Cohocton Wind Watch: January 2008
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.

READ about the FIRST WIND Connection to the Obama Administration

Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud


Thursday, January 31, 2008

James M. Barbour Letter to Tom Pelton of the Baltimore Sun

Wind farms hit opposition

Tom, a friend forwarded your article on wind and I commend and agree with your efforts. The real dark side of wind energy, at least here in New York State are the Industrial Development Agencies (IDA's) that court the wind folks with a tantalizing mix of private funds, "Tax Payer Investment" monies (wonderful euphemism, yes?) and PILOTs that will insure success and profit. The dogs are loose.

I arrived at this conversation via attending a local Board of Education meeting where the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency (SCIDA) was informing the board of a proposed PILOT. The SCIDA chairman, James Sherron and the representative of the Wind Project, Rick Towner displayed an arrogance was as breathtaking as it was puzzling. Why would these men appear before a School Board asking for financial relief and yet be so rude and condescending? I decided to do a little research.

In a letter dated March 28, 2007 the New York State Comptrollers Office informed SCIDA that they had 90 days to respond to the Comptroller's audit and file their plan of remediation in 90 days. A copy of this plan was to be available in SCIDA's office in Bath, New York.

On January 21, 2008 I attended a hearing in Atlanta, New York where the SCIDA board was supposed to take comments from the public concerning the Dutch Hill Wind Project. James Sherron and one other board member were on hand. Neither took any notes during the 90 minute meeting where a number of very astute and eloquent people had their say.

At the close of the meeting I asked the woman who sat at the table and was apparently the recording secretary. When asked when the minutes of this meeting would be available she said, "Oh, I'm not the secretary, I 'm a friend of the town clerk who has a dentist appointment today."

Mr. Sherron then said the minutes would be available before the SCIDA board vote on the PILOT for Dutch Hill on Thursday January 24, 2008. Legally they cannot vote on a PILOT but what do they care?

At that meeting I again requested a copy of the minutes of the hearing on the 21st and got a blank stare. A request for SCIDA's response to the 10 month old audit was once again met with a puzzled look.

At the above meeting (24th) two armed guards were stationed in the doorway. Even though the public may not comment they are by law and choice, not decree. Some of the 16 or so visitors present were very disturbed by this "show of force". In response I wrote the following letter to Randy Kuhl Jr our "representative" in Washington.

Power plant rules sought by LARRY RULISON

ALBANY -- Business and consumer advocates are raising their voices once again about New York's need for a new power plant siting law.

The previous law, known as Article 10, expired in 2003. The Legislature has been unable to agree on a new version. The old law was used to streamline the regulatory and permit-granting process for electrical power plants in the state.

On Wednesday, the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance, known as New York AREA, held a breakfast round-table discussion on Article 10 at the University Club in Albany.

State energy experts forecast a shortfall of electricity in the state by 2012, especially in the New York City area. Jerry Kremer, chairman of New York AREA, says a new siting law is needed to ensure that plants are built to supply that power.

"Article 10 was a medium to get power plants built in New York," he said. "And it really worked."

(Click to read entire article)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wayland-Cohocton School Superintendent January 30, 2008 Letter by Don E. Sandford

Superintendent Wetherbee:

I attended the meeting Executive Director Sherron of SCIDA presided over on January 18,2008, Atlanta, NY for the purpose to officially record any concerns which SCIDA board member should consider before voting on the PILOT program for Cohocton. This included as part of the package, monies designed for Wayland/Cohocton schools as to its proper share to be decided on by SCIDA. It is my understanding that all testimony and letters addressing the pilot were to be given to absent SCIDA board members to hear or read the concerns and testimony of taxpayers to be used in their decision of the final vote the following week. I do not recall that either you or any representative of the school system identified themselves and spoke at this very important public meeting sharing your views or concerns as how the proposed pilot would or would not effect the school system’s bottom line. You arguably had the responsibility to do so. Sadly, the Cohocton/UPC/SCIDA pilot was subsequently approved by the SCIDA board last week.

I am sure you are very aware by now that the Naples School District recognizes the injustice of the current SCIDA PILOT and is addressing it with no apologies because of the negative financial effect on their school system which involved different counties and towns. The school board’s attorney, superintendent and other concerned citizens, all voicing their strong negative concerns and making their case against the existing SCIDA PILOT and how it wrongfully hurts their students and taxpayers by depriving them of significant tax dollars on comparison to SCIDA PILOT allowed, that is rightfully theirs over at least a 20yr period.

You and our school board also have a very similar and critical financial responsibility to our students and taxpayers and to make certain this decision of PILOT or no PILOT be done right. With the known side by side comparison of taxing the UPC multimillion dollar wind project rightfully in the interest of the student and taxpayer with it’s clearly significant and needed financial benefit or accepting an insulting meager PILOT allowance by SCIDA seems to me by all the facts known is not even close. One can only wonder perhaps then of political pandering entering the decision making process. I would prefer you lead by diligent and informed example. If you think the SCIDA PILOT payment is inherently unjust and needing court litigation to prove it, so be it. Proceed to do so and lead in a responsible manner with our interest in mind, not SCIDA’s. In doing so, you will have rightfully gained the support and respect of the student and taxpayer alike.

In closing not having read any recent correspondence on this matter from you or the board, I would request as a Wayland/Cohocton School taxpayer be kept better informed about this in a timely manner, perhaps in a news letter.

Respectfully submitted,

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

January, 30, 2008

Apparently the Senate will consider its version of a Stimulus bill tonight.

Grassley Press Release:

Senator Grassley (R-IA), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, has issued a press release on his proposal to extend the wind PTC and other renewable energy tax breaks in the version of a stimulus bill being considered right now in the Senate Finance Committee. Whatever the Finance Committee reports out after its meeting will be considered on the Senate floor as a substitute for the bill passed by the House yesterday.

Earlier information from the Senate Finance Committee indicates that it will also propose a 50% depreciation bonus but that it would be split 25% in the first tax year and 25% in the second tax year.

Senator Grassley (who was chairman when the Republicans were in control of the Senate) has been lavishing tax breaks on the wind industry for years.

Even without the huge 50% depreciation bonus, wind industry people have admitted that federal tax breaks alone account for 2/3rds of the economic value of a "wind farm."

If you object to picking up a huge share of the wind industry's tax burden (apart from your other objections to wind turbines), you may want to call your Senators right away.

Glenn Schleede

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008

Grassley Advances Consideration of Renewable Energy Tax Incentives

WASHINGTON Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, today advanced the consideration of the extension of key tax incentives for the production of energy from renewable sources. Grassley, a long-time champion of renewable energy, raised the extensions in an economic stimulus package being given committee consideration this afternoon.

Renewable energy production depends on investment, Grassley said. Investors need certainty. They won't put their money out for a wind energy facility unless there's a reasonable expectation that tax incentives will continue into the future. For energy needs and for economic growth, we need to continue renewable energy provisions without interruption. Production has to meet demand and alternative energy has never been in such demand as it is right now.

The high price of oil helped to start the economic downturn. The stimulus package should underscore the nation's commitment to energy efficiency and alternative energy.

Grassley raised a series of energy tax provisions in today's Finance Committee economic stimulus package. Separate from the energy tax provisions in the farm bill, they include:

A credit for electricity produced from certain renewable resources (Section 45). This extends the production credit for electricity produced from wind, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, and other sources by one year, through Dec. 31, 2009.

A credit to holders of clean renewable energy bonds. This adds an additional $400 million to a category of tax credit bond called Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs). CREBs are defined as bonds issued by a qualified issuer if, in addition to other requirements, 95 percent of the proceeds are used to finance capital expenditures incurred for facilities qualifying for tax credits under Section 45. Qualified issuers include governmental bodies (including Indian tribal governments) and mutual or cooperative electric companies. The provision is effective for bonds issued after Dec. 31, 2008.

A deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings.

This provision extends for one year a deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings that reduce annual energy and power consumption by 50 percent compared to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standard.

Credit for the construction of new energy-efficient homes. This provision extends for one year a credit to eligible contractors for the construction of a qualified new energy-efficient home. The credit applies to manufactured homes meeting Energy Star Standards and other homes meeting a 50 percent standard. The credit applies to homes purchased prior to Jan.1, 2010.

Credit for residential energy efficient property. This extends for one year a credit, equal to 30 percent of qualifying expenditures, for the purchase for qualified photovoltaic property and solar water heating property used exclusively for purposes other than heating swimming pools and hot tubs. This also provides a 30 percent credit for the purchase of qualified fuel cell power plants and applies to property placed in service prior to Jan. 1, 2010.

Alternative energy credit for electricity production for businesses. This extends for one year a 30 percent business energy credit for the purchase of qualified fuel cell power plants for businesses and a 10 percent credit for purchase of qualifying stationary microturbine power plants. Additionally, a 30 percent credit for purchase of qualifying solar energy property is also extended. The credits apply to periods before Jan. 1, 2010.

Energy-efficient existing homes credit. The proposal extends the residential property tax credit for two years (through Dec. 31, 2009) for expenditures to improve the energy efficiency of an existing home.

Energy-efficient appliances production. The proposal extends the tax credit for the production of energy efficient appliances for two years (through Dec. 31, 2009). It updates and extends the manufacturing years to 2008 and 2009.

Grassley has long been one of the most outspoken advocates in Congress for developing domestically produced alternative, renewable energy such as ethanol.

At the moment, the Senate bill is going through mark-up and, per Kurt Kovarik (202-224-3744) in Grassley's office, the PTC extension is in the bill with Sen Bacus' blessings. He could not tell me how much support Grassley has in the Senate nor does he know how much debate will be had on the stimulus package. Sixty votes are needed to cut off debate.

--Lisa Linowes

Evidence of Dr Robyn Phipps, In the Matter of Moturimu Wind Farm Application heard before the Joint Commissioners 8th - 26th March 2007 Palmerston N.



Spain's Iberdrola Suspended

MADRID, Spain — Spain's stock market supervisors Wednesday suspended trading in shares of Spanish utility Iberdrola SA and its unit Iberdrola Renovables SA, before a corporate announcement.

The CNMV, as the market supervisor is also known, said in a statement it will lift the suspensions at 0830 GMT.

British newspaper the Financial Times reported earlier Wednesday that Electricite de France SA and Spanish construction giant Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA have held preliminary talks about possibly making a joint bid for Iberdrola.

However, ACS said Wednesday it did not have an agreement with EDF to launch a bid for Iberdrola.

"ACS has not reached any agreement with EDF to formulate a takeover offer for Iberdrola's share capital," ACS said in a filing with Spanish regulators.

There was no comment immediately available from either of the other two companies involved.

Before the suspension, Iberdrola's shares were indicated to open up 5 percent. The stock closed Tuesday at euro9.23 (US$13.64).

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

James M. Barbour Letter to Congressman Randy Kuhl

Mr Kuhl,

I attended the SCIDA board meeting last Thursday January 24 and was shocked by the presence of ARMED GUARDS posted on either side of the entrance to the meeting room. As a taxpayer, voter, VietNam vet, retired teacher of 29 years with service to the Ambulance and Fire corps do demand that you look into this abominable situation of where petty politics and politicians play a dirty game on the most sacred of grounds in America... an OPEN and FREE meeting. Posting ARMED GUARDS is the move of Fear Mongers who thrive on threat and guile where reason and candor should prevail. The PROCESS created to develop Wind Energy in our area is fraught with deceit and deception leading the fearful ones to engage in patronizing and dismissive ARMED GUARDS at a public meeting.

Good Lord, if have we sunk so low that ARMED GUARDS are the answer then pray tell, what is question? I respectfully await your reply.

Thank You

Wayland-Cohocton School District January 28, 2008 Letter by James Hall

January 28, 2008

Wayland-Cohocton Central School Board
2350 Rte 63 N
Wayland, NY 14572

RE: UPC SCIDA PILOT approval not required for Wayland-Cohocton School District

Dear School Board members:

Submitted this date to the Wayland-Cohocton School Board the following documents:

1) Press Release January 10, 2008 from attorney David Miller
2) List of SCIDA Board members and their home addresses
3) SCIDA January 23, 2008 letter from CWW/James Hall
4) SCIDA January 22, 2008 letter from CWW/James Hall
5) Assemblyman Sam Hoyt January 21, 2008 letter from CWW/James Hall
6) SCIDA January 18, 2008 letter from CWW/James Hall
7) SCIDA January 18, 2008 letter from Judith Hall
8) SCIDA December 20, 2007 letter from CWW/James Hall
9) SCIDA December 18, 2007 letter from CWW/James Hall
10) Naples School Board December 12, 2007 letter from CWW/James Hall
11) Wayland-Cohocton Superintendent October 12, 2007 letter from CWW/Hall
12) SCIDA September 27, 2007 letter from CWW/James Hall
13) SCIDA November 14, 2006 letter from CWW/Steve Trude
14) Copy of a Naples/Bristol residents hoping the PILOT won’t fly
15) Copy of Naples Record ad – Naples Residents Voice Your Opposition

This background information may assist in your deliberation process on a UPC Cohocton PILOT. Note that NYSRL Section 487 was cited in the October 12, 2007 letter to Mr. Wetherbee. The following quote is from this section of NYS law: “School districts opting out of the exemption provided by Real Property Tax Law Section 487, common called the Solar, Wind, or Farm Waste Energy exemption, remain "opted-out" until such time as they rescind the resolution that caused them to opt out of the exemption.”
Mr. Sherron, executive director of SCIDA, insistence that independent taxing jurisdictions MUST accept a PILOT is based upon the following: “No Exemption under Real Property Tax Law 487 be Applicable within our jurisdiction with respect to Solar and Wind Energy Systems or Farm Waste Energy System”. (page 9 of 2006 of the Steuben County legislature minutes) This legislature passed A LOCAL LAW providing that no exemption under Real Property Tax Law §487 be applicable within our jurisdiction with respect to any solar or wind energy system or farm waste energy system. (page 18 and 19) Note that Town attorney for both Wayland and Cohocton and legislative representative from our district, attorney Pat McAllister abstained, when this local law was approved.

If the Steuben County legislature passed a law to opt out of automatic exemption of 487, why is Mr. Sherron going around to School Districts representing that they have no option but to accept the PILOT?

I trust that in basic civic class in Steuben County, that it is still taught that New York State law supersedes county and town local laws. SCIDA doesn’t pass laws. How can SCIDA represent that legislation passed by the Steuben County legislature requires that independent taxing jurisdictions like the Wayland-Cohocton School District cannot opt out of an IDA PILOT?

Also note that the New York State legislature, as of this date, has not renewed the authority of the IDA’s. As of January 31, 2008 the IDA’s could very well be operating without a state mandate of their very existence.

SCIDA in particular has a dismal history of questionable conduct. The March 28, 2007 audit of SCIDA by the Office of the State Comptroller is evidence that this unelected and virtually unaccountable board has run afoul of professional state standards of operation. Mr. Sherron’s disingenuous response that the same audit report was sent to all the IDA’s conflicts to the details within the audit specific to SCIDA.

The Wayland-Cohocton School District should confer with the attorneys of the Naples School District at Harter Secrest & Emery (585) 232-6500. Ronald Mendrick (585) 231-1299 is the regular counsel and Edward Premo (585) 231-1192 represented the district at the January 18, 2008 SCIDA Public Hearing on the UPC Cohocton PILOT. Their review of the illegality of the SCIDA position may well assist the interests of the Wayland-Cohocton School Board and every taxpayer in the district.
Cohocton Wind Watch offers the research skills and extensive database records that document the long trail of SCIDA abuses, for any future legal action the School District may take against SCIDA. You board has a responsibility to tax the UPC development, if it is built and commissioned, at full industrial utility commercial tax rates. New York State Office of Real Property Services NYSORPS must compute and publish a formula that local tax assessors will use to add the assets of this project to the tax rolls.

When Chris Swartly states that the $4,400,000 per year, that UPC was willing to pay in their PILOT application was an amount based upon an Empire Zone status which never existed, he avoids the essential issue. New York State taxpayers have no obligation to further subsidize commercial wind enterprises. UPC should be held to the original $4,400,000 they agreed to in writing.

CWW hopes to work with the Wayland-Cohocton School District to achieve a fair and equitable tax revenue from any industrial development project that is built in our district.


James Hall for CWW

Monday, January 28, 2008

URGENT: US Senate and the wind PTC by Glenn Schleede

Below is a letter sent to Senators Reid, McConnell, Baucus and Grassley last Friday, January 25, asking for a long-term extension of renewable and energy efficiency tax provisions including, of course, the wind Production Tax Credit. The letter has 33 signatures, 9 from Senators on the Finance Committee (Cantwell, Snowe, Wyden, Smith, Kerry, Salazar, Stabenow, Sununu, and Schumer).

The addressees are, respectively:

Senate Committee on Finance

The Honorable Charles Grassley

Ranking Member

Senate Committee on Finance

Apparently, the letter is still being circulated for additional signatures with the idea of resending it on Wednesday. The staff people pushing this letter on behalf of the renewable industries apparently are:

Amit Ronen (Cantwell) 224-3441

Patrick Woodcock (Snowe) 224-5344

I would urge you to consider contacting your Senators and urging them to (a) back off if they have already signed, and (b) not sign if they haven't already.

In addition to all the arguments against wind energy that you already know, you could point out to them that the renewable energy industries already get a huge disproprotionate amount of tax breaks and subsidies.


This latter point is made clear by a relatively recent GAO report:

Also, you might want to point out that $150 Billion is enough to give away on anyone day -- even for the current Administration and Congress.

The Senators listed below apparently have already signed the letter:

Glenn Schleede



January 25, 2008

The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Senate Republican Leader
The Honorable Max Baucus

Dear Senators Reid, McConnell, Baucus, and Grassley:

We strongly support current bipartisan efforts to mitigate an economic downturn by providing direct financial relief to American families. At the same time, we believe that we must be cognizant that energy prices have been a leading cause of our current economic environment.

Accordingly, we strongly believe that we must provide a timely long-term extension of clean energy and energy efficiency tax incentives that expire at the end of this year. Given record energy prices and growing demand, postponing action on these critical energy incentives will only exacerbate the problems afflicting our economy. In fact, these renewable energy and energy efficiency investments have a verifiable record of stimulating capital outlays and promoting job growth. We must ensure that this impressive record is maintained in 2008 and extend these tax credits expeditiously.

Over one hundred thousand Americans could be put to work in 2008 if clean energy production tax credits were extended in the first quarter of this year according to industry estimates.

However, because the incentives are set to expire this year, renewable energy companies are already reporting a precipitous decrease in investment due to uncertainty. Projects currently underway may soon be mothballed. Clean energy incentives for energy efficient buildings appliances and other technologies, as well as additional funding for weatherizing homes, would similarly serve to stimulate 2008economic consumption, lower residential energy costs, and generate new manufacturing and construction jobs.

Failing to act on these crucial incentives could choke off promising business investment in 2008 and miss an opportunity to address high energy costs, a critical contributor to sinking consumer confidence and our nation's long-term economic challenges. Extending these expiring clean energy tax credits will help ensure a stronger, more stable environment for new investments and ensure continued robust growth in a bright spot in an otherwise slowing economy. To that end we look forward to working with you to extend these critical tax incentives in context of encouraging economic growth and vitality.



Vote: Are wind turbines beautiful or ugly? by the Mother Earth News editors

Vote on the Mother Earth Poll

Whither Wind? by Charles Komanoff

Shame on you Mother Earth News

Read this Whither Wind? article and you may well agree with Virginia Robin of Taylors, South Carolina.

Her comments object to the disinformation expressed by the author Charles Komanoff in his article. Here is one example from his essay.

"At the same time, however, there is an apocalyptic quality to much anti-wind advocacy that seems wildly disproportionate to the actual harm, particularly in the overall context of not just other sources of energy but modern industry in general. New York state opponents of wind farms call their Web site “Save Upstate New York.” In Massachusetts, a group called Green Berkshires argues that wind turbines “are enormously destructive to the environment,” but does not perform the obvious comparison to the destructiveness of fossil fuel-based power. Although the intensely controversial Cape Wind project “poses an imminent threat to navigation and raises many serious maritime safety issues,” according to the anti-wind Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the alliance was strangely silent when an oil barge bound for the region’s electric power plant spilled 98,000 gallons of its deadly, gluey cargo into Buzzards Bay in 2003."

Do you agree with Virginia Robin assessment?

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Why is Mother Earth News shilling for wind power? I am all for individual windmills, but square miles of windmills across formerly beautiful green earth is so hideous, it makes my heart ache. They’re far worse to see than power lines along the road. What can the land be used for once windmills cover it? Gorgeous vistas are spoiled by this. Birds are instantly butchered. I’ll have one windmill, please, two if needed, on my own property, grouped neatly near the house.

Virginia Robin
Taylors, South Carolina

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dr. Nina Pierpont January 15, 2008 Letter to Ken and Janet Tacy


This article on the health effects of noise pollution mirrors the findings of Dr. Nina Pierpont (see: link to Nina's document) although no specific reference is made to wind turbine noise.

Wind firm wants opportunity in Pomfret by TOM STEBBINS

1/27/2008 - Ever since the town of Pomfret passed a wind ordinance last summer, Horizon Wind Energy has been working to craft a lease specifically tailored for Pomfret and its unique setting. We have worked closely with landowners, adjusting our lease to address the needs and circumstances of this community, adding or modifying provisions on hunting, timber and pasture land. We consulted with experts in the field of grape production, including local purchasers and Cornell University, to understand how wind turbines can co-exist with the beautiful vineyards of this area.

We have crafted a lease that addresses the concerns of a number of landowners to their satisfaction. We have signed agreements with over 50 local landowners representing over 5,000 acres of land in the windiest areas of Pomfret, Arkwright and Stockton. Every acre signed was the result of multiple discussions between Horizon and local landowners and we are proud that so many landowners have chosen Horizon as their business partner.

Hence, we were surprised to read in last Sunday’s OBSERVER a quote attributed to Pomfret land owner Dianne Elliott that Horizon Wind Energy “did not budge” in our lease discussions (“Wind tower contracts being signed in Pomfret,” Jan. 20) and we would like to set the record straight. Upon hearing the concerns of some landowners, we flew our land attorney from Houston for the sole purpose of meeting with those landowners and their attorney to explain the lease and clear up any misconceptions about the agreement. We followed up with an eight-page letter to the landowners’ attorney, clarifying every single question that had been raised.

We encourage landowners to talk to as many people and companies as possible before deciding to sign a lease with a wind farm developer. Horizon is the largest wind turbine owner and operator in New York and we have a proven track record of working closely with individuals and communities across the country to develop our projects responsibly. We understand that when we develop a project in a community, we become part of that community and we work diligently to be good neighbors.

Agreeing to host a wind farm is a major decision for a town and for landowners and, even though over 80 percent of Pomfret residents are in favor of wind energy, we want to make sure that people understand what is involved. Since 2004, Horizon has conducted an extensive outreach and educational program in Northern Chautauqua County — inviting landowners and officials to visit the Maple Ridge Wind Farm, presenting at forums sponsored by Chautauqua County and regional Town and Planning Boards, conducting open houses and sharing information with the public on the wind resource in the area.

In Arkwright, we have applied to build an 80 megawatt project and look forward to working with town officials and residents to further explain the project and answer questions about it. In Pomfret, we look forward to developing a wind farm that will join our Arkwright project at the grid to bring the many benefits of clean, renewable energy to the region.

Tom Stebbins is project manager for Horizon Wind Energy

State must weigh wind farms, cultural resources by JAY A. DILORENZO

A recent letter about the Jordanville Wind Project oversimplifies the opposition of the Holy Trinity Monastery and others to the location of the proposed wind farm.

The monks are not selfishly choosing serenity over clean energy. Rather, their concerns speak to a larger issue: the impact of industrial-scale wind turbine projects on New York's historic, scenic and cultural resources.

In fact, the Preservation League of New York State named the Holy Trinity Monastery to our Seven to Save list of endangered places this month in part to call attention to the need for statewide siting standards for wind energy projects.

It's not only the Holy Trinity Monastery that is threatened by insensitively sited wind projects. Other sites in the Glimmerglass and Mohawk Valley regions, rich with historic structures and significant landscapes, face similar threats from industrial-scale wind energy development.

Early identification, acknowledgment and protection of historic resources is required to ensure that proposed wind farms are properly sited in order to protect the special character of historic communities and sites across the state.

We agree that New York's renewable energy goals are critically important, but development must be balanced with protection of cultural resources.


President Preservation League of NYS


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Judgment in Hosmer v Town of Howard - Case 9733

Charlotte Looks Into Wind Power by Alpha Husted

1/26/2008 - SINCLAIRVILLE — As plans for a wind farm in the neighboring town of Arkwright move closer to reality, landowners in the town of Charlotte are taking the first steps toward development of a wind turbine operation in that municipality.

Town resident, Merle Goot, who has spearheaded interest in a WECS (wind energy conversion system), said UPC Wind Management is currently contacting and ‘‘signing up’’ town property owners.

‘‘Arkwright has been moving forward with wind energy plans since 2004,’’ Goot said. ‘‘Charlotte has a long way to go, but at least we’re now on the way.’’

After several months of research and tours of wind turbine sites, Goot said, a group of town landowners ‘‘decided to go with UPC.’’

‘‘It was a visit to UPC’s Cohocton energy conversion site in December that sold us,’’ he said. ‘‘That trip really cinched a decision to select UPC as the developer of our town project.

‘‘During the tour,’’ Goot said, ‘‘we were aware there was some organized resistance to wind power, but we’ve been doing our homework, and I think it’s safe to say, that none of the 40 to 50 people in our tour group left Cohocton with any negative views of wind energy.

‘‘There were one or two in the group who were a bit concerned when we first arrived. But, after asking questions and talking with the people there, they were very satisfied that we were on the right path.’’

UPC Wind is described on its Web site as an ‘‘American-owned company based in Newton, Mass.,’’ with a New York office at Attica as well as others in Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon and Hawaii.

Listed as one of the firm’s upcoming developments is the Stetson Wind Project at Maine where an annual production of ‘‘approximately 150 million kilowatt hours will be enough to power about 27,500 homes per year.’’

According to Web site information released by Cohocton Town officials, the Steuben County wind conversion project — now under construction — culminates several years of efforts, and is ‘‘the first wind power project in the Southern Tier of New York.’’

Other data in the release indicates the municipality — located near Bath and about an hour south of Rochester — is scheduled to receive from UPC, ‘‘an average’’ of about $500,000 per year, over a 20-year period.

In comments from his Attica office, Chris Swartley, UPC director of business development, said he could offer very little information at this time on the Charlotte wind conversion project.

‘‘It’s just too soon,’’ said the official, noting the firm had not yet scheduled a meeting with the Town Board.

However, he said data collected indicates there is ‘‘good wind’’ in the town. He said more information on wind conditions will be available after a met tower project — meteorological tower — is completed. The tower is our next step,’’ he said, ‘‘and that will provide data on wind such as direction, temperature, and speed.’’

Swartley said that phase usually is considered a year-long project.

The UPC official said town property owners are ‘‘excited and very enthusiastic’’ about wind power. A number of people have indicated an interest in leasing their land, he said, ‘‘and we’re looking forward to working with more landowners.’’

Among landowners already involved are Kevin and Jan Spinler. The Hall Road couple said they are leasing their land and they are looking forward to being a part of the WECS.

‘‘We visited the Cohocton site,’’ Mrs. Spinler said, ‘‘and, we liked what we saw.’’
Spinler, a dairy farmer, said the income ‘‘will help pay off debts.’’

‘‘There’s a lot of work on a farm, but not much money,’’ he said. ‘‘Furthermore, we have to find a way to generate energy without burning fuel...I think wind farms are a great idea. There’s no pollution and no noise.’’

Darren Carlstrom, a Hall Road resident and farmer, said he ‘‘checked out’’ the Cohocton project on his own.

‘‘I didn’t take the tour,’’ he said. ‘‘I went there on my own before the tour. I talked to a lot of people and farmers, and I found they were pretty happy with the wind project and how things were being handled. The town has already received some funds (from UPC) and it was enough to reduce the farmers’ taxes.

‘‘I don’t see anything wrong with the appearance of windmills,’’ he said, ‘‘they’re a lot better looking than coal mines ... Burning coal has polluted a lot of areas. Wind turbines are a good, clean way to produce power.’’

Donald and Mary Rice of North Hill Road also plan to take part in the town wind turbine project.

‘‘The (Cohocton) tour was very interesting,’’ said Mrs. Rice, noting the visit had given the couple a ‘‘much better understanding’’ of what was involved in wind power projects.

‘‘We couldn’t see anything on the down side,’’ she said.

Tony Balona, owner of Edge & Engine on Cassadaga Road, said he supports wind power, but he thinks setback requirements that determine the distance between turbines and roadways and homes should get top consideration before the start of the Charlotte project.

He said he and his family had visited an operating wind energy conversion site in Somerset County, Pa. There were turbines ‘‘about 300 feet’’ from the road, ‘‘and, in that area, there was a swishing sound. In other areas where the turbines were set back much, much further, there was a soft sound, like wind blowing through leaves.’’

‘‘The people who lived near there, said they had no problem with either of the sounds,’’ he said, ‘‘but there might be some who would find the swishing sound annoying.’’

Balona said he and his family also toured the Cohocton site.

‘‘We were pretty impressed with it. The turbines were awesome.’’

Balona said he too left the site with a ‘‘much better understanding of how the system works.’’

‘‘I think we can all learn a lot from other projects,’’ he said. ‘‘In Cohocton, the setback there was 1,500 feet. In other words, that’s the required distance between a home and the wind overlay district — the wind-turbine area.’’

Noting the town of Charlotte’s zoning plan requires 1,000 feet, Balona said he thinks ‘‘wind turbines are a good system, but I would like to see our town setback requirements increased before the zoning is passed.’’

Meanwhile in Charlotte, where the proposed zoning law — including a section governing wind energy conversion systems — is now under consideration, officials say they are looking foward to the prospect of a wind turbine project and the economic windfall it could bring to the municipality.

Speaking on behalf of town Supervisor Gary Sargent, who was on vacation at the time this story was written, Deputy Supervisor Dennis Lewis said the Town Board will ‘‘thoroughly examine’’ the zoning plan.

‘‘All of us on the Town Board support wind power. We’re convinced its the economic boost the town needs,’’ Lewis said, ‘‘and we also want to make sure we do it right.’’

Friday, January 25, 2008

Testimony before the Ohio Senate Public Energy Committee SB 221 January 23, 2008

Letter to the Editor on RG&E; by Debra Burns

To the editor:

Regarding the article in the Jan 23rd issue of the Naples Record, "Power line put on hold" I would like to comment. Although it is true, RG&E; has put the project on hold, this is only temporary. We have no idea how long this "hold" will be. In a letter to our Town Officials, RG&E; stated its need to solve the "transmission problem" in Ontario County. This needs to be monitored closely. Also in this letter, RG&E; says that our area (Naples/South Bristol) is the closest geographically, to the problem. Make no mistake, with growth to the north of us, and large wind power companies to the south of us, we are rapidly going to become a natural corridor for transmission lines to deliver power to and from the wind turbines. There are approx 195 wind turbine projects slated through out New York State.

We need to be ready when RG&E; comes back with their next proposal. If you have not already joined the NVBHA, please consider doing so now. The group currently has approx 60 members but more support is needed. Volunteers are needed for committees – the NVBHA core group cannot do the work alone. Some of the NVBHA group has been working on the power line issue since July. Fresh blood with new ideas and people to implement them are desperately needed. Please consider joining the NVBHA team!

The NVBHA held a public meeting on Jan 23rd with fair attendance. Was the reason for the fair attendance was because of the Jan 23rd article? Folks, we are not home free - We must spread the word that RG&E; is not done with us in Naples and/or South Bristol. You cannot rely on a small group to continue the fight. The NVBHA needs your help!

The NVBHA is not against "alternative energy" or "green power". The main focus of NVBHA was to oppose the overhead power lines. Recently, their focus has expanded as a result of the turbine progress that has taken place under our eyes, without much consideration of the people who live in these beautiful hills and valleys, the communities of Naples, South Bristol, Italy, and Cohocton & Prattsburgh.

People; pay attention - THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER. Rest assured, RG&E; will be back and there will be more issues to overcome. If you are one of those people who say, "Why bother, there is nothing we can do", I believe, you are wrong. We, as a group, have won the 1st battle with RG&E; by stalling them. You are correct, you alone cannot do anything. But, as a group, things can happen, changes can be made. Please consider joining NVBHA and get involved. If you would like more information regarding NVBHA, please visit: or send an email to:

Debra Burns, Naples, NY

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Clipper Windpower sees modest 2008 progress

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Wind turbine maker Clipper Windpower, which has been hit by manufacturing problems, said it will only make modest financial progress in 2008 but it will be a much better year in terms of turbine production.

California-based Clipper (CWPR.L: Quote, Profile, Research), which has suffered setbacks because of problems with the turbine blades and other components, confirmed it will make 311 turbines in 2008 and that its Cedar Rapids plant in Iowa can now make over 400 a year.

Clipper is also developing what would be the largest wind turbine in the world, at 7.5 MW, in northeast England.

While it expects 2008 to be a transitional year, 2009 needs to be transformational because the firm has told analysts it will sell turbines at prices up to 20 percent higher in 2009.

The London-listed company said in Thursday's trading statement it made 137 turbines last year, its first full year of production, enough to power around 50,000 homes.

That was within its management's guidance but slightly ahead of the expectations of some analysts who had set them low after Clipper had disappointed on previous occasions.

In December, Clipper, which is one of the largest companies on London's junior AIM market and worth around 682 million pounds ($1.34 billion) pounds, warned it would miss profit forecasts for 2007.

It announced a further $7-10 million hit from cost overruns on Thursday.

"While further one-off costs are not welcome, we believe the market will take comfort from Clipper's upbeat manufacturing outlook," said Citi analyst Nick Williamson.

Its shares were up 0.8 percent to 630p by 1248 GMT, having fallen around 10 percent since the start of the month.

Clipper, which is seeking funding to construct and manage its own wind farm projects in a partnership with Spanish group Hemeretik called CAPGEN, said on Thursday it had received an order for 155 turbines for delivery by 2011, taking total orders from third parties to 825. (Reporting by Chris Wills, ; Editing by Paul Bolding) (; +44 (0)20 7542 5331; Reuters Messaging: ($1=.5106 Pound)

Huge Tax Break for "Wind Farm" owners in Stimulus Package - Glenn Schleede

White House Press Release

One of the features IS the 50% Bonus Depreciation Deduction for all business capital investments made in 2008. So "wind farm" owners will, in fact, be able to deduct 60% of the value of their capital investment from their otherwise taxable income during 2008 --- regardless of whether the investment is financed with debt or equity.

Please be aware that LLC's that nearly all "wind farms" are owned by single-asset limited liability companies (LLCs) that are subsidiaries or affiliates of large corporations (e.g., FPL Group, JP Morgan, Iberdola, Shell, BP, Babcock & Brown). The IRS permits corporations to "consolidate" subsidiaries and affiliates with the parent company for tax purposes. This means that corporations like the FPL Group can use the huge accelerated depreciation and Production Tax Credit tax breaks generated by FPL Energy's "wind farm" LLCs to avoid paying taxes on profits from its highly profitable regulated utility, Florida Power & Light.

If the parent corporations can't use all the tax breaks generated by the "wind farms," they can sell or trade the credits to others.

AWEA recently announced that all the wind turbines that will be available in 2008 for installation in the US have already been committed. Therefore, it appears that there will be NO additional capital investment in "wind farms" AS A RESULT OF the stimulus package. Therefore, "wind farm" owners will be able to avoid paying millions in taxes with NO economic benefit such as those claimed by the President and House leaders.

As is often the case with our federal government, its unlikely that the people who hatched this rotten egg (the "Stimulus package") have any idea about its true impact on the economy in the real world outside Washington DC, or, in the case of wind energy, how little electricity is produced by "wind farms," or how much tax burden they are shifting from "wind farm" owning corporations (many foreign owned) to ordinary US taxpayers, their children and grandchildren.

Glenn Schleede

Energy official hints at policy shift by LARRY RULISON

ALBANY -- In what appears to be a subtle shift in energy policy, Gov. Eliot Spitzer's top energy official said Wednesday that "all new clean power-generation sources" could be included in a new power-plant siting law.

Paul DeCotis, deputy secretary for energy, made the comment during the annual legislative breakfast of the Energy Association of New York State, a trade group that represents utilities, including National Grid.

A new siting law would help pave the way for electric power plants to be built in the state by streamlining the regulatory and permit-granting process.

Although the state's electricity needs are currently being met, projections show more generation may be needed by 2012 to meet growing demand, especially in metropolitan New York City.

A previous law, known as Article 10, expired in 2003. But the Legislature has not been able to agree on how to write the law.

(Click to read entire article)

Wind Industry and Tax Breaks - Glenn Schleede

Please be aware that the AWEA has just issued the legislative alert shown below. You may want to give your Senator and/or Congressman YOUR views on the issue.

Also, please be aware that the "stimulus" package announced this morning by President Bush and Congressional leaders apparently includes another "depreciation deduction" bonus. While I haven't seen the details, it's likely that it will be similar to the 30% first year bonus adopted right after 9/11 which bonus was then increased to 50%.

If so, this is another HUGE break for the wind industry. "Wind farm" owners already benefit enormously from the 5-year double declining balance accelerated depreciation (5-yr, 200% DB) which permits the following deductions from otherwise taxable income:

1st tax year: 20% of capital cost
2nd tax year: 32%
3rd tax year: 19.2%
4th tax year: 11,52%
5th tax year 11.52%
6th tax year: 5.76%

All other generating units are depreciated over 20 years using 150% DB. The exception is single cycle turbines which can use 15-year 150% DB.

Under the 50% bonus bonanza that expired (at the end of either 2006 or 2007), "wind farm" owners could deduct the following percentages of capital cost:

1st tax year: 60%
2nd tax year: 16%
3rd tax year: 9.6%
4th tax year: 5.76%
5th tax year: 5.76%
6th tax year: 2.88%.

Please recognize that these depreciation allowances for tax purposes permit owners of facilities to "recover" all their capital costs regardless of whether the investment is financed with equity or DEBT.

Again, I do not yet know what the "bonus" depreciation percentage is in the proposed new "stimulus" package.

You can be confident that whatever the provisions in the package, the tax burden that will be escaped by those getting the bonus -- as well as the cost of all the checks that are written -- will be shifted to remaining taxpayers.

Glenn Schleede

AWEA Legislative Action Alert: Congress Needs to Pass a Production Tax Credit Extension Now!

Urge your Members of Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit immediately Take Action!

The Production Tax Credit (PTC) is set to expire at the end of 2008. To maintain existing jobs and to continue growing thousands of new jobs, it is vital that Congress act quickly to extend the wind energy PTC early in the first quarter of 2008. Should we enter late spring without a PTC extension the impacts on wind industry investment will escalate dramatically as the financial community responds to growing uncertainty as to the future availability of the PTC.

Contact your Members of Congress and urge them to extend the PTC immediately.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

“Understanding Sound Associated with Industrial Wind Developments” by Rick Bolton

We would like to cordially invite you to attend and informational presentation with Engineer and Sound Specialist, Rick Bolton

Wednesday January 30 @ 7:00 PM

Perry Masonic Temple, Main Street Perry diagonally across from the Fire Hall

Rick is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a BS in Physics. Rick retired as a Project Engineer from Kodak and received 5 US Patents. He currently works in the Physics department at Hobart and William Smith College. For two years now he has been extensively researching and commenting on acoustical noise from industrial wind turbines. He is now an acknowledged expert in the field by peers and the courts. Rick also has his own Software Company and is a consultant for Eastman Kodak, Corning Glass and Xerox.

With more and more industrial wind developments seeking to establish themselves in our rural, agricultural, residential areas, it is imperative that all elected and appointed officials strive to fully educate themselves.

Rick Bolton is experienced in providing easily understandable information, and answering any questions you may have on the issues surrounding sound levels associated with these turbines.

We encourage all town board members and county and town planning board members to take advantage of this special evening.


Gerald and Valary Sahrle
CHRN (Citizens for a Healthy Rural Neighborhood)
7438 Myers Road
Perry, NY 14530

SCIDA Email Response to the January 23, 2008 Letter by James Hall

Mr. Hall,

This is to confirm our phone conversation of this date that the 2 Cohocton wind farm projects and the Windfarm Prattsburgh project are on the SCIDA Board meeting agenda for a vote at tomorrow’s meeting.

Kathy Warren
Administrative Assistant
Steuben County IDA
7234 Route 54
PO Box 393
Bath, NY 14810
607-776-5039 fax

SCIDA Application Discrepancies, Resolution and Removal of Code Enforcement Officer Letter January 23, 2008 by James Hall

REQUEST return confirmation of receipt

January 23, 2008

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

RE: Application discrepancies, resolution
and removal of Code Enforcement Officer

SCIDA Board Members:

The SCIDA has a responsibility to scrutinize the application for financial assistance from Canandaigua Power Partners, LLC (CPP) and Canandaigua Power Partners II, LLC. First of all who owns the LLC? LLC's do not have subsidiaries, who are the members? Are you aware UPC New York Wind, LLC is not registered to do business in NY State? The applications also contain the same federal ID # for both companies. On the original application for CPP there is a number which is different and not a federal ID number at all. CPP and CPPII had not registered with NYS DOL prior to start of construction. There seem to be numerous inaccuracies on their applications. Do you have the $350.00 filing fees and will the 1% fee be provided at the time of your vote for the projects? The taxpayers of Steuben County are watching.

At the Tuesday, January 22, 2008 Cohocton Town Board meeting a resolution was passed that addresses the deficiencies of the proposed PILOT for the UPC/CPP/CPPII Cohocton Dutch Hill Project. The town board affirms that SCIDA should not accept and approve this PILOT at this time. Based upon the minuscule PILOT payment and in light of the fact that UPC in their application for tax exemption stated clearly their willingness to pay $4,400,000 per year, it seems that SCIDA must reject a PILOT for this project.

The vocal opposition of the Naples School District to this PILOT must be seriously respected by SCIDA. The extensive proof provided by CWW cannot be ignored.

Also and most significantly the Cohocton Town Board terminated Joseph Bob as code enforcement officer for the town. Mr. Bob publically acknowledged that he is NOT NYS certified and that he did not enroll or attend any classes to gain certification status during the 2007 term of his employment as code enforcement officer. This is a clear violation of NYS law. As you are already aware, Cohocton Wind Watch has standing in three separate Article 78's, at this time, before Judge Marianne Furfure. Part of the merits of these actions challenges the legitimacy of the building permits issued by the Cohocton code enforcement officer.

For SCIDA to approve this PILOT before the court hears the cases would be injudicious. If Mr. Sherron's assertion is correct (CWW disagrees with his interpretation) that SCIDA can lawfully approve PILOT's after construction has started, there should be no immediate or compelling need to authorize the PILOT for either UPC Prattsburgh or Cohocton Projects, at this time and with tax exemptions purported.

It is our hope that SCIDA will act responsibly and reject these UPC PILOT tax exemptions. The taxpayers of Steuben County would be defrauded under this PILOT.


James Hall for CWW
cc: Governor Spitzer, AG Cuomo, Senator Winner, Assemblyman Bacalles

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cohocton Code Enforcement Officer January 22, 2008 Letter by James Hall

January 22, 2008

Joseph Bob - Code Enforcement Officer
Town of Cohocton
Code Enforcement Office
PO Box 327
Cohocton, New York 14826

Mr. Bob,

It has come to our attention that you are holding official Town of Cohocton documents in your possession and have not provided copies to the Town Clerk.

The example of the DEC wetland report is cited. This is a public document and NYS law requires that it be available for public inspection. The Town Clerk has made attempts to secure this document, and up to this date has not been able to obtain it from your office.

As part of your official duties and responsibilities, your office requires that certification be achieved within the first year of your employment. According to NYS Department of State – Division of Code Enforcement and Administration you are not listed as having a certified license.

The Town Clerk needs to have your certification verification available for inspection.

At this point there is no proof that you have successfully completed NYS certification within your first year. This letter serves as notice that your NYS Building Code training certification needs to be produced.

Also the Town Clerk has stated that you are in possession of new maps on the UPC/CPP/CPPII Project. Copies of these maps need to be provided to the Town Clerk for public inspection. Proof of CPP and CPPII controlling the land for the projects by lease also should be available by FOIL. Please consider this a request for inspection of these documents which has been stated that you have seen in order to issue building permits. These documents need to filed with the Town Clerk.


James Hall for CWW

cc: Cohocton Town Board
Charles Bliss NYS Department of Code Enforcement

DA, state official looking at wind issues - Malone Telegram 1/22/08

SCIDA on UPC Cohocton PILOT January 22, 2008 Letter by James Hall

January 22, 2008

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

RE: SCIDA PILOT UPC Cohocton Wind Project

Dear SCIDA Board members:

Enclosed is a copy of the CWW letter to the Cohocton Planning Board that calls for the re-opening of SEQR on the UPC/CPP/CPPII project. Based upon the exclusion of the final transmission line as part of original SEQR process, it would be a total aberration of your responsibility to approval a PILOT at this time.

Part of the merits of the cases in the three Article 78 actions currently before Judge Furfure relates to this specific issue. The UPC project was issued “special use” permits based upon Clipper 2.5 Liberty turbines. The failure of these same turbines at Steel Winds Lackawanna, NY, and the need for their disassembly to replace gear box failure and blade defaults is monumental.

SCIDA has no rational justification for approving a PILOT under these circumstances. The overwhelming opposition at the SCIDA public hearing on January 18, 2008 must be heard. Douglas Malone was present, but no other SCIDA board member was in attendance. This fact alone demonstrates the intentional disregard of the rest of the SCIDA board member for legitimate public input. This is blatant disregard to taxpaying citizens affected by these projects.

At some point SCIDA will need to explain why the $4,400,000 per year payment amount in the UPC application for special tax exemption was rejected and a PILOT of minuscule proportions ($37,500 for the Wayland-Cohocton School District as represented by the Town of Cohocton) is ready for approval.

Several residents and property owners of Steuben County have information and evidence of suspected criminal conduct. The scope of potential charges and areas of violations include false claims and filing false instruments, bribery of public officials, larceny and fraud. SCIDA members and employees are involved. Under these circumstances it would be lunacy to approve a final UPC PILOT that has yet not been released to the involved taxing jurisdictions or public review.

Could it be that persons connected with, working for or part of SCIDA have or will receive personal benefit from the developer for a sweet heart PILOT approval? If you approve this PILOT, defending your actions in court may prove impossible.


James Hall for CWW

cc: Governor Spitzer, AG Cuomo, Senator Winner, Assemblyman Bacalles

Cohocton Planning Board January 21, 2008 Letter by Judith Hall

January 21, 2008

Cohocton Planning Board
15 South Main Street
Cohocton New York 14826

Dear Mr. Schrader and Planning Board Members:

At the Cohocton Planning Board meeting of July 11, 2006, Ray Schrader and attorney Todd Mathes assured us that SEQR would be reopened if there were any substantial changes to the UPC/CPP/CPPII project as proposed.

At this time the transmission line routes are not finalized. Transmission lines require a SEQR review.

We now know that there are significant problems with the Clipper 2.5 Liberty turbines which are in the prototype stage only. One needs to ask what turbines are being erected at this time on Dutch Hill. Why would a company intending to produce safe reliable electricity be erecting turbines which do not work? The media and press has widely reported that the Steel Winds project in Lackawanna, NY, allegedly using the same Clipper 2.5 turbines have failed gear boxes and blade defects. All eight of these industrial machines must be disassembled and taken down. The extent of the re-engineering has not been disclosed.

If the turbine is not a Clipper 2.5 Liberty then the lead agency as well as the PSC should have been notified in advance and a public review should be necessary by those agencies.

Until a review under SEQR concerning the turbine reliability and the actual transmission line route is finalized the Planning Board as lead agency should mandate a stop work order immediately.

Until a review under SEQR concerning the turbines reliability and the actual transmission line route is finalized, the Cohocton Planning Board as lead agency should mandate a stop work order immediately. The Cohocton Planning Board must address this significant problem forthwith. SCIDA is put on notice that SEQR must be reopened.


Judith Hall for CWW

cc: Cohocton Town Board,
Governor Spitzer,
AG Cuomo,
Senator Winner,
Assemblyman Bacalles,

NYS Assemblyman Sam Hoyt January 21, 2008 Letter by James Hall

January 21, 2008

Honorable Assemblyman Sam Hoyt
936 Delaware Avenue
Suite 005
Buffalo, NY 14209

RE: IDA reform – A8703

Mr. Hoyt,

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

It has come to our attention that several trade unions are supporting your Assembly A8703 IDA reform effort. While our group opposes the ill sited UPC Industrial Wind Turbine Projects in the Towns Cohocton and Prattsburgh, we share the need for fundamental and extensive reform of any bill that reauthorizes the IDA’s.

Enclosed are several recent correspondence made to SCIDA. SCIDA will be voting on a UPC PILOT on Thursday, January 24, 2008.

CWW requests that your office investigate the abusive conduct of this IDA. Community tax payers are being defrauded and cronyism is profiting from dishonest approval of IDA projects that should never receive tax exemptions and PILOT benefits.

Our group strongly supports local labor and businesses. However, Industrial Wind Turbine Projects with foreign ownership and LLC legal protections are scam ventures. Ex Enron executives are using phony energy REC’s to defraud the NYS taxpayer. SCIDA is about to advance this fraud by granting a PILOT, when the developer clearly stated in their application, that they were willing to pay $4,400,000 per year for tax exemption status.

Use this example to demonstrate why the IDA’s are out of control. The New York State Legislature must demand real and comprehensive oversight if IDA’s are reauthorized. The better course is to abolish the IDA’s and return legitimate business development to the private sector. Systemic corruption is the legacy of the IDA’s. If they can’t be fixed, allow them to go out of existence.


James Hall for CWW

cc: Governor Spitzer, AG, Cuomo, Senator Burno, Senator Winner, Assemblyman Bacalles

Anti-wind farm protestors fly blimp over site by Jo Hall

Tuesday, 12.10pm - ANTI-wind farm group BLOT - Belvoir Locals Oppose Turbines - are flying a bright orange blimp over the site where developers plan to build 10 huge wind turbines, north of Grantham.

The balloon will be flown at 410ft - the height of the highest point of the turbines, which could be built at Thackson's Well, near Long Bennington.

This lunchtime, it was flying at only half that height but is expected to reach the full 410ft later today.

It will be visible from 20 miles and will also be flown when members of Melton Borough Council, who are being consulted on the plans, visit the site on Friday, weather permitting.

BLOT member Pete Caswell, from Normanton, said: "The blimp is great idea to show people the height of the proposed turbines and the impact on the visual character to the area.

"But it will not show the planning committee the cumulative effect of having 10 turbines that height. It's almost impossible to imagine the dominance this development will have on so many historic buildings in the area."

The Dowager Duchess of Rutland has pledged her support to BLOT and is expected to visit the site from where the blimp is being flown today.

Have you seen the blimp? Click here to e-mail your pictures or video.

Keep checking back here for more updates and pictures throughout the day.

Click here to read The Big Windfarm Debate.

Windfarm campaigners in other parts of England have employed a blimp in their campaigns.

Click here to read more about the Shropshire blimp.

Click here to read more about blimps near Berwick in Northumberland.

Click here to read about blimps in Barmoor in Scotland.

Click here to read about the blimp used at Haverhill in Suffolk.

Click here to read about the Pontefract blimp.

Click here to read about the blimp at Podington in Northamptonshire.

Click here to read about the blimp at Linton in Cambridgeshire.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Clipper wind turbines grounded

Clipper Windpower, a California-based wind turbine manufacturer, is in deep trouble with its top-of-the-line, 2.5-MW Liberty machine, which is experiencing quality control and apparent design problems, and with the company’s financial performance.

The 20-MW Steel Winds wind farm in upstate New York, using eight of the Liberty turbines, has been shut down because of gearbox problems in the turbines, according to The Buffalo News. The local newspaper reported that all eight turbines are suffering from what is described as a manufacturing problem and repairing the problem will require several months.

The Steel Winds project, on a former Bethlehem Steel site that is also a listed Superfund toxic waste site, is the first to use the 2.5-MW machines. According to a company news release, the eight wind turbines rolled off the company’s assembly line in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in late 2006, and went into service at the site on Lake Erie in April 2007.

The newspaper said the owners of the project – UPC Wind and BQ Energy – first noticed the problems with the wind machines in August. The paper reported, “Engineers quickly discovered that a tooth on one of the four gears in the box had broken.” Inspections found the problem on all of the turbines on the site.

According to the paper, Liberty turbines at projects in Iowa and Minnesota have the same problem and will require repairs. SNL Financial, a trade news service, reported that 50 Liberty turbines will require repair.

The Steel Wind turbines are all under warranty, according to a UPC Wind official, so Clipper will bear the costs of repair.

In the meantime, Reuters late last year reported that Clipper warned that the company may report a loss for 2007, and that “only a small portion of output” from 2007 would contribute to revenue. A company spokesman told the news service that while it made 125 turbines in 2007, only eight will produce revenue for the company. Whether those eight are the Steel Wind machines was not clear.

Several Clipper projects in 2007, said the Reuters report, were “loss making.”

POWER named Steel Winds one of its top renewable projects in the December 2007 issue, highlighting the unique approach the turbines use in their gearboxes to cope with the enormous torque of turbine blades longer than the wing of a Boeing 747 airplane.

New York State Public Service Commision to visit Hornell

HORNELL – A representative of the New York State Public Service Commission will be in Hornell next week to hear residents’ complaints about the recent U.S. Energy Savings episode.

John Wicker, of the Buffalo office of the PSC, will be at City Hall from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2008.

“We encourage all citizens to come and express their concerns or complaints to him,” said Hornell Mayor Shawn D. Hogan.

Mr. Wicker’s visit is in response to purported unethical business practices conducted by agents of U.S. Energy Savings in the City during the past three weeks.

(Click to read entire article)


SCIDA holds public comment meeting, anti-wind residents threaten lawsuits by BOB CLARK

ATLANTA - Many area residents voiced their concerns - some by talking softly, some by yelling - over a proposed tax reduction for the Cohocton wind power projects Friday morning.

The hearing, hosted by the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, was a way for SCIDA board members to receive some specific community input on a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement the board is negotiating with Canandaigua Power Partners and Canandaigua Power Partners II, according to SCIDA Executive Director James Sherron.

“This meeting is for you, the public to be allowed the opportunity to give comment relative to what the IDA has been asked to do,” Sherron said, adding SCIDA's jurisdiction extended only to financial assistance.

While many of the speakers at the meeting attacked the legality of the construction and the negative aspects of wind power in general, most of the speakers at the meeting expressed dissatisfaction with the rumored amounts of tax relief project developers may receive.

Cohocton Wind Watch ringleader James Hall, in his 11-minute speach, told Sherron he did not approve of giving a PILOT with lower payment rates than what UPC had previously said was budgeted for the project.

“In writing, in the formal application, (UPC) admitted, and said publicly, they're willing to pay $4.5 million in taxes,” Hall said. “Not bad. Sounds like we might even drop a lot of our opposition. I'd like my taxes to go down.”

“Now that we've had something taken away from us, we expect compensation,” said Stephen Trude, a former Reform Cohocton candidate for the Cohocton town board in November who spoke of the lost beauty of Cohocton since construction began.

“I feel this project will keep the community very poor for many, many years to come,” he said of the proposed PILOT agreement, saying UPC should be held to their published tax budget or to a full assessment.

Hall said it is not too late to either increase PILOT payments or to tax the project at full value.

“What is really at issue is that the developer has made a conscious business decision, and I am a businessman, to assume the risk of starting construction before a PILOT has been approved,” Hall said.

Sherron said after the meeting starting construction before a PILOT is approved is the normal way of doing business in the county.

“Virtually all of (PILOT applicants) begin construction before an agreement is met,” he said. “Virtually everyone goes forward with construction once the SEQR is completed and a tax-exempt status is issued.”

Sherron added he could only remember one project that began construction before a PILOT was issued that did not receive an agreement.

“They voluntarily pulled out,” he said.

Hall also warned SCIDA of more litigation.

“I'm going to make you a promise today,” Hall said. “There will be no more Article 78's. The three that we have pending, that's it.

“But, there sure is going to be other litigation,” he added. “And it's not going to be on procedural changes that could have been done differently, we're not asking for a municipality to do something over. We're going to look at fraud. We're going to look at criminal conduct.”

Other speakers, including Naples school Superintendent Brenda Keith, gave comments stating SCIDA does not have jurisdiction over school taxes for three of the turbines, located in the Naples School District, even though they are in Steuben County.

Keith, along with an attorney for the district, said the school should receive much more from the towers than they have heard the district could receive, totaling only $458,000 over 20 years, compared to $2.98 million the district would receive at the rates UPC has published they would be willing to pay.

The only comments not critical of SCIDA came from Carol Robinson, who thanked SCIDA for their work creating jobs in Corning and asked them to keep pushing for Cohocton jobs.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Niagara Wind LLC (UPC) buys Steel Winds LLC

This is a MUST read and look at the UPC ownership relationship with Niagara Wind Power LLC.

The Buffalo Media needs to report on this development.


UPC Ownership Principals Names and Companies


UPC Wind wholly owned subsidiary of UPC Wind Partners, LLC-a Delaware LLC called UPC Wind

UPC Wind II wholly owned subsidiary of UPC Wind Partners II, LLC-a Delaware LLC called UPC Wind II

DE Shaw MWP Acquisition Holdings, LLC or DE SHAW MWP

Madison Dearborn Capital Partners IV, LP MDCP IV (note 3 individuals will also hold a combined .9% interest in UPC Wind Partners, LLC)

UPC II (New England and NY) owned by:

1. BEC Montana Properties 2, LLC BEC owned by Brian Caffyn

2. Tenggay Holdings, LLC wholly owned by Stella Sutton

3. Swift Diamond Holdings, LLC (PAG) wholly owned by Peter A. Gish

4. TER, LLC wholly owned by Timothy Rosenzweig

5. Summer Holdings, LLC (SH) wholly owned by Paul Gaynor

Do a search on UPC Wind II from the Ferc Site:

Iberdrola S.A. Acquisition of Energy East PSC Case No. 07-M-0906

Iberdrola S.A. Acquisition of Energy East
PSC Case No. 07-M-0906


Excellent especially page 14 of 21!!!!!!!! All windfarms owned by Iberdrola
Not even counting Community Energy Inc


Friday, January 18, 2008

Iberdrola bid for RG&E; parent hits obstacle by Daniel Wallace

(January 18, 2008) — The state Public Service Commission staff is advising against the proposed takeover of Energy East, the parent of Rochester Gas and Electric, by the Spanish utility Iberdrola SA.

The recommendation doesn't mean the $4.5 billion deal won't go through, but it does put up a barrier that the companies will need to overcome.

The PSC staff said that ownership by Iberdrola wouldn't benefit customers either in terms of rates or service reliability.

Iberdrola will have until Jan. 31 to file a rebuttal.

The companies have said they hope to complete the transaction in the first half of the year.


Buffalo News reports today that the complicated gearboxes on the Clipper wind turbines in Lackawanna, New York have caused the facility to shut down. The photo above was taken in September of 2007 and shows the eight Clipper turbines on the old Bethlehem slag heaps with Buffalo in the left hand background.

The US designed and built Clipper turbines are a radical departure from the direction turbine engineering is headed in Europe.

For the last decade in Europe the goal in wind turbine engineering has been the elimination of any gearbox or gears between the turbine rotor and the generator. The privately held German firm Enercon produces what I believe are the most advanced gearless turbines using a large diameter annular generator. On my visit to the wind energy trade fair in Hamburg, Germany in 2004 large sections of the multiple convention halls were dedicated to gears, gearboxes, gear machining, gear face surface finishing, gear lubrication, gear lubrication heat, noise, and particulates monitoring, gear lubrication cleaning, etc etc about gears. It was clear from the number of gear engineering, gear maintenance and gear service vendors that gears and gearboxes were a big problem in the wind turbine industry. A problem to avoid, not embrace - as Clipper chose to do.

So when Clipper engineers went in the opposite direction and designed a turbine with four generators driven synchronously by a huge gearbox with one low speed input shaft and four high speed out shafts – I was very skeptical.

The present gear problems in Lackawanna were, I believe, predictable. In my April 4, 2007 field report on Clipper’s Lackawanna installation I wrote: “My bet is that this complex gear train will have maintenance issues”. And I do not believe the present Clipper gear problems will be fixed by re-manufacturing specific gears or gear teeth or changing gear surface hardness, gear lubrication, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, this will probably have a negative ripple effect right here in Cleveland where Advanced Manufacturing is machining the gear boxes for Clipper.

Clipper will also be seen as a horse with a broken leg – an injury from which I believe it will be difficult for Clipper to One expense Clipper will be eating for a while is the cost and maintenance of dozens of sections of new wind turbine towers which have been trucked to a Lackawanna lay-down yard. The photo above was taken from Amtrak in November. Photo of the these tower sections being trucked on interstate 90 can be seen here on Realneo.

Bill Mason, Richard Stuebi and the Cuyahoga County Energy "Task Force" should recognize that their scheme to put "10 wind turbines about 3 miles off of Cleveland in Lake Erie is a much more radical idea than Clipper’s failure prone gearbox. So, why is Cleveland using very scarce tax dollars to toy around with such a hairbrained risk – instead of building a turbine tower manufacturing facility or other more proven wind energy manufacturing process which will bring jobs to NEO?

SCIDA Public Hearing on UPC Cohocton PILOT January 18, 2008 Letter by James Hall

January 18, 2008

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

RE: SCIDA Public Hearing on UPC Cohocton wind Projects

SCIDA Board Members:

Each SCIDA Board member has been mailed a Press Release from attorney David Miller that announced the recent court ruling by NYS Supreme Court judge Marianne Furfure. In light of this significant decision, it is outrageous that SCIDA could be so arrogant or disrespectful to the rule of law, and grant a UPC PILOT.

The mere fact that Executive Director James Sherron deems it necessary to hold a second public hearing on the same proposed PILOT tax exemption for UPC Cohocton, acknowledges his incompetency and distain for proper procedural administration. If these proceedings are not correctly memorialized by a court stenographer, this second public hearing will also fall short of NYS compliance.

Submitted today are copies of previous correspondence on this subject to be included in the record. SCIDA has been warned several times of the gravity of their continuous unlawful conduct. Board members and employees of SCIDA do not have official immunity. Probable cause of illegal violations, have been alleged. Approval of a PILOT based upon fraudulent claims and representations would have potential criminal consequences.

Based upon overwhelming public outrage opposition, and the written statement of the developer and their willingness to pay $4,400,000 per year, it would be malfeasance to approval a PILOT. SCIDA has not provided transparency of their motive of continuous favoritism of UPC Wind. SCIDA must publically disclose the exact amount of fees and financial compensation that will be derived from their approval of this PILOT. Amounts of $100,000 to $600,000 for SCIDA approval of EACH wind project, has been rumored. SCIDA must disclose in advance of a PILOT approval, any and all fees that they will be paid by the developer coming out of this and any other project.

The SCIDA board must reject any PILOT for UPC Wind/CPPI and CPPII.


James Hall for CWW

cc: Andrew Cuomo – NYS Attorney General
Eliot Spitzer – NYS Governor
George Winner – NYS Senator
James Bacallas – NYS Assemblyman

SCIDA Public Hearing on UPC Cohocton PILOT January 18, 2008 Letter by Judith Hall

January 18, 2008

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

RE: SCIDA Public Hearing on UPC Cohocton wind Projects

Dear SCIDA Board, the purpose of this hearing is unclear to the public. Once again how does one comment on something not yet seen. What is the reason for the shroud of secrecy for all the PILOT proposals in Steuben County? This is the second hearing for Cohocton, what was the problem with the first and why is this different? There is still no PILOT available to see and there are still no SCIDA board members present. There are however 3 law suits pending on the Special Use Permits granted for the projects. There are also turbines erected and foundations poured all over Cohocton. Why would CPP be eligible for a project all ready well under way? Should SCIDA not have taken possession before construction began? Are you not putting Steuben County taxpayers in severe jeopardy by taking possession of a project having been started before proper permits were issued, no official oversight, no certified turbines that have major problems with gears and blades, no bonds in place, and no PILOT prior to construction?

In the SCIDA’s objectives from your website you state: “a major issue is the need to reduce electric costs in the region, and this is expected to be a priority in the next few years.” Are you aware wind energy is more expensive? Further part of your mission statement is “mission advance the job opportunities, general prosperity and economic welfare of the people of Steuben and to improve their standard of living”. The currently proposed wind projects do not meet these goals. A family owned diner provides more employment then UPC proposes, yet they do not get a tax break.

UPC in their various foreign entity forms and names is not a reputable company. Across the nation (Vermont, Oregon, NY, New Hampshire) their story is repeated. Construction and activities occur prior to proper permits being in place. You have accepted applications for financial assistance for the Cohocton and Prattsburgh projects that are incomplete and contain false statements. If as stated in their application Canandaigua Power Partners was willing to pay a minimum of $2.9 million, why would you not hold them to at least that figure? In the Dutch Hill application they stated they would pay at least $1.5 million. That adds up to $4.4 million a year the way math is done outside of Steuben County!! Again why would SCIDA accept less then an amount they agreed to in writing?

Who are the owners of the various LLC’s, what assets do they own? Why is information and data obtained through publically funded grants allowed to be kept confidential? Has it been proven to anyone’s satisfaction that Cohocton has the wind to support this project? Is the project as proposed viable, will it actually provide any significant amount of electricity?

The Cohocton projects do not appear to fit the requirements for financial help from SCIDA. What permanent employment is being created? Why if the amount of power to be sold to the grid is what they portray can they not afford to pay full industrial taxes on the project? Where is the proven need for the additional electric supply in Steuben County and more important Cohocton, your concern was about the cost of that electric not the need for additional production?

Before Steuben County sacrifices its one non replaceable resource, the pristine hill tops, where is the proof wind farms in upstate NY will produce reliable electricity? You can now obtain real data from Maple Ridge, Fenner, Madison, Wethersfield and Steel Winds. Please take a hard look at this data before rushing to spend more of our tax dollars on useless projects. For profit foreign LLCs should pay full taxes on an industrial project from which by their own projections they will be making millions each year, while you the SCIDA propose to have the already overburdened taxpayers of Steuben County pay higher utility bills and foot the tax burden for these foreigners companies besides.

Judith Hall

Pilot Program Public Hearing January 18, 2008 Letter by Don Sandford

Being given lead agency status as to pilot programs for the subject(s) named above and thereby would acquired title to or leaseholder interest if approval is granted by your agency, many questions remain unanswered for the public to have full confidence that a fair and thorough review has been made by your agency of this matter, especially if SCIDA is serious about “advancing the opportunities, general prosperity and economic welfare of the people for the county of Steuben and to improve their standing of living” as your mission statement proclaims to do. It is stated that a priority and major issue for your agency is the need to reduce electric utility cost in the region. With a wind power charge already now increasing the electric rate on all our bills, it hardly seems that these well deserved goals are being met. With turbines being erected as we speak, one could argue there is little concern by Canandaigua Power Partners, that the pilot has already been decided on to their satisfaction and this hearing is merely another political but necessary step as seen in times past with the project, leading up to the ultimate approval at the appropriate time.

Most people realize the wind issue is all about excessive money made on the backs of the US taxpayer to benefit investors both foreign and domestic. This certainly brings to mind, with no coincidence, the Enron scandal, its ultimate collapse, which was also involved in the wind power industry. Producing abundant clean wind energy or ridding the nation of its dependency of foreign oil is simply their bumper sticker. . Now it seems all over western and central New York State are companies such as UPC converging on rural areas, using money , secrecy and political influence to promote their interest with little resistance and any expense accrued in comparison will mean in a return of millions of dollars for years to come. Silently as they first came, they gladly leave with millions in their bank accounts for their deceiving efforts, leaving in its wake destruction of a way of life, plummeting property values and no longer the pristine environment it once was all driven and produced by greed alone.

Questions previously asked of SCIDA or UPC to give documented account of total labor force vs. local labor employed, pay scale, number of permanent jobs to be retained on completion of the project, extent of economic infusion to the local economy from outside labor to justify a pilot has gone mostly unanswered. Like most every other effort to get the facts about the proposed pilot from the very beginning, it has been purposely and politically kept vague or unavailable.. Could it be the local economic benefit has been dismal with no facts or figures to warrant having a pilot program in the first place? When one considers what the total monetary gain would be from this multimillion dollar project if taxed accordingly, it certainly would create a positive balance line for tax relief for the ordinary Steuben Co. taxpayer. Why then would SCIDA want to see Canandaigua Power Partners be on the verge of making millions of dollars at the expense of every taxpayer if this pilot is knowingly and intentionally approved ? What is being hidden ?. With this comparison of the bottom line, it is quite obvious who gets the real gold mine and who gets only the shaft !

For some time now we have known about the improper turbine placement in Steuben Co. effecting other counties, towns and school system’s bottom line and are now contemplating legal action against Steuben Co political entities and UPC. This issue had been previously addressed locally at numerous town and planning board meetings by concerned citizens for necessary change to protect the taxpayer and home owner to no avail. Cohocton Board members without exception failed to act in a responsible manner siding in the interest of UPC. Currently SCIDA is part of this circumstance and needs to recognize and decide if it will be part of the solution by denying the pilot or be part of the existing problem. Bottom line ? More necessary lawsuits looming if the wrong decision is made, with the courts deciding the ultimate outcome who is right and who is wrong!

With the decision by Acting Steuben County Supreme Court Judge Marianne Furfure on January 9, 2008 that petitioners in the matter of Cohocton Wind Watch and James Hall et al. against Canandaigua Power Partners et. al. do have standing and can proceed with their actions and denied respondent’s motion to dismiss the cases. SCIDA is now well aware that court action will be pursued if necessary . I am confident Cohocton Wind Watch arguments will all be upheld in court causing a reversal of events not favorable for Canandaigua Power Partners LLC and Canandaigua Power Partners 11 LLC.

Therefore any SCIDA immediate involvement at this time to consider or approve a pilot for Cohocton is unrealistic, a bad business decision and certainly not in the best interest of the taxpayer of Steuben County. Request this letter be on record and part of these proceedings that I am not in favor of the pilot program for Cohocton/UPC for reasons stated.


Don E. Sandford

NVBHA Public Meeting on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 7:00 PM, Naples High School Auditorium

Naples Valley Bristol Hills Association invites you to attend an informational meeting on January 23.

The meeting will take place at the Naples High School Auditorium starting at 7pm.

We will start the meeting with introduction of the Interim Board Members followed by several presentations. After the presentations, we will have an open forum to voice concerns and give us input. If you have any questions now, please email us at with your questions so we can address them in our presentations.

Many subjects will be presented including updates on the proposed overhead transmission line, the status regarding the SCIDA (Steuben County Industrial Development Agency) meetings, the Naples School taxes, NVBHA Membership, our need for sub-committees, and nominations for NVBHA board members.

Our board is in need of people to serve on the sub-committees listed below:

1) Research
2) Website Blogging to help post informative & interesting topics
3) Legal
4) Public Relations
5) Meeting Representatives to attend Town, Village, School, SCIDA, and other meetings
6) Political - to track public officials and see who/why we should lobby.
7) Media

If you have a niche or interest in any of the above, we would love to hear from you. Just reply with your area of expertise or interest.

Your help and your support is greatly appreciated. Please bring friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family to the public meeting. Lets fill the room. Our community is being affected by many things right now and we all need to take action. What we can do today will benefit us tomorrow.

Thank you,
The NVBHA Board
Paul Jacobs, President
Dick Devereaux, VP
Wendy Ball, Secretary
Beverly Higgins, Treasurer
Elizabeth Johnson Cowley
Brett Siewert
Renea Rennoldson

PS: If you wish to opt-out of these emails, please reply and ask to be removed. We will then remove you from our list.

Voice Your Choice Say NO to Overhead Power Lines

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cohocton Wind Farm by Katie Graham

Despite facing three lawsuits, construction of fifty wind turbines continues in Steuben County.

Piece by piece, construction crews are putting up wind turbines on the hills of Cohocton. So far, fifteen wind turbines are in place.

By next fall, there will be fifty wind turbines, creating enough power for fifty four thousand homes in New York state.

Gerald Moore was the first landowner to sign a lease agreement with the company building the wind farm, U-P-C Wind. “We got to do something about the pollution,” says Gerald Moore.

As opposed to oil and gas, officials with U-P-C say wind energy is said to be clean energy that won't pollute the environment.

The fifty turbines will be build on the property of fifteen homeowners. U-P-C pays them money for leasing their land. Plus: the town of Cohocton will take in eleven and a half million dollars over the next twenty years.

“The tax revenues that we've already paid to Cohocton has more than doubled their annual revenues that they receive,” says Chris Swartley of U-P-C Wind.

Right now, the wind farm site looks like a construction zone, but Swartley says U-P-C Wind won't leave with it looking like this.

“We do our work and then we put the top soil back down where it was so that when we're finished the farmers will plant their crops pretty much up to the tower base,” says Swartley.

Not everyone is thrilled with the Cohocton Wind Farm. An organization known as Cohocton Wind Watch has filed three lawsuits in an effort to stop the wind turbines from being built. A spokesman says his biggest problem is that some of the turbines come within fifteen hundred feet of homes.

“The public safety is what we're fighting for. They need to be at least a mile and a half from where people live,” says James Hall of Cohocton Wind Watch.

“Sometimes people don't want to see a tall structure near their house,” says Swartley.

For now, U-P-C Wind has no intention of stopping construction.

A spokesman for Cohocton Wind Watch says the next court date to discuss their lawsuits has not been set.

U-P-C Wind hopes to have the wind farm complete by this fall, at the latest.

Press Release WindAction In The News

Environmental and Wildlife Groups Charge Industry Bias in Kempthorne's Selection of Members for High-Level Committee on Wind Power and Wildlife
Membership of Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee Violates FACA

WASHINGTON D.C. (January 17, 2008) – In a letter submitted today, environmental and wildlife groups[1] called on Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne to revamp the membership of the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The current membership violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which governs the establishment of federal advisory committees.

“Secretary Kempthorne has clearly skewed the composition of the committee in favor of the industry representatives while ignoring leading experts on critical wildlife impacts,” said Eric R. Glitzenstein of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, the law firm representing the groups. “This is precisely the kind of committee composition that the Federal Advisory Committee Act was designed to prohibit,” he added.

The Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee was formed to provide advice and recommendations to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in developing effective measures to avoid or minimize impacts to wildlife and their habitats related to land-based wind energy facilities (see Fed. Reg. 72:11373 (March 13, 2007)). Secretary Kempthorne announced the appointment of 22 people to the committee on October 24, 2007.

Under FACA the committee must have balanced points of view represented and the functions to be performed, and will not be inappropriately influenced by any special interest. In their letter, the groups assert that the committee’s overall composition clearly violates FACA in several ways.

No committee members possess research expertise or publication record regarding bats, nor direct knowledge or experience involving bat interactions with wind turbines.

This is a glaring omission in light of recent reports and Congressional testimony on the issue of massive bat mortality at wind energy facilities. For example, a recent study estimated that up to 111,000 bats may be killed every year should only 3,868 MW of wind turbines be constructed within the Mid-Atlantic Highlands regions of VA, WV, MD, and PA. As of today, in those states, there are over 6,300 MW of wind turbines under study for interconnection to the regional electricity grid.

The committee lacks the requisite expertise regarding bird impacts, especially with respect to effects on migratory birds using the Appalachian mountain ridges in the eastern U.S., despite the fact that dozens of planned wind projects are slated for this part of the country.

No committee members have significant research, scientific, or regulatory experience with wind energy development and associated wildlife impacts resulting from onshore wind projects in the eastern U.S.
According to the letter, these scientific and technical omissions are especially troubling in light of the many individuals on the committee who either expressly represent or are clearly aligned with the interests of the wind industry.

The groups call on Secretary Kempthorne to appoint appropriate experts to the committee who are experienced in wind energy development in the eastern U.S., where thousands of industrial wind turbines are proposed, and many are already in operation. Several highly-qualified candidates who applied for committee membership but were not appointed are listed in the letter. Their expertise includes both bats and birds and extensive knowledge of nocturnal migration. In addition, the groups encourage the appointment of experts with research experience in forest fragmentation impacts, particularly in the eastern forest region.

CONTACT: Kieran Suckling, Center for Biological Diversity, (520) 275-5960
Eric Glitzenstein, Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, (202) 588-5206
Lisa Linowes, Industrial Wind Action Group, (603) 838-6588


[1] Center for Biological Diversity; The Humane Society of the United States; Hawk Migration Association of North America; Industrial Wind Action Group; D. Daniel Boone; Maryland Conservation Council; Save Our Allegheny Ridges; Friends of Blackwater Canyon; Protect the Flint Hills; Chautauqua County Citizens for Responsible Wind Power; Green Berkshires, Inc.; Juniata Valley Audubon; Ripley Hawk Watch; Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound; and Wildlife Advocacy Project.

Download File(s):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

after Wall Street no confidence in company

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