D-Endwell, and others by an energy company that wants to develop a power line through upstate New York.

New York Regional Interconnect filed suit earlier this year against Lupardo as the author of a new state law that prevents energy companies such as NYRI from using eminent domain to seize private property. The lawsuit also names state Sen. John Bonacic, R-Mt. Hope, who sponsored the legislation in the state Senate.

State lawmakers have fought NYRI by enacting legislation. Lupado cited the potential environmental and economic damage the project would do to the upstate counties through which the proposed power line would be constructed. The project would supply power only to the New York City area.

NYRI is claiming it has been harmed by the state law sponsored by Lupardo and Bonacic. Cuomo is expected to argue that NYRI has not been harmed because its application is still pending before a federal agency.

Also named in the NYRI lawsuit is Gov. Eliot Spitzer, former Gov. George E. Pataki, several state officials, and other upstate elected officials including state Sen. Thomas W. Libous, R-Binghamton.

Lupardo said a court hearing on the matter has been scheduled for Nov. 11 in Albany's federal court before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both D-NY, are also seeking to restrict the exercise of eminent domain by energy companies, Lupardo said. Earlier this month, a similar amendment sponsored by Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-Utica, and Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey, D-Hurley, died in the House of Representatives.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Massa, Reform Cohocton candidates hit tonight's forum by BOB CLARK

COHOCTON - Reform Cohocton Republican candidates will speak at a town hall-style meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at the Cohocton Elementary School.

Primary day is Sept. 18, with the general election taking place Nov. 6.

“It's a way for candidates to speak to the public ahead of next week's primary,” said meeting organizer James Hall.

Democratic congressional candidate Eric Massa also will attend the meeting to make an announcement.

“Eric Massa is going to make a statement on wind turbines tonight,” said Hall.

2006 Green Party Attorney General candidate Rachel Treichler is set to moderate the forum. Hornell-based WLEA-AM and WCKR-FM radio station owner Kevin Doran was set to moderate the forum, but had to cancel for health reasons.

Seven Reform Cohocton candidates have agreed to answer question at the meeting, including Robert C. Strasburg II, Steve M. Sick, Cesare F. Taccone, Blair Hall, F. Stoner Clark, Rebecca Conard, and Chris Brautigam.

Eight Cohocton incumbents have been invited, but Hall had not heard a response from any concerning their attendance by press time. All Cohocton voters are invited to attend the meeting.

“Everyone across the board is welcome to attend,” said Hall, who added candidates with all political affiliations will be speaking.

Massa to weigh in on turbines by Bryan Roth

Opponents of a Steuben County wind turbine project will get a boost Tuesday when Congressional hopeful Eric Massa visits a public information meeting featuring Republican candidates vying for the party's nomination in the Sept. 18 primaries.

The meeting is 7 to 9 p.m. at Cohocton Elementary School, 30 Park Ave.

Moderated by Kevin Doran of WLEA-AM and WCKR-FM, (Rachel Treichler replacement moderator due to Mr. Doran's hospitalization) the forum will offer an opportunity for local politicians to weigh in on he development of three windmill projects in Cohocton and Prattsburgh.

"We'll be talking about whatever the residents of Cohocton want to talk about, but that is basically the only thing that is talked about," said Judi Hall, member of the Cohocton Wind Watch, a group that opposes the windmill installation. "It's gotten very ugly of late, but I'm assuming a lot of it will be about that."

The Wind Watch group filed legal actions Aug. 31 in state Supreme Court in Steuben County against the Cohocton Planning Board to block the development of wind turbines. The group has been at odds with the town since last summer over the construction of wind turbines on Pine Hill, Lent Hill and Dutch Hill.

Last week, Massa compared the current problem to that of 1950s nuclear power, saying politicians can be focused on potential benefits and not the billions of dollars in taxes that were created. Massa also said local residents would have to deal with thousands of windmills the size of the Washington Monument if the project continues.

"Today in Steuben County and throughout the Southern Tier and Upstate New York, we're being scammed in much the same way ... by foreign-owned companies," he said. "We are being told that we are building windmills to provide electrical power for New York State's largest consumers, but the largest consumers in New York are air conditioners in New York City in the summer."

Bryan Roth can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 270, or at

Sunday, September 09, 2007

€20bn listing boosts wind farm growth by Tim Webb

(Energy East take over by Iberdrola means local electric rate will skyrocket)

Spanish group to float world's largest renewables company as green power industry blows hot

Published: 09 September 2007

Iberdrola, the Spanish energy giant that bought ScottishPower last year, will raise up to €4bn (£2.7bn) when it floats the world's largest wind power company.

The Spanish hope to list their Iberenova division, which analysts say will be valued between €16bn and €20bn, next month – in Madrid and not in London, like the parent company.

Iberenova is the world's largest wind farm operator and owner, with a portfolio of wind farms with 6,500MW capacity, as well as 350MW of hydro power in operation – equivalent to about a tenth of the UK's total generating capacity – and a further 40,000MW of planned wind farms in the pipeline. Included in the portfolio are the wind farms owned by ScottishPower, made up of 1,750MW operating capacity in the US and 360MW in the UK.

By selling one-fifth of the subsidiary's shares, Iberdrola will raise capital to finance its planned developments. The construction of wind farms requires a large upfront investment – typically just under £1m for every MW of an onshore farm. However, wind farms cost almost nothing to run compared to coal and gas plants.

Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and the Spanish bank BBVA are handling the float. Bankers are still working on the shareholder prospectus and are planning roadshows for prospective investors.

Iberdrola confirmed last month the division would be spun off in the final quarter. It wants to get the float away early next month if possible, with the new company having an English name.

Iberdrola bought ScottishPower in November for £11.6bn in cash and shares. Banks arranged a debt financing package of £8bn to pay for the acquisition and help refinance debt. Raising up to €4bn from the float to fund Iberenova's expansion will help free up Iberdrola's balance sheet.

The wind farm industry has grown massively in recent years as government subsidies, high oil prices and economies of scale start to take effect. Airtricity, the Irish wind farm company run by Eddie O'Connor, with over 10,000MW of wind farms at the planning stage, is rumoured to be looking to sell its US operations for a reported £1.5bn. The company, which is 51 per cent owned by infrastructure company NTR, could also be floated by its parent.

Mr O'Connor has ambitious plans to build dozens of huge offshore wind farms between the UK, Germany and the Netherlands in the North Sea, connected by a European offshore "super grid" to provide the continent with renewable energy. Spreading the wind farms wide enough should ensure that the wind is always blowing and the turbines turning somewhere.

Airtricity has already submitted plans for the first stage of the project, to build a 10GW wind farm – enough to provide power to over three million homes – consisting of about 2,000 turbines which would cover an area of 3,000sq km.

Despite moves towards more economic and regulatory integration, a Europe-wide electricity market has yet to emerge. A North Sea grid, which would need international regulation, could be the first step towards this. Mr O'Connor wants support from the three countries and the European Union, as well as a commitment from the European Investment Bank to underwrite the debt required to finance the project.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Republican Primary Voters - Elect Reform Cohocton Candidates

Finally, a clear choice for bold leadership in local government! That is the promise of the entire Reform Cohocton team. You know that you can trust us and the platform outline that is available for all to read on our Reform Cohocton site:

The current administration has abused Republican principles. Decisions have been controlled for the benefit of the few, while the many pay the price of their arrogance. The overwhelming voice of hundreds of residents and property owners was ignored when petitions were presented to the Town Board for a moratorium on approving a fundamental change in our zoning law. That same support for rewriting our “bible of land use”, the Comprehensive Plan, was buried by Supervisor Zigenfus and fanatics on the Town Board. Now the Planning Board wants to write a new master plan. By failing to their duty for years, they now want to cover their tracks.

Yes, the current administration has acted in lock step as if Cohocton citizens MUST surrender their quality of life and children’s future to further the narrow interests of a small greedy minority. But this election in not solely about industrial wind turbines!

Look at the massive tax increase in your School Tax bill. The claims of “Looking into Lower Taxes” translates into you get to pay more NOW, especially if you are not a buddy and supporter of Jack, Wayne and Milt. You were denied a referendum on the UPC project, now my fellow Republicans, you have an opportunity to express disgust in the way the current administration has railroaded the process, has placed the town at unlimited liability risk and insulted the intelligence of every resident voter.

The Supervisor and his partners in THEIR corrupt culture bear the blame of violating laws and regulations. Incompetence and willful malfeasance is THEIR record. They refuse to meet their constituents or answer lingering questions. THEIR refusal to defend their own record IS THEIR campaign. THEIR secret closed door executive sessions must end. THEIR illegal actions and betrayal of your trust has placed the town in court once again.

Another term for incumbents will not correct the core problems in local government.

Ronald Reagan asked back in 1980: “"Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" Well, thank God Cohocton voters rejected a four year term for Supervisor last election. Are you better off under the incumbent regime? Only those anticipating a check from UPC want current office holders re-elected.

The vast majority of voters know that Cohocton has never seen real competition in elections. The reason why the incumbents are so scared is that their game of “silence with intimidation” is coming to an end. Reform Cohocton candidates want your support and vote so we can work to clean up the current mess.

Robert C. Strasburg II, Steve M. Sick, Cesare F. Taccone,
Blair Hall, Dr F. Stoner Clark, Rebecca Conard, Chris Brautigam


You might find it interesting to know that the latest information released by the US Dept. of Energy reveals that Wind Power represented only 3/100 of 1% of our energy production nationwide at the end of 2006. (found at: )

Also, recently revealed was the fact that by the year 2030 after Billions of our tax dollars have been given to government agencies, foreign investors and ruthless Developers, it is projected by the US Department of Energy, that generation of wind Power will still be below 1% of our energy production. That is 23 years from now and Billions of our dollars later. ( found at: , See Table 1 )

Why are we as a Nation allowing our politicians to steal Billions of our tax dollars in the name of “GREEN ENERGY” and waste them on a technology so meaningless to the cause they claim? This is like the Pentagon’s $600 hammers purchased with our tax dollars, only multiplied exponentially and accelerated by greed and deception. Every one of these turbines erected in Cohocton will be a monument to this crime.

Cohocton has been bribed by supposed promises of income that are not enforceable (Host Agreement ARE NOT ENFORCEABLE, and the Developer may choose, at their discretion, not to pay, with NO LEGAL RECOURSE!) It is already all over the newspapers that UPC disregarded the laws you and I are bound by and started working illegally! Did they get fined like you and I would? No! Nobody wants to tick them off. Why? They may decide not to pay!

We are being SCAMMED! Where does the issue of right and wrong come in to play? Right: Green energy that is efficient and reliable. Right: Protecting Agricultural land and farming from Eminent Domain of an electric corporation. Wrong: Allowing UPC to help write Cohocton Law to benefit whom? Wrong: For the Town of Cohocton and Steuben not to require bonding. Result: Cohocton taxpayers risk paying forever for this mistake.

Proverbs 20:7 says: “Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel”. God help Cohocton… are those of us that are not for being bribed going to have to eat of this gravel also? It is time to elect new officials in Cohocton that are interested in doing what is right, because it is right. I ask for your vote in the Republican Primary on September 18th for Cohocton Town Supervisor. We Republican Reform Cohocton Candidates may not be able to reverse all that has been done to our Town, but we will do our best to protect the residents from the ravages of this ill-conceived development.

Please come to the Wayland-Cohocton Elementary School tonight in Cohocton on September 11th at 7 PM and meet all the Reform Cohocton Candidates. Cohocton can still have a bright future with the right leadership.

Robert C. Strasburg II 384-9318

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cohocton Wind Watch sues planning board, UPC: Town supervisor says he hasn't seen legal documents yet by BOB CLARK

BATH - Opponents of Cohocton wind power have taken legal action against the proposed $225 million UPC Wind Management project and the town planning board they claim is acting in “malfeasance.”

Cohocton Wind Watch LLC and 34 Town of Cohocton property owners filed three separate Article 78 lawsuits with the Steuben County Supreme Court on Friday against the Town of Cohocton planning board, UPC, and 55 property owners who have signed leases with UPC.

“The planning board has blatantly refused to incorporate any of the protective safeguards into their findings,” James Hall of CWW said in a prepared statement. “The planning board has committed malfeasance. All residents and property owners bear the financial burden and risk of town insolvency coming out of a wind project that is doomed to implode.”

“We haven't been served,” Cohocton Town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus said.

“It's kind of hard to comment about something I haven't seen yet.”
“[The filings] was certainly not unexpected,” Zigenfus said, adding that CWW members have been threatening the town and UPC since the project was first proposed.

The lawsuits list 13 charges against UPC and the Town of Cohocton planning board:

The applications for Special Use Permits were improperly executed and are not valid.

The respondents failed to insure that turbines will be installed and operated according to state, federal and industry standards.

The current site plans violate local ordinances for the setback distance of turbines from residences, right-of-ways, roads, and property lines.

The setbacks were not accurately measured.

The planning board set two standards for setbacks for residences and other property and public roads, which endangers the users of seasonal properties and motorists.

The planning board violated state Open Meeting Laws by holding “secret meetings.”

The planning board granted special use permit for an electrical substation which lacks required road access.

A change in the site plan required additional public hearing which were not held.

The planning board failed to consider the potential effects of the project on a nearby inactive hazardous waste disposal site.

The potential effects of the project on the groundwater were inadequately assessed.

The planning board should not have issued a special use permit allowing construction before all other necessary permits were issued.

The planning board failed to adequately consider the visual impact of the project on the Town of Cohocton.

The noise levels of Turbine Number 9 impinge on property owned by James Hall in the Town of Prattsburgh.

All three Article 78 filings are almost word-for-word identical in their complaints against the planning board and UPC, the only real difference between each filing being the names of the petitioners.

On the filing number 97758, CCW and 31 residents are listed as petitioners.

On filing number 97759, Rodney Baetzhold and Dan Wing are listed as petitioners.

On filing number 97760, Dale Hersch is listed as the sole petitioner.

All three cases will be heard by Steuben County Supreme Court Judge Marianne Furfure at 10 a.m. on Oct. 2 in Bath.“They first filed a Article 78 in Ontario County, which the judge dismissed,” Zigenfus said, adding that even though CWW claims to have appealed that decision, the Town of Cohocton has not been served with any documents involving an appeal.

Hall predicted that more lawsuits may be filed in the future.

“This round of litigation most likely will be only the beginning of a flood of actions coming from parties unrelated to us or CWW,” he said.

“The project has been approved by every agency,” Zigenfus said. “You don't just walk in and say, ‘give me a permit.”

Zigenfus also noted that no building permits have been issued, and any statements claiming that construction has begun on anything other than a staging area are, “completely false.”

Cohocton Wind Watch will host a public information meeting from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Cohocton Elementary School.