Monday, November 30, 2009

Constellation to buy 70 MW wind farm

30 November 2009-- Constellation Energy signed an agreement with Clipper Windpower Inc. to acquire the 70 MW Criterion wind project in Maryland. The $140 million wind farm will be constructed, owned and operated by Constellation.

As part of the agreement, Constellation will buy Criterion along with 28 of Clipper's 2.5 MW Liberty wind turbines. The agreement is expected to close in early 2010 and the wind farm is expected to begin operations in late 2010.

Old Dominion Electric Co-op signed a 20-year power purchase agreement to buy electricity and renewable energy credits from Criterion.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Committee moves joint wind power resolution to floor

Members of the Oswego County Legislature’s Economic Development and Planning Committee unanimously approved a joint resolution in opposition of the proposed route for high-powered transmission lines through Oswego County from a wind farm on Galloo Island in the Jefferson County Town of Hounsfield.

The legislature is joining with Jefferson County officials to oppose the 230-kilovolt line that has been proposed to run from Galloo Island through the towns of Henderson, Ellisburg, Sandy Creek, and Richland, as well as the Village of Pulaski to a proposed substation and interconnection with existing transmission lines in Mexico.

Both counties would like the lines to run underground in Lake Ontario.

Upstate Power has proposed to construct a wind farm on Galloo Island, off the shore in Hounsfield, along with a new power line with the capability of transporting 1,000 megawatts south to assist in meeting needs of downstate consumers.

Paul Forestiere, of Cornell Cooperative Extension, explained to the committee the scope of the project at the Nov. 24 meeting. “The public has not really been informed,” Forestiere said. “The way it is proposed right now it’s going to be an absolute disaster to the farmers.”

Majority Leader Shawn Doyle, who has been working with Jefferson County officials to draft the joint resolution, said Barry Ormsby of the Jefferson County Legislature has been keeping him apprised of what is occurring with the project in that county.

Doyle said there is reference in Upstate’s application to the Public Service Commission that the lines could eventually carry more than 230-kilovolt of power.

He said that the aesthetics of the lines will conflict with the downtown renovation project that the village of Pulaski recently received grant funding to complete.

“This company is power companies with a series of shell corporations,” he said. Doyle told the committee that he would be attending a public hearing that evening in Jefferson County for the purpose of discussing the PILOT agreement that Upstate has requested.

Unlike Oswego County’s 10 -year PILOT agreements, Jefferson County is considering a 20-year agreement.

That board has decided to move slowly, according to news reports from that area, while Upstate would like to have a PILOT agreement in place by the end of the year in order to qualify for 30-percent in stimulus funding.

Legislator Doug Malone asked if the resolution could incorporate a clause that provides for free power to Oswego County residents. Doyle said that he did not believe hosting the power lines would qualify for negotiations for free power.

Legislator Morris Sorbello said that when he attended a meeting in the City of Oswego in regard to a proposed project to place wind towers along Lake Ontario, he watched a video on how the lines are buried under water.

Legislator Jack Proud said in regard to the Lake Ontario project that Mexico Bay is the prime target for all of the wind towers and that the legislators had better be prepared to do it in a manner that is beneficial for the residents of Oswego County.

He noted that the first site under consideration downstate was rejected because of the lack of underground power lines.

“We were told if we don’t want this project, then we won’t have it,” he said.

The question was raised as to whether there would be property-tax benefits. Doyle said the taxes are paid by the property owner because the land owners are only selling a right-of-way to the company.

Legislator Jack Beckwith asked if there would be any benefit to bringing the power through the county.

Sorbello said there are many unanswered questions and at this time he would like to move the resolution forward.

Both legislatures are expected to consider the resolution in December. The Oswego County Legislature will take a vote at the Dec. 10 meeting.

Patrick, Kirk at odds over wind farm

The administration of Governor Deval Patrick, in a sharp disagreement with Patrick’s handpicked Senate appointee, said yesterday that it would be a mistake for President Obama to grant US Senator Paul G. Kirk Jr.’s request to delay federal approval of the Cape Wind project.

In a letter to Obama earlier this month, Kirk, who has largely shied away from divisive issues during his two months in office, urged the Obama administration to hold off on a decision until a federal panel can devise comprehensive guidelines for development in the nation’s waters. But officials from the Patrick administration said the governor strongly disagrees with Kirk’s request and urges quick approval. “After eight years of thorough review and as the world convenes shortly in Copenhagen to tackle climate change, the governor believes the time is now to move forward with this landmark clean energy project - the only offshore wind project that has the potential to be built in President Obama’s first term,’’ Patrick’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, Ian A. Bowles, said in a statement yesterday.

US Representative Edward J. Markey, who chairs a key congressional committee on energy independence and global warming, has, like Patrick, strongly backed Cape Wind. In a letter sent to the Obama administration on Nov. 9, three days before Kirk’s letter to the president, Markey urged the administration to approve Cape Wind before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on Dec. 7.

Markey wrote that approving the project would “send a strong message to international negotiators about the United States’ commitment to developing sources of clean energy and reducing global warming pollution.’’

Supporters of Cape Wind criticized Kirk’s request as an attempt to delay further a project that has been repeatedly challenged in the Legislature, Congress, and the courts. Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for Cape Wind, which is developing the project, said he was confident that the Obama administration would reject Kirk’s request based on the president’s strong support for renewable energy projects.

“While we’re disappointed by Senator Kirk’s letter, we’re not terribly concerned about it in the sense that we think there’s just about no chance that the Obama administration would act upon this request,’’ Rodgers said. “They’ve made clear that offshore wind is a priority in terms of creating jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and both of those issues are center stage.’’

In his letter, Kirk tells Obama that approving the project before federal officials complete a broad set of rules for using US waters for anything from transmission cables to liquefied natural gas terminals would be unfair. The letter was first reported in the Cape Cod Times.

“Senator Kirk believes it’s about fairness,’’ said Keith Maley, a Kirk spokesman. “It’s about making sure there aren’t two sets of rules: one for every other project and one tailor made for Cape Wind.’’

Patrick, a fellow Democrat, appointed Kirk, of Barnstable, in September to fill the seat of the late US Senator Edward M. Kennedy until a Jan. 19 special election. Kirk has kept a low profile and has rarely spoken out on controversial topics. While he delivered a speech on the Senate floor in support of healthcare reform, for example, he has not discussed some of the thornier aspects of the legislation, such as restrictions on abortion in the House-passed version of the bill.

In taking up the fight against Cape Wind, Kirk is continuing a battle long waged by Kennedy, his close friend, who strongly opposed the construction of 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound.

“He’s taking a stand that Senator Kennedy would have taken,’’ said Ross K. Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers, who added that Kirk is sending a message that “even though the person who was the most prominent opponent of it is gone, the opposition to it still remains.’’

Audra Parker, executive director of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, which opposes Cape Wind, applauded Kirk’s request, saying it is “totally consistent with Senator Kennedy’s position.’’

“I don’t think it’s delay for delay’s sake,’’ Parker said. “I think it is a reasonable next step, because where else would you have a permit for 25 square miles of property without a zoning plan in place?’’

It was not clear whether Kirk’s counterpart, US Senator John F. Kerry, agreed with Kirk’s request. Kerry’s spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment yesterday. All four Democrats running for Kirk’s seat in the special election strongly support Cape Wind, according to Rodgers. The leading Republican candidate, state Senator Scott Brown, opposes Cape Wind, he said.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

“Wind Turbine Syndrome” book now available

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment (Santa Fe, NM: K-Selected Books, 2009), 294 pp. Paperback, $18 USD.

Click to Buy the book

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Joint resolution sought in wind power transmission line battle

There won’t be any battle lines drawn in the effort to stop the construction of new above-ground, high-powered transmission lines through Oswego and Jefferson counties.

The two government agencies are hoping to pass a joint resolution to ask Upstate Power relocate the proposed lines to the bottom of Lake Ontario.

The 230-kilovolt line has been proposed to run from Galloo Island in the Jefferson County Town of Hounsfield through the towns of Henderson, Ellisburg, Sandy Creek, and Richland, as well as the Village of Pulaski to a proposed substation and interconnection with existing transmission lines in Mexico.

Upstate Power has proposed to construct a wind farm on Galloo Island, off the shore in Hounsfield, along with a new power line with the capability of transporting 1,000 megawatts south to assist in the need of downstate consumers.

Lawmakers are urging the lines be buried underground, and preferably under water, to preserve the aesthetics and economic-development potential of their communities, and further claim that there is no benefit to the counties for hosting the lines.

Former State Senator and U.S. Ambassador H. Douglas Barclay spoke at a public hearing held last week at the Pulaski High School. Barclay, who is representing Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann in the matter, stated that the county has already done its share in generating power for downstate.

“Oswego County has done its part in power generation for downstate,” he said. “It produces more electric power than any other county with three nuclear facilities and a gas generating plant and other generating facilities, including water power on the Salmon River.”

He continued, “Downstate wants us to produce its power so that it can shut down its plants, for example, Indian River nuclear plant. Oswego County has become the dumping ground for power generation for downstate, gaining few benefits. The county would welcome the fourth nuclear generator, which would solve the generation problem for downstate without having to construct more power lines."

Barclay also spoke of the company’s plans to construct the lines elsewhere and the rejection of those alternate routes.

“There have been a number of alternatives suggested by Upstate, for example, the underwater line from Galloo to Scriba, but all rejected out of hand by Upstate as being too costly,” he said. “What is the rush? These alternatives must be studied in depth and not summarily dismissed.”

Barclay also pointed out the potential for excessive tax incentives for Upstate Power.

“The project may receive a thirty-percent income-tax credit on the total cost of the project under the America Recovery Act and a multi-million dollar real-property tax exclusion under a PILOT agreement with the Jefferson County IDA,” he noted. “Even if it costs more to go underwater or bury the lines through the Town of Richland, it is a good investment for the future. Burying all present lines is being planned downstate in Nassau County.”

There is precedence for spending more money for an alternative, Barclay said.

“The Shoreham Nuclear Plant on Long Island was built and finished at a cost of $5 billion dollars but never activated—a $5 billion dollar loss that had to be picked up by the rate payers,” he said. “The residents believed that they did not have a proper escape route in the event of a disaster. The residents of Jefferson and Oswego counties are interested in future jobs, not tax breaks to Upstate."

An administrative judge for the Public Service Commission held two public hearings in Pulaski last week with only one of the many speakers supporting the current transmission line plan. It was reported that there is little support from the citizens in Jefferson County, hence, the idea for the joint resolution in opposition.

Opponents of the plan claim that as many as 1,000 jobs could be lost if the current plan is approved. Lawmakers said they have many concerns about the adverse economical impact to both counties.

County government is dependent on northern Oswego County for tourism revenue, most reaped from Salmon River fishing and snowmobiling.

Oswego County Legislator Shawn Doyle, who serves as the majority leader, has been working with Jefferson County leadership in regard to the matter and together they are seeking a resolution that will send a strong message to the company to reconsider the original plan of burying the line under Lake Ontario.

Both entities could pass the resolution next month.

Wind Turbines Accidents

Packed house

Hartsville, N.Y.

Gusts of concern blew into the Hartsville Town Hall Monday night for a public hearing on a draft wind regulatory law that, if passed, the German-based company E.ON Climate and Renewables claims will prevent any large scale wind operations in the town and likely lead to a lawsuit.

Around 60 members of the public, including town residents, officials, E.ON representatives and members of the media packed into the town hall and listened to the latest details in what has become a four year debate with many legal loopholes on a proposed 51-megawatt industrial wind turbine project primarily in Hartsville.

A wind law from 2007 stands to be revised with a 2,460 foot residential setback distance from turbines, compared to the 1,200 foot that stands now.

“We are here tonight to make sure residents know there is no scientific validity to any medical problems with wind farms,” said John Reynolds, a consultant working for E.ON on the project. Reynolds also proposed the board use the existing wind law with a stricter noise clause.

E.ON brought Chicago doctor Mark Roberts, who works with a consulting firm looking at public health, to address the public.

“Reviewing this from a medical standpoint, there is not an indication in any peer-reviewed literature that there is increased risk of health affects associated with wind turbines,” said Roberts.

During the two and a half hour meeting, the board was presented with several informational handouts, a proposal to keep the existing law with stricter modifications on background noise, and contact information for people that have worked successfully with E.On on other wind projects.

Residents on both sides of the issue threatened to sue the town board if the law is passed.

George Prior blasted town attorney David Pullen and accused him of not protecting the town’s best interest and said officials are ignoring information that doesn’t support their opinions.

“Eating a lot of the time is more important than noise,” said Fran Clancy, who runs Francile Dairy Farm, and who’s family his been farming in the town for 160 years. He said a wind farm would ensure his farm continues to turn a profit and he urged the board to use “common sense” and not pass the law.

To the contrary, said Bill Galbraith of Webster, who recently purchased 30 acres in Hartsville for the “peace and quiet”. He supports the proposed law and said that irritating turbine noise will lower property values and disturb the environment.

Resident Alice Bosch presented the board with a petition signed by 110 land owners against the proposed law, a document she claims represents 29-percent of the land in the town. John Bowles, another Hartsville resident and former board member, said the petition legally prevents the board from passing the law because more than 20-percent of property owners signed the document.

Gary Abraham, the town’s attorney for wind issues, said previously that if 20-percent of the town residents that voted in the last election were to sign a petition asking for it, a referendum would be offered up for public vote.

Town Supervisor Steve Dombert said the meeting and proposal is the first indication that E.ON has acknowledged the town board’s authority.

He did not give a date when officials will vote on the new law, but said it could be as soon as the second week of December.

“I’m glad to see that E.ON is adapting its plan. This is something we haven’t seen until tonight, but I would still question the specifics of what this law intends to do,” said Dombert.

E.ON officials maintain the 2,460-foot setback distance in the new law will make it impossible to go forward with any type of project. Reynolds said the background noise restrictions are too strict for any type of industrial turbines as well.

“They are so severe that mother nature would violate them,” he said.

Reynolds also said the board is using Internet material that is unvalidated in its findings.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Hartsville Town Hall for its monthly meeting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wind Industry Leaders Applaud ARRA, Express Concern Over PPAs

The federal stimulus package has been successful in helping to get the wind power industry through 2009's economy-wide woes, but market challenges remain and policy issues require immediate attention, panelists and speakers said at this year's AWEA Wind Energy Fall Symposium in Orlando, Fla.

An improvement would be to remove the 2010 deadline and simply allow projects going online by 2012 to be eligible, said panelists.

“The [American Reinvestment and] Recovery Act (ARRA) really has been a fantastic tool” at keeping the industry on track, said Jan Kjaersgaard, vice president at turbine producer Siemens Wind Power Americas.

At the conference industry executives painted a 2009 picture that turned out to be far better than expected. At this time last year, Horizon Wind Energy’s parent, EDP Renewables, was in the process of assessing whether to shift a sizable portion of its investment capital earmarked for the U.S. to other countries after the credit crisis and the devaluation of the production tax credit (PTC) slammed the industry. But then in February Congress passed ARRA, which contained several measures intended to have a positive impact on the industry, including one providing federal loan guarantees as well as the all-important grant program designed to counteract the PTC’s lost value in the flagging economy.

The other piece of the ARRA story, panelists agreed, was the swift implementation of the legislation by the notoriously plodding federal government. The Obama Administraton and federal government as a whole showed “an amazing ability to deliver,” said Horizon CEO Gabriel Alonso. Kjaersgaard echoed that sentiment, calling the implementation “a fast reaction.”

Panelist Matt Rogers, senior advisor to Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu for the Recovery Act, had to have been pleased with such comments coming from the other presenters. Rogers said that the renewables component of ARRA should be viewed as a “down payment” on the energy and climate challenges that need to be solved in the next decade. “Today, perhaps for the first time ever, we have energy policy aligned with environmental policy” with resources to go along with it, he said.

Nevertheless, “Not everything is wine and roses,” as Alonso said, for the industry faces serious challenges both now and in the near future. One troubling market dynamic echoed throughout the conference is the difficulty in securing power purchase agreements, in part as a result of soft natural gas prices.

While on the panel, Rogers had the chance to hear, straight from leading industry players, concerns about the grant program, which is available to projects on which construction is started by the end of 2010 and that are online by the end of 2012. That 2010 construction deadline is right around the corner, and it’s “already causing a lot of our customers and us concern right now,” said Kjaersgaard.

An improvement would be to remove the 2010 deadline and simply allow projects going online by 2012 to be eligible, said panelists. In spite of such challenges, panelists generally expressed optimism for the coming years.

Speakers also stressed the importance of getting a national renewable standard on the books. While the industry should continue to post respectable numbers through 2010, “We believe that the market will recover even more and get back to 2008 numbers” in the 2011 and 2012 timeframe, said Kjaersgaard.

In order for that momentum to continue, however, demand for wind power must be further cemented via a national renewable electricity standard, said panelists, who drew a strong link between such policies and job creation, particularly given the global nature of the market. The Department of Energy’s Rogers said that the goal is for the U.S. to be the world leader in renewable energy manufacturing, and therefore welcomed the input from industry panelists, who urged that strong and stable policies be quickly put in place so that the U.S. can become an industry hub. A global footrace is now under way, and so the U.S. needs to respond, panelists agreed.

“In my view the window is short” for the U.S. to establish itself as a leader, said Dirk Matthys, CEO at Gamesa Wind U.S.

PILOT Agreements - Corporate Welfare Ad Nauseum

When you purchase a new home or build one for, let’s say $200k, the transaction must be recorded with the county clerk in the county where the property is located. The sale/build price is also part of this legal requirement and this figure is publicly available and of interest to your local assessor. As a result - the property assessment must be as close as possible to 100% of the property value – the price you paid for it. Therefore if you paid $200K then the assessment will likely be $200K – period. And your property tax will be based on this assessment.

Now consider a wind developer who comes into a rural community and builds a “wind farm”. The average cost of buying & installing a commercial wind turbine (per internet estimates) is roughly between $2M and $3M each. Then the wind developer and local IDA negotiate a PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) “deal” and the wind developer avoids paying his fare share of taxes – pays a small fraction of the project’s net worth – as a result of the IDA PILOT “deal”. Furthermore – the developer is probably based in a foreign country and never even visited the area where the wind farm is located. Because of the PILOT program the foreign wind developer can legally pay a mere fraction of the true 100% value of the wind farm while home owner’s taxes are based on 100% value of his new property. How can this be fair? This is corporate greed and manipulation at its worst combined with misdirected irresponsible government. And it’s likely the turbines are manufactured in a foreign country too. And the crew that installs the entire wind project would never be from your community – they are a transient bunch and gone a few months after construction never to return. And often the lessor is an absentee landlord and doesn’t live anywhere near where the turbines are sited, Turbinetown, and avoids the noise, loss of viewshed, shadowing, etc. much less face-to-face contact with extremely upset neighbors who have suffered physical pain and permanent loss of property value. Turbine neighbors have become prisoners in their own homes (because their homes will never sell for anywhere near what they were worth before the creation of the windfarm – if they’re sold at all) and their only escape is to abandon their life’s major investment to gain relief for health reasons. But some town board members make out well approving wind development because they are likely to have a conflict of interest and benefit financially either directly or indirectly and as a result betray their own neighbors including people that trusted them and may have actually voted for them. And think about this – the bad guys assisting the foreign wind developer with PILOTs are your county IDA reps. They would sell out their mother for a low paying job in your county and IDA staff are not even elected. The whole relationship between your IDA and your county legislative board needs constant monitoring. The IDA officials are appointed by your county legislature or board of supervisors. Like a bad cold - corrupt IDA staff are difficult to get rid of. PILOT agreements are developed by your IDA not the town board.


The office of the NYS Comptroller says the following about IDAs:
There are 20 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) in the eight county region of western New York. Pursuant to General Municipal Law, Section 858, these IDAs are independent public benefit corporations created by State legislation to improve economic conditions by encouraging and assisting businesses in maintaining, constructing or improving facilities. In so doing, they advance job opportunities and improve the health, general prosperity and economic welfare of the people of the State of New York.

To accomplish this, IDAs provide project owners financial assistance which includes, among other things, exemptions from taxation. Without this assistance, project owners would generally pay a real property tax based on the assessed value of land and improvements to a site. Any real property owned or controlled by an IDA is not subject to ad valorem real property taxes. Therefore, the IDA would take title to, or leasehold interest in, real property and the property would become 100 percent exempt from ad valorem real property taxes. To accommodate the needs of affected taxing jurisdictions, many IDAs execute written agreements requiring Payments In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) by project owners to municipalities and school districts where the projects are located. These affected tax jurisdictions (ATJ)receive PILOT revenue that is generally equal to, or a portion of, the amount they would have received had the IDA not been involved. PILOT agreements must contain, among other things, the amount due annually to each ATJ, or a formula by which the amount due can be calculated.


PILOTs are supposed to make jobs for communities but with wind farms this never happens. Only about one mediocre paying job is created for every 10 turbines installed – that’s hardly job creation. Government watchdog groups say the absence of uniform standards makes the whole PILOT program open to abuse, because each wind company gets to negotiate its own private deal with the IDA. In addition, wind companies that fail to meet their original IDA job creation promises rarely get penalized.

In addition, the presence of a wind power facility will drive down the value of surrounding properties (homes), lowering assessments and thus causing a loss of tax revenue that cuts into any possible gain by the presence of a wind farm. NYS property owners have already successfully had their assessments reduced because their properties had the unfortunate circumstance of being located near a new wind farm. This reduces the tax base for the community and must be made up by increasing the tax rate which is then paid by those property owners within the community. Once again the taxpayer is paying higher taxes to support the corrupt wind industry and people say the wind is free.

And think about this - 65% of a commercial wind farm is being paid for with your American tax dollars thanks to stimulus money, NYSERDA, PTC (Production Tax Credits), rapid depreciation schedules, PILOTs, etc. while the foreign owner enjoys the profits while raping your community.

One of the worst recent situations involving IDAs & PILOTs is in Cattaraugus County New York. In Cattaraugus County, a proposed 32-turbine Everpower wind farm in the Chipmunk area of the town of Allegany – the town’s portion of the payment in lieu of taxes (P.I.L.O.T.) negotiated by the Cattaraugus county IDA would be roughly $22,000 a year for the entire wind farm! That’s right - the town would only be getting about $22,000 in PILOT payments a year. That’s for all 32 wind turbines, not each one. Town supervisor Eaton said he did not believe there would be additional “host community fees” available outside of the PILOT agreement, which is negotiated by the IDA. “We’re not doing it for $22,000,” he stated.

Attorney Dan Spitzer said the wind-turbine issue, and its legalities, are complicated at best.

“It’s a very complicated topic and the one thing I say, whether I’m representing the community or representing the developer, is that it will change your community for a generation, at least,” Mr. Spitzer said of a wind-turbine farm.

Mr. Eaton, Allegany town supervisor, who was listening in the background, revised Mr. Spitzer’s statement by saying, “It will change it forever.” Can you imagine a more outrageous IDA than the one in Cattaraugus County? Are they taking a kickback from the wind developer? They are certainly not acting in the best interests of the community. Shame on the Cattaraugus County Legislature and the IDA for attempting to sell the Allegany residents all out, for so very little.

New Yorkers in general are beginning to become completely fed up with PILOTs, IDAs, wind farms and seeing their tax dollars squandered by politicians and bureaucrats to offshore ownership. Taxpayers are beginning to revolt against the wind developers, IDAs and local governments and the November 2009 election results underscore this attitude.

PILOTs should be completely repealed and eliminated and taxpayers should demand the full value of tax revenue from the wind project and nothing less. Industrial Development Agencies should not endorse industrial wind development in NYS, since IDAs were created to stimulate economic development by industries that create permanent jobs and financially benefit the area. Industrial wind will do neither, and is actually contrary to the IDA mission. IDAs are eroding your quality of life in collusion with an “unscrupulous” industry and this must stop. Can you wonder why NYS Attorney General Cuomo is investigating the corrupt wind industry and asking the wind developers to adopt and sign his wind industry ethics code? What other industry or business have you ever heard of in NYS being asked to sign an ethics code? Does this speak well of the wind industry? New Yorkers cannot afford the corrupt wind industry or PILOT agreements.

Seasonal residents protect natural resources

In response to the comment by "outgoing" Cape Vincent Supervisor Thomas Rienbeck wherein he refers to seasonal voters as selfish rich folks only interested in their cottages: Mr. Rienbeck no doubt loves seasonal residents when they pay their higher-than-average property taxes and when they financially support local business and community events.

Left in office, he would continue to appreciate all the revenue that seasonals pour into the community just so long as they dare not vote in opposition to polices he promotes, policies that would result in the destruction of many of the area's natural resources and the small-town ambience that attract seasonal residents and vacationers here in the first place.

Seasonal residents are in fact rich, but in most cases not financially rich as his comments imply. They are enriched by their enjoyment of time spent in some of the most relaxing and beautiful locations in the country, the Thousand Islands and the Golden Crescent. Seasonals choose to come to upstate New York (and in many cases retire here) from many distant destinations.

As community residents they should be afforded the same rights of citizenship as longtime residents. They pay their share, they support the community, and they also feel an obligation to protect the natural and wildlife resources of the area, an obligation that Mr. Rienbeck seems all too willing to sell to the highest bidder and deface in the process.

Also in the same edition, Don DiMonda of Sackets Harbor condemns the Times for speaking out against the Galloo Island payment-in-lieu-of-taxes arrangement. While he freely admonishes the Times for speaking out against a project that would seemingly generate millions of dollars of revenue for area towns and school districts, he conveniently forgets to say just where those millions come from. The PILOT payments are in fact only a small portion of the proceeds of millions and millions of dollars in financial incentives and tax adjustments freely given to wind developers and funded by we the people of the already bankrupt state of New York.

Every dollar of tax concessions (PILOTs, sales tax, etc.) extracted from local taxing jurisdictions becomes an instant dollar of profit for the project developer. These people know not and care not that their endeavors destroy the natural beauty, wildlife and recreational attractions of the area; they care not about negative impacts on the area's number two revenue source (travel, tourism and seasonal residents). They care not about decreased property values (and corresponding lower tax assessments).

Charles Wilson

Three Mile Bay

Can Wind Power Lift Maine's Economy?

New England’s largest wind power producer broke ground Monday on the second phase of a project near Danforth that local officials hope is another step toward making rural Washington County an energy hub.

First Wind plans to erect 17 wind turbines on Jimmey Mountain and Owl Mountain north of Route 169 in northern Washington County. The project, dubbed Stetson II, will extend First Wind’s 38-turbine Stetson Wind facility that was completed earlier this year on a ridgeline just south of Route 169.

Massachusetts-based First Wind received regulatory approval for Stetson II earlier this year but, like other wind power companies nationwide, had trouble lining up financing after the lending market for wind energy projects collapsed because of the recession.

But the company received more than $40 million in federal stimulus money to jumpstart Stetson II. First Wind officials said Monday that they hope to complete construction on the $60 million project and connect it to the electricity grid by next spring.

“Our projects help spur the surrounding region’s economic activity and growth,” Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind, said in a statement. “Today’s groundbreaking and the jobs it is creating would not be happening without the recovery act tax credits granted to us earlier this fall.”

The roughly 400-foot-tall turbines and blades in Stetson II are rated to generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity each, giving the entire project a maximum output of 25.5 megawatts. But critics point out that because of the intermittent nature of wind, wind power facilities typically do not come close to producing their maximum output.

Critics of the wind industry in Maine also question whether the facilities provide a permanent boost to the host region’s economy after construction is complete. Once operational, wind energy facilities employ only a handful of full-time workers.

But Chris Gardner, a Washington County commissioner who attended Monday’s event, said in a phone interview it would be wrong to “belittle” any permanent jobs that are created in that part of Maine.

“I’m certain those are very valuable to the 10 to 15 people able to get those jobs and then live and work in Washington County,” Gardner said.

Gardner hopes First Wind’s additional investment helps send a positive message to other energy companies that Washington County is “open for business.”

“We have an industry that is interested [in the region] and I think we owe it to the people of Washington County to extend our hand out to that industry,” he said.

Not everyone agrees that the wind industry’s growing interest in Maine is a good thing.

On Monday, about a half-dozen people protested First Wind’s latest project, accusing the company and state officials of deceiving the public about the impacts of industrial wind power and its benefits.

Among them were Marilyn and Harrison Roper, who will be able to see — and likely hear — the massive turbines located between 1.5 miles and 2 miles from a camp and properties they own on both Upper Hot Brook Lake and Lower Hot Brook Lake.

Marilyn Roper said by phone Monday that she is most concerned about how low-frequency noise and vibrations from the spinning blades will affect local residents and wildlife, including fish in the lakes. Some people living near wind power facilities claim the noise and vibrations make them physically ill.

Roper said she and her husband are very pro-environment, powering their Houlton home with solar energy and living “off the grid” at camp. But she questioned the “greenness” of inland wind farms that require permanent clearings of carbon dioxide-absorbing trees and that work only when the wind blows.

“We don’t have a problem with these offshore, where the wind is strong and constant,” Roper said. “But that is not the case with these inland wind farms.”

But Sen. Kevin Raye, R-Perry, said he believes energy could be a major industry for Washington County. Raye and other local officials are fighting to bring liquefied natural gas terminals to the Passamaquoddy Bay region. Also Monday, Ocean Renewable Power Co. received a $150,000 federal grant to continue developing tidal power technology that would be deployed in Cobscook Bay.

“Washington County could be poised to become a major player in energy,” Raye said.

In addition to the original Stetson project, First Wind also operates a 28-turbine wind power facility in the Aroostook County town of Mars Hill. The company also is in the process of seeking regulatory approval or financing for several other projects in Maine, including a 40-turbine wind farm on Rollins Mountain in Burlington, Lincoln, Lee and Winn. That project has also encountered opposition from some local residents and property owners.

The only other large-scale wind energy project operating in Maine is a 22-turbine facility located on Kibby Mountain in the western part of the state.

TransCanada plans to add another 22 turbines on Kibby Mountain over the next year.

Recovery Act Incentivizes Portugal to Build $4 Billion Worth of New US Wind Power Projects

Through its Texas subsidiary Horizon Wind Energy, the giant Portuguese company EDP Renewables; the second largest wind company in the world, intends to almost triple its US projects to $4 billion worth of new wind energy projects in the United States through 2012.

This year alone Horizon Wind Energy installed $1.5 billion worth of wind power, adding 800 megawatts of clean energy to the grid to bring its US total to more than 2,500 MW in 21 states.

The CEO attributes the expansion to our new renewable energy incentives.

“EDP Renewables is serious about partnering with the United States for a number of reasons, but most of all because of the leadership we have seen from the federal government,” said Antonio Mexia, chief executive of EDP and chairman of EDP Renewables.

Current legislation does extend the investment tax credit (ITC) available to wind developers; till 2012. But uncertainty about passage of the on-again off-again ITC extension at the end of last year created a dive in wind projects into the first quarter of 2009. In the bailout bill last Fall it was extended (after eight attempts) at least long enough to prevent expiration until a more renewable-friendly administration would be sworn in.

In February the Obama administration not only extended the ITC till 2012, but also allowed wind developers to also benefit from a 30% production tax credit available to homeowners and businesses that encourages development of any form of renewable energy.

To help companies hard-hit by the downturn; the 30% tax credit legislation was modified under the Recovery Act to be made available as a cash grant within 60 days if a business had no profit to take a tax credit against.

There were no size limits on eligible businesses, only that it have no profits to take an investment tax credit against. An excel file listing ongoing awarded cash grants begins with an architectural office, that received almost $20,000 to put on a solar roof.

The cash grants, that began with these awards in September, also encourage investors by providing secure returns. For example, Texas-based JPM Capital is investing just over $101 million in a Horizon wind farm and will get paid back via cash grants that it expects to receive instead of tax credits. Like the rest of the wind sector Horizon was hit by the threatened ITC expiration last year.

The new legislation is also designed to encourage immediate reinvestment of renewable energy profits, so manufacturing for the nacelles, blades and other parts must be done here in the US to qualify.

Investment in wind power creates thousands of installation, maintenance and manufacturing jobs as well as some you might not have thought of like asking farmers if they want to host wind turbines.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wind turbine jobs blowing toward China

WASHINGTON — The rush to America of foreign wind-turbine manufacturers shows that the Obama administration’s plan for stimulating the creation of green-energy jobs is going in an odd direction.

Two weeks ago, U.S. Renewable Energy Group, led by Dallas investor Cappy McGarr, announced plans to build a $1.5 billion wind energy farm in West Texas. About a third of the money would come from federal stimulus funds. All of the wind turbines (and much of the remaining investment capital) would come from China.

“We believe that this project will greatly contribute to job creation, the goals of the Obama administration and our desire to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and increase our energy independence,” McGarr said in announcing the deal.

There would be perhaps 330 jobs created in Texas. Most would be temporary construction jobs. Meanwhile, thousands of Chinese workers in the northeastern industrial city Shenyang would build the labor-intensive turbines.

Most of the wind energy projects seeking money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act rely on foreign-made turbines. Even the industry we have here at home, led by GE, is looking abroad. GE’s technology will power the gearboxes of the turbines for the U.S. Renewable Energy Group. The gearboxes will be made in China.

U.S. companies emerging from the financial shocks of the last year haven’t started investing in American factory jobs. Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, told an Austin audience last week that the company CEOs he speaks with are more interested in investing abroad.

That doesn’t fit with the administration’s plans. To fix the big economic imbalances of the U.S. economy, administration economists say, Americans must save more, import less and sell more U.S. goods to the world. This is particularly important in the U.S. relationship with China, which is America’s biggest creditor.

Democrats, with union support, included a “Buy America” provision in the stimulus bill. This hasn’t proved to be an obstacle to moving ahead with wind projects that rely on foreign-made turbines.

When the wind is right, the U.S. Renewable project would generate more than 600 megawatts of electricity, or enough for 180,000 homes. Texas has long recognized such energy projects as a public good and provides incentives to support them.

Haphazard support

Federal support has been more haphazard. Wind energy advocates say that’s a reason other countries are taking the lead with alternative energy technologies developed in the United States.

President Barack Obama said the stimulus bill would create environmentally friendly manufacturing jobs in America. He’s using the same rhetoric to promote legislation that would curb greenhouse gas emissions.

To get there, however, it now looks like we’ll have to rely on foreign investors.

The engineering for the U.S. Renewable turbines was developed in Germany. Joachim Fuhrlander, CEO of this namesake company, says the West Texas project and others will eventually lead to service jobs for more than a thousand Americans.

Denise Bode, president of the American Wind Energy Association, says other foreign manufacturers are moving plants to the United States to be nearer the world’s biggest wind market.

In a roundabout way, those plants will create American jobs. That might be behind another wind farm announcement scheduled for Wednesday, this time by the Portuguese-owned firm Horizon Wind Energy.

Horizon says its latest investment “will create thousands of good-paying jobs on American soil.”

X Jim Landers is a columnist for The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Connecting the dots

Three large and very active groups of taxpayers have come together to form this red zone that encompasses some of the most scenic land in the world. The red zone completely exposes the Golden Crescent and the Thousand Islands regions to one of the biggest government corporate welfare schemes to ever be pulled on the American taxpayer. So big, in fact, there are not even enough "on the edge" American corporate welfare mooches to pull the deals off, so they had to go foreign with companies like Iberdrola, Acciona, British Petroleum and the Australian, Upstate NY Power Corp. Carlyle Group of Washington has managed to wiggle in on us, too.

On the South tip of the red zone we have The Coalition for the Preservation of the Golden Crescent, Henderson. On the West corner, there is the Wind Energy Ethics Group, Cape Vincent, and up in the Northeast the red zone triangle is completed by the Concerned Residents of Hammond. The whole area of red is filled with reluctant citizens from Lyme, Orleans, Clayton and all the other Towns that have been targeted by our New York State Politicians and foreign wind developers as host communities for factories that provide power for downstate New York and the heavily populated Eastern Corridor.

The Red zone citizens are concerned with plummeting land values, destruction of the tourist trade, the prospect of living amongst giant factories, leaders giving everything we have away in the form of raw deal PILOTS, and the enacting of eminent domain when landowners refuse to cooperate with the foreign developer's plans for transmission lines.

Many Town Boards have become so conflicted by their members holding secret contracts with the developers, that they have been unable to see clearly enough to work on the behalf of or even identify what is best for all of citizens of the red zone.

Big decisions are in the hands of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators, now. Perhaps we can get them to listen at the Tuesday night meeting.

China's largest wind producer readies $2.3bn IPO

China’s Longyuan Power Group, Asia’s largest producer of wind-generated electricity, will raise as much as HK$17.5bn ($2.2bn) in its upcoming initial public offering, making it the third-largest renewables IPO of the past decade.

Beijing-based Longyuan is the renewables arm of state-controlled China Guodian, one of the country’s ‘big five’ electrical utilities. Longyuan’s 2.9 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind capacity account for nearly one quarter of China’s total, and make it the fifth-largest generator in the world.

Details of Longyuan’s upcoming IPO were first leaked to the press months ago, with the company initially reported to be seeking HK$5bn. Since then, however, the firm has been regularly upping the figure, as it looks to take advantage of thawing global credit markets and the ever-brighter prospects for Chinese renewables.

Longyuan now intends to sell more than 2.1 billion shares, or 30% of its total share capital, at a price range between HK$6.26 and HK$8.16. Trading is expected to begin on 10 December.

The company is said to have cemented four core investors for the IPO who will buy a combined stake worth HK$2.6bn: US billionaire Wilbur Ross; China Life Insurance Group; Value Partners; and Bank of East Asia’s chairman David Li Kwok-po. Proceeds from the IPO will be ploughed directly into new wind farms.

Only two renewables firms, Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables and Portugal’s EDP Renovaveis (EDPR), have launched larger IPOs during the past decade. Iberdrola Renovables raised $6.6bn in 2007, while EDPR drummed up $2.4bn in 2008.

In 2007 Longyuan became the first Chinese wind-farm operator to crack the 1GW mark. It now boasts approximately 50 wind farms across China, many registered under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

Longyuan officials claim they will have 6GW of installed wind capacity by the end of 2010, and 20GW by 2020. At its current growth rate, the company will be one of the world’s top three wind generators by 2010.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

National Grid Again Rejects High Costs of Offshore Wind

National Grid for the second time has turned down a proposal from a Rhode Island offshore wind developer that wants to sell the electricity retailer energy from a yet-to-be-developed wind farm.

National Grid says the price to purchase renewable energy from New Jersey-based Deepwater Wind is too high, reports the Providence Journal. Deepwater is seeking to sell electricity to National Grid for 25.3 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to the 9.2 cents National Grid currently pays for buying power on the open market. Deepwater’s price would increase by 3.5 percent annually.

The Rhode Island governor and other state officials have been pressuring National Grid to purchase wind power from the proposed $200 million project near Block Island.

In June, Rhode Island enacted a law requiring National Grid to purchase renewable energy. If the state, Deepwater Wind and National Grid can’t come to an agreement, the state’s Public Utilities Commission can order arbitration.

Deepwater Wind sees the Block Island project as a test for an eventual $1.3 billion 106-turbine wind farm that would be located 15 miles off Rhode Island’s coast.

A report from the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative (USOWC) cites a Department of Energy finding that the United States has the potential to generate 900,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from its offshore wind resources.

Another study shows that annual offshore wind resources in the mid-Atlantic region totaled 330 gigawatts or nearly five times the estimated energy use in nine coastal states including Rhode Island.

Other offshore projects in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina and the Great Lakes are under development.

County pushes underwater route

Jefferson County legislators will consider Tuesday asking that the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm transmission line be run completely underwater to Oswego County, rather than running over 20 miles of land in southern Jefferson County.

Legislator Barry M. Ormsby, R-Belleville, said he's going to offer a resolution to ask the Public Service Commission to "give serious consideration to the aquatic line versus the above-land option."

Mr. Ormsby is chairman of the board's Planning and Development Committee. That panel will resume its meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to consider the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the Galloo Island project.

He attended the public hearings on the 50.6-mile transmission line in Henderson and Belleville on Monday.

Upstate NY Power Corp., developer for the project, applied to the PSC for a route that would run about nine miles underwater from Galloo Island to landfall on Stony Point in Henderson, then turn south through Ellisburg, Sandy Creek and Richland to connect to a larger line in Mexico. One of the alternate routes that Upstate NY Power mentions in its application to the PSC is a completely underwater route to Scriba.

"My preferred route right along was the underwater one," Mr. Ormsby said. "I thought it would be the least intrusive on any of the property owners. And the public comments underscored that."

On Friday, Upstate NY Power said it will investigate the underwater route further.

"Upstate Power is committed to working very closely with local communities and the PSC to develop the best possible solution for the transmission line problem for all parties involved," said Robert W. Burgdorf, of Nixon Peabody, Rochester, who represents the developer. "The underwater route will be fully reviewed and vetted during the PSC process."

Legislature Chairman Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-Black River, said lawmakers have questions, both about the PILOT and the transmission line, that they want answered before voting on the PILOT.

"We've got to get answers on questions on the transmission line," he said. "Eminent domain — is it a possibility or isn't it a possibility? Where is the transmission line going to be put — do owners know, have they been talked to and agreed?"

Mr. Blankenbush again encouraged all of the legislators to attend the meeting, even though it will technically be a committee meeting.

"All of us need to understand the ramifications of it," Mr. Blankenbush said. "Not all of the legislators have heard the full story on the PILOT and the transmission line. We need to make a knowledgeable vote."

Representatives from the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency, which helped craft the PILOT, and Upstate NY Power Corp. will attend Tuesday's meeting in the board's chambers in the old county courthouse, 195 Arsenal St.

The public will be allowed to comment on the PILOT as times permits before the Health and Human Services Committee meeting at 7 p.m., according to information from the county administrator's office.

If legislators aren't comfortable with the proposal, a vote on the PILOT will not be pushed, Mr. Blankenbush said.

"We are not going to vote on something we're not 100 percent sure of," he said. "If we do not have all the answers — if the board is not comfortable with voting, we're going to slow it down."

U.S. Sends Most Clean Energy Stimulus Funds to Other Countries

The federal stimulus plan has been great for investing in clean energy projects—as long as you’re a foreign company. Almost $850 million, out of $1.05 billion in stimulus money, has been given to overseas renewable-energy businesses, some of which have spent American taxpayer dollars in their home countries to manufacture equipment later shipped to U.S. wind or solar farms. One Spanish utility, Iberdrola S.A., received $545 million through its American subsidiary. The federal legislation authorizing the expenditure of stimulus funds for renewable energy was so poorly written that it has allowed $800 million to go towards wind farms that were already producing electricity before they received the grants, according to a story by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.

Gone with the Wind: Blowing U.S. Tax Dollars Off Shore (United Steelworkers Union)
Overseas Firms Collecting Most Green Energy Money (by Russ Choma, Investigative Reporting Workshop)

Friday, November 20, 2009

False conclusions based on flawed real estate studies

Wind energy proponents insist industrial scale wind turbines have no diminishing effect on nearby residential property values. They point to several analyses prepared in the last six years (including REPP1, Hoen2, and Hoen/Wiser3) as evidence of their claims.

These reports conclude that there is no significant relationship between distance from, or visibility of the windfarm on the sale prices of houses. However, as we've reported before, there is good reason not to place substantial weight on the findings.

The REPP report has been widely discredited due to key flaws in the methodology including the fact that sixty-six percent of the homes sampled did not see the wind facility at all and the analysis made no distinction between homes near the turbines and those five miles away thus assuming the effect of the turbines was equal on all properties regardless of proximity.

The Hoen 2006 master's thesis, while more legitimate, made clear its analysis only applied to homes near a windfarm in Fenner New York and communities similar to Fenner. Any general conclusion drawn about property impacts based on Hoen's 2006 report would be inaccurate.

And now here comes the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) which has undertaken yet another study to show, once and for all, that utility-scale wind turbines do not harm property values.

In 2007, Ben Hoen teamed up with Dr. Ryan Wiser of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to expand Hoen's master's work nationwide. By June of 2007, with no report in hand, Hoen broadcast his preliminary conclusions of their study at the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) annual meeting. Bottom line: "No negative effects found" on property values. In November 2007, DOE touted the same preliminary conclusions at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' annual meeting and again, Hoen appeared at the 2008 AWEA meeting where he reaffirmed his conclusions.

The Hoen/Wiser report has yet to be released, but that hasn't stopped Hoen from distributing his findings whenever and wherever possible. And since 2007, wind developers have been submitting Hoen's unpublished conclusions to State and local boards as definitive proof that properties are unharmed by the towers.

This September, was one of about twenty reviewers to submit comments on Hoen's work. Our full report can be viewed here. After all the hype, what we found was sobering.'s report to Wiser and Hoen identified serious flaws in their methodology, rendering the results of their study meaningless. The independent real estate appraisal experts we consulted quickly recognized that any qualified appraiser with any experience in the regression techniques utilized -- and who was not predisposed to a preferred outcome -- would easily discredit the report.

For one, the study failed to meet a basic assumption of a regression analysis i.e. that the database of sales transactions compared were reasonably homogeneous.

The "hedonic regression method" used by Hoen argues that one can determine the marginal contribution of specific independent variables -- i.e. view of the turbines -- to the sale price. However, when variables are omitted from the model, such as number of bedrooms, or improperly weighted in assessing contribution to house price it is not possible to understand the single effect of turbine view.

Homogeneous means that the houses included in any transactions were similar in market characteristics such as approximate size, age, quality, available amenities (schools, shopping, security, access to work and recreation, etc) and were examined in a similar economic setting (employment, availability and cost of financing, market growth or decline and the like), among other factors. Homogeneity of the marketplace is fundamental to the type of regression analysis Hoen used. It is well documented that these techniques are difficult to utilize on data sets that vary substantially due to differing characteristics.

In Hoen's study, the data set spanned nine different states across the United States and included 4,895 sales of which a subset of property characteristics were identified and then averaged to produce a composite home of 47 years in age with 1,628 square feet of finished living area above ground, 1.75 bathrooms situated on 1.09 acres and having an average condition. The data showed home sale prices ranging from as low as $10,492 to as high as $647,500.

The variation in house price alone indicated a failure to meet the requirement of homogeniality. But the problem in Hoen's study was more pervasive. When we looked at the 'age' characteristic for the homes in the report, the average age of the home at the time of the sale was 47 years with a standard deviation of 36. In other words, within one standard deviation, 68.2% of the homes in the data set ranged in age from 11 years to 83 years. We have no way of knowing how age influenced sale prices within the study's data set or whether age affected house price more or less than view of the turbines. The same can be said for other property characteristics like square footage of the home, number of baths, etc. Remarkably, Hoen did not even track the number of bedrooms per house transaction or whether the houses sold had garages.

In addition, since the data set was drawn from diverse locations across the country, applying the same weight to property characteristics was inappropriate. For example, fireplaces or finished basements in Texas may be perceived as less valuable than central air conditioning and the reverse may be true for the same characteristics found in homes in upstate New York. Nonetheless, Hoen did exactly that.

Appraisers are highly critical of hedonic analysis and have warned that causal conclusions drawn about a data set when utilizing this technique are often times unsupportable. This criticism applies in cases where those conducting the analysis make every effort to obtain a homogeneous data set and include important basic property characteristics. In Hoen's case, it is clear he had no interest in conducting a legitimate study to determine the impact of wind towers on property values. On the contrary, it appears his conclusion was already predetermined back in 2007 when he raced to AWEA to promote his premature conclusions. With his "mission accomplished", unfortunately, he now has little incentive to release the final report.

1.The Effect of Wind Development on Local Property Values by the Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) - May, 2003

2.Impacts of Windmill Visibility on Property Values in Madison County, New York by Ben Hoen - April 2006

3.Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report by Ben Hoen, Ryan Wiser et. al. - Not released

Suicides in “Turbine Town”

First, read this, taken from Two homes have been abandoned in “Turbine Town”:

I am angry, helpless, and disappointed our government would let something like this happen. I am appalled at their ignorance and lack of compassion. It saddens me to watch my family and friends suffer from the same [health] effects of the turbines.

I spend as much time as I can away from my home, away from my son who is also sleep deprived. We are exhausted and miserable. I often seek refuge with friends, often falling asleep minutes after I arrive.

I feel like a gypsy.

What was once a beautiful place to live has been destroyed.

» Tracy Whitworth, schoolteacher (Clear Creek, Ontario), 11/5/09

Then this, taken from “My entire house was vibrating along with all the contents — including me”:

My entire house was vibrating along with all the contents—including me. I tried to lie down and sleep a few times, but got jolted awake with a full body twitch each time. My skull was resonating to the extent that I became swimmingly dizzy, even just sitting, with sharp pains developing in my head. I was nauseous, I was aware of my insides trembling. . . . I could feel my fingers tingling with the vibrations. My eyes started to blur, an indication of oscillating eyeballs. The only alternative was to get out, and I did so in tears.

With all of this, I couldn’t really “hear” anything except the low droning hum that I have described to you in other reports over the summer. I ended up sleeping on a couch in a house 20 km directly to the north of me, and as I did, I could still hear and feel the deep, rumbling vibrations from the wind farm. These vibrations are similar to ones I’ve felt produced from a power steamroller as it approaches my house.

Having to sleep in my truck, having to drive to somebody else’s house in the middle of the night in order to escape, I now consider myself “homeless.”

This is criminal.

» Kay Armstrong (Clear Creek, Ontario), 10/12/09. See also “Like standing, walking, sleeping on a perpetually moving surface.”

Then this, taken from “Silent Spring”:

I hear the call of killdeer outside, and it occurs to me that this isn’t the first time I’ve heard them at strange hours of the night. They seem especially agitated. It strikes me that they, these birds that roost on the ground, are feeling what I’m feeling, perhaps to an even greater degree since they have direct contact with the ground.

The turbine vibrations have awakened them, as well, and they are flying around to escape them. In fact, these poor creatures have it even worse than I do because they have to keep flying and expend energy in order to be free of the vibrations that are disturbing what they had deemed home for the night.

Have I told you there are no frogs in my pond this year?

» Kay Armstrong (Clear Creek, Ontario), 11/8/09

Now brace yourself for this last one:

For documentation purposes: Two suicide attempts in the tiny village of Clear Creek over the past 2 months. The most recent one yesterday, successful, right across the road from me.

» Kay Armstrong (Clear Creek, Ontario), 11-20-09

Ecogen Wind LLC sues Steuben County town over wind farm delays

A wind energy development company has sued a second town board in an attempt to force through a large wind farm without the approval of local elected leaders.

Ecogen said town officials purposefully obstructed the project by raising questions earlier this year about building and road permits, a benefits package and noise concerns. "These efforts to now delay the project were improper and in bad faith," the company stated in legal papers.

The petition, filed in state Supreme Court, expressed fears that anti-turbine Town Board members who will take office Jan. 1 will block the project entirely.

Prattsburgh Town Board member Steve Kula, who is cited in Ecogen's legal papers as being a particular thorn in the company's side, said the lawsuit is "a big dog-small dog fight. It's a huge thing for us to overcome."

Kula denied that board members have purposefully slowed the project and blamed lack of progress on the company. "They, in truth, are nowhere near beginning construction," he said.

If built, the farm would have 16 turbines in Prattsburgh and 17 in Italy, each 415 feet tall. The farm could generate up to 76 megawatts of electricity.

Ecogen said in the petition that it had spent seven years and $13 million pursuing the Prattsburgh-Italy wind farm.

The company's lawyers will ask state Supreme Court Justice Thomas A. Stander to grant Ecogen the right to proceed with the Prattsburgh portion.

The lawsuit against Italy, sparked by a 5-to-0 Town Board vote in October to kill the project, is pending before Supreme Court Justice Stephen K. Lindley.

Mergers & Acquisitions Deal Analysis – Iberdrola Sells 10% Stake In Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica--Aarkstore Enterprise

Aarkstore announce a new report "Mergers & Acquisitions Deal Analysis – Iberdrola Sells 10% Stake In Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica" through its vast collection of market research report.

Mergers & Acquisitions Deal Analysis – Iberdrola Sells 10% Stake In Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica


Acquiring and partnering for expansion, strengthening R&D; pipeline and venturing into newer markets is a trend that’s definitely not new. It’s also regarded as one of the best defensive strategies to counter the competitors’ organic growth. The challenge that is most discussed in boardrooms is to identify the right partner with the right product portfolio so that the best strategic fit can be obtained and maximum benefits can be reaped from the deal.

Deal analysis reports are our independent analysis of the latest Mergers and Acquisitions deals within the global alternative energy industry. We keep our clients abreast of the very latest consolidation landscape by providing them with our independent and unbiased judgment on the past, present and future of the most important Mergers and Acquisitions deals within the alternative energy industry.


- In depth profiling of the latest and the most important Mergers and Acquisitions deal;
- Historical deal analysis of the companies involved in the deal, their deal making strategies and the markets they are venturing into;
- Review and analysis of the profiled deal supplemented with a strategic rationale analysis and impact assessment study; and
- Mapping of the prevalent and expected market and competitive landscape (s), the deal is likely to have an impact on

Reasons to buy

- Plan your business strategies by understanding your competitors’ deal making approach, acquisition trends and market entry/expansion strategies;
- Identify the latest consolidation trends in the market (s) you compete in;
- Exploit Mergers and Acquisitions opportunities by understanding the strategic rationale and success factors behind each deal; and
- Design your inorganic strategies by screening potential acquisition prospects in the market (s) you compete in.

For more information, please visit Link

Or email us at or call +919272852585

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And now a word from the voters...

With yesterday's counting of absentee ballots that pushed Urban Hirschey ahead of five-term incumbent Thomas Rienbeck, the three towns where commercial wind-development policy became something of a local referendum have sent a loud and clear message to wind farm developers and their rabid supporters: wind politics is local.

In Hammond, an incumbent who had served for 18 years and who was strongly in favor of wind farm development, Janie Hollister, lost by 50 votes to Ronald Bertram, a newcomer who promised to look at all sides of the local wind debate. In the Town Council race, two candidates running on Bertram's platform defeated two men who have urged a quick adoption of a permissive wind energy law that would open much of the town up to windmill development. Douglas Delosh and James Tague will join Bertram on the council.

In Cape Vincent, Mr. Hirschey won in a town riven by the wind debate. He is joined by incoming councilman Brooks Bragdon, putting two members of the Wind Power Ethics Group, the Cape's wind farm opposition group, on the Town Council.

In Henderson, the results are more subtle but the message was clear: people in that town are opposed to wind farm development. A new supervisor leading a reconstituted town board without question heard that message.

To put these elections purely in the context of pro-wind or anti-wind is a simplistic view, however. In both Hammond and Cape Vincent, residents spoke to the concern over conflicts of interest on the part of public officials, the speed with which wind ordinances were proposed and the lack of heed the elected officials accorded to wind-power opponents. If you don't think this interaction is a vital component of the dynamic between elected representative and voters, look at Orleans and Clayton, where there was no backlash vote and where, not coincidentally, the town councils have made sure the public has been involved in the process with community based committees formed to advise on wind-power decisions.

Hammond resident Brooke Stark assessed the town election and why the incumbent board was rejected in the Nov. 4 story in the Times: "They really have done a lot," she said. "But I think they got complacent and were not interested in educating the community about something they'd already made up their minds about. They wanted the wind law to go forward and that was that. People got fed up with that, and every time we felt that our voices were being shut down, it provided more impetus to get active."

Caveat emptor! While the wind power issue was at the core of this election, the arrogance of power was the nail that sealed the coffins of the defeated incumbents. To take it a tad further, Henderson voters, while vocal about not endorsing wind power projects in the town, were probably more sick of the chaos that reigned over the Henderson Town Council; out-of-control meetings that lasted four hours, a deputy supervisor who frequently appeared to be in charge, petty bickering over nearly every matter to come before the board and a supervisor locked in a legal battle with his own town over what is probably an illegal junkyard all made Henderson voters simply unwilling to endorse the status quo.

Now comes the challenge for the victors: you all have to find a way to respond to the voters' mandate. In Cape Vincent, a Town Council unable, theoretically, to even vote on any wind-power-related issues has nevertheless bent over backward to ease the path for two wind developers. Actions taken by the lame-duck board between now and Jan. 1 will set the tone for the incoming council. Mr. Rienbeck appears determined to ram a wind-power zoning law through in the next six weeks, even though three of his fellow councilmen have acknowledged conflicts of interest because of existing agreements with wind-farm developers. The only way a zoning law can be enacted is if at least two of those three violate ethics codes to vote on an issue they have promised not to vote on.

If that happens, it is almost inevitable the town will be taken to court, the attorney general will be asked to undertake an investigation of how the law got forced through and Mr. Hirschey and his board will have to figure out how – and in fact whether – to defend the town against the actions. It's going to be a mess and it's going to be expensive. And it's needless.

In Hammond, the new council would do well to immediately return its wind policy to a legitimate, inclusive citizens committee with the promise to take their recommendations seriously. If those recommendations and subsequent public hearings end up severely restricting wind-farm development in Hammond, well, the people will have spoken – just as it should be.

And in Henderson, where the looming battle is over the transmission lines from a wind project that the town has absolutely no control over because it's in Hounsfield, the challenge will be to refocus the council so that it has the wherewithal and political resolve to respond in the way its citizens demand. A focused and rational governing body would be such an improvement in Henderson that an unsuccessful but well-waged battle against the transmission lines would no doubt be a huge relief to most Henderson residents.

This election sent a powerful message about the relationship between the elected and the electorate. It would be good if everyone was listening.

Cape wind hearing probably canceled

CAPE VINCENT — The town Planning Board asked the Town Council not to hold a public hearing next week on a proposed wind development zoning ordinance, citing missing information.

The Planning Board, meeting Wednesday night, voted 5-0 on the resolution. The hearing for the law was to be Monday.

"On initial blush through the law, it looks satisfactory," Chairman Richard J. Edsall said. "But after a more thorough examination, I saw there was an error made in the law, a section left out."

Supervisor Thomas K. Rienbeck said later that the missing section would strictly exclude wind turbines from the river and lake districts."I didn't notice it until this morning," he said.

Adding it back in "would be significant enough to require another public hearing," he said.

Mr. Rienbeck said he would talk to each of the council members today to decide whether to cancel the public hearing.

"It's probably safe to say that public hearing will be canceled," he said.

Once the changes are made to the law, the Planning Board will make its recommendations first before another public hearing is scheduled, Mr. Rienbeck said.

Mr. Edsall explained to the crowd at the meeting that the Planning Board has to review any proposed zoning amendment and submit recommendations to the Town Council.

The law, which the council voted to move forward with Nov. 12, would regulate the placement of both personal and commercial wind turbines. Critics have said it would not restrict the turbines enough because it leaves out clear-cut noise criteria. The town had a committee work for five months on a recommended law that included language on measuring and regulating noise.

Wind-energy company sues another town board

A wind development company has sued a second town board in an attempt to force through a large wind farm over the objections of local elected leaders.

Ecogen Wind LLC, which in early November brought suit against the town of Italy in Yates County, filed a similar action Monday against the neighboring town of Prattsburgh, Steuben County. The Buffalo-area company and a partner firm have been trying for years to locate a 33-turbine wind farm in the hilly towns.

Like the action against Italy, the new suit against Prattsburgh alleges that town officials have improperly thrown roadblocks in front of the wind farm to “thwart and delay the project.” Specifically, Ecogen’s petition claims that town officials raised questions this year about building and road permits, a benefits package and noise concerns. “These efforts to now delay the project were improper and in bad faith,” the company states in its petition.

The legal action, filed in state Supreme Court, expresses fears that anti-turbine town board members who will take office on Jan. 1 will block the project entirely.

If ever built, the farm would have 16 turbines in Prattsburgh and 17 in Italy, all of them 415 feet tall. The farm would have the capability of generating up to 76 megawatts of electricity.

The company’s lawyers will ask state Supreme Court Justice Thomas A. Stander, to whom the case has been assigned, to grant Ecogen the right to proceed with the Prattsburgh portion of the project “without further activities on its part,” or to order the Town Board to grant Ecogen all necessary permits.

The suit against the town of Italy, sparked by a 5-to-0 Town Board vote in October to kill the project there, is pending before state Supreme Court Justice Stephen K. Lindley.

Ecogen Lawsuit against the Town of Prattsburgh


Ecogen Lawsuit against the Town of Italy - 09-15485


Which way did windmill voting tilt?

As we’ve been reporting, a wind-power development company called Ecogen Wind has filed suit against the town of Prattsburgh, Steuben County seeking a judicial order allowing it to proceed with construction of a wind farm there without town board approval. This comes in the heels of a similar court action by Ecogen in early November against the neighboring town of Italy, Yates County, asking a judge to set aside a town board vote killing the project.

Ecogen, based in suburban Buffalo and backed by a firm with offices in San Francisco and Houston, wants to build a 33-turbine wind farm in the hills of the two towns, which lie not far from the southern end of Canandaigua Lake.

At least part of the motivation behind these bare-knuckles lawsuits is the fact that voters in Italy and Prattsburgh elected anti-wind farm slates in voting earlier this month. Ecogen clearly fears the new boards will try to deep-six their project, on which they say they have spent $13 million so far.

The question I have is whether the voting in the two neighboring towns is part of a groundswell of opposition to industrial-scale wind farms in New York’s rural towns. There are several dozen wind farm proposals resting with town boards across the state, including some in the Rochester region - and most of the host towns had local elections on November 3. Someone I spoke with recently suggested a number of those elections did tilt against windmills.

This is where I’d like to enlist you visitors to help. If you know who won and who lost in town elections where wind farms were a major issue, post a comment here or shoot me an e-mail. Between your information and what I’m able to gather, I’ll post a running tally as we move along.

By the way, here are the legal petitions filed by Ecogen against the towns of Italy and Prattsburgh. They’re slow going if you don’t like legalese, but they might be worth reading – for the rural town-versus-wind farm conflict could prove significant in New York’s renewable energy future.

Ecogen sues Prattsburgh

Prattsburgh, N.Y.

Wind developer Ecogen has filed another lawsuit against a local municipality in an attempt to erect electricity-producing wind turbines.

The lawsuit was recently filed in state Supreme Court in Rochester against the Prattsburgh Town Board and other town officials.

It is similar to legal action the company is taking against the town of Italy in Yates County, which has refused to grant Ecogen permission to build wind turbines there.
Ecogen had planned to erect 16 wind turbines in Prattsburgh and 17 in Italy as part of the same project.

The Prattsburgh lawsuit was made public at Tuesday’s town board meeting and essentially seeks permission from the court to move head with its development without any further delays.
The Prattsburgh Town Board has been split over wind development in the town in reaction to concerns residents have had on the impact towering turbines could have on the quality of their lives.

The board has not received a road-use agreement from Ecogen that regulates the transport of heavy equipment. Since Prattsburgh does not have zoning laws, questions of whether the town has the authority to issue building permits for the project have further delayed development.
Ecogen spokeswoman Beth O’Brien declined to comment Wednesday since the matter is in litigation.

Town Attorney John Leyden said he has not had an opportunity to study the allegations but believes Ecogen filed the lawsuit in response to the results of the recent town board election.
Two new members of the town board who said they favor strict regulations for wind turbines replace incumbents who have supported development.

“There were comments made in the election season (in Prattsburgh), there should be a moratorium,” Leyden said. “Motions were made. This lawsuit, I believe, is the company needs to know where it stands.”

Councilman Chuck Shick said the lawsuit is frivolous and Councilman Steven Kula said the lawsuit contains “blatant untruths.”

“(Ecogen says) they’re still waiting for the town to decide,” Kula said. “The truth is we are still waiting for them to sign the document that allows the town to go ahead with the engineering study we need for the road use agreement.”

Kula said his biggest concern is the lawsuit may persuade the lame-duck members of the town board to push an approval through before they leave office.

“What this really comes down to is, how does the court feels about municipal home rule?” Kula said. “The court is being asked to rule on whether local building permits are required, whether it can approve our road use agreement. I think the question is: Can the towns of Prattsburgh and Italy be compelled to do something they don’t believe is in their residents’ best interests?”

Hartsville races finally settled

The results of the Hartsville race are in, and Zena Andrus has been elected Hartsville's new town supervisor. An independent candidate, Mrs. Andrus won with 112 votes over Republican Alice Bosch's 104. "I would like to thank all of the residents that took time out of their busy lives to come to the town hall and vote for me," said Mrs. Andrus. "It was a long wait from the time we voted until the results were finally tabulated but the new machines will make voting more accurate in the future. Alice Bosch was a worthy opponent and ran a clean campaign."

One factor that added to the Andrus victory was the fact that just before the election, the three way supervisor race became a two way race, between Zena Andrus and Alice Bosch. That was due to Mike Muhleisan dropping out of the supervisor's contest, and lent his support to the Zena Andrus campaign. "He was a great adversary and I appreciate his stepping down to support me in my quest for the role of Supervisor," Mrs. Andrus said after the election was finally finished.

Other Hartsville Town Board winners include Jim Perry (120 votes), Tom Dobell (115 votes). Perry and Dobell defeated Nick Petito and Ron Amidon, both Petito and Amidon recieved 103 votes.

The biggest issue in the Hartsville race is wind energy. Because of the defeat of the pro-wind candidates, it is now uncertain whether or not there will in fact be a wind project for the Town of Hartsville. If there is no wind project in Hartsville, there will be no wind project in Hornellsville.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trouble in Green Paradise: Wind Farm Scams by By Bob Ellis

Environmental activists like to tell us that the “green” movement is a benign, good-willed group of humanitarians who want humanity to be able to live in peace and harmony with our planet, while oil and coal companies are just a bunch of greedy white men in business suits who want to get rich and wreck the planet.

Really? There’s no greed in the environmentalist movement? There’s no greed, scamming, and dishonesty going on there?

Think again. Think again for a long time.

From the Financial Times:

Italian finance police, mounting an operation code named “Gone with the wind”, on Wednesday said they had arrested two of the country’s most prominent businessmen in the wind energy sector.

Police said the charges related to fraud involved in obtaining public subsidies to construct wind farms. They are also investigating the sale of wind farms to foreign companies…

“Gone with the wind”, mounted by the finance ministry’s anti-fraud police, started in 2007 and began by blocking public subsidies worth €9.4m ($14m, £8.4m) granted by the ministry for economic development. Last year police confiscated seven wind farms with 185 turbines in Sicily linked to IVPC.

Anti-Mafia prosecutors in Sicily have launched a parallel investigation. The Financial Times was told in April that a large number of wind farms had been built with public subsidies but had never functioned.

I have nothing against wind power or any other form of clean energy, per se. If a source of effective, clean, renewable energy can be crafted at the same or less cost than fossil fuels, I’m all for it. Unfortunately evidence is mounting that in addition to higher costs with less effectiveness, “green” projects like these are plagued by fraud (perhaps because most of the hot air driving them is based on a fraud?).

With the fossil fuel industry, even if there is some greed, at least we receive a useful product (one you cannot go a day without in our modern world) for a decent price, while “green” energy costs us more, gets us less, and can be a fraudulent enterprise built on a fraudulent claim.

One of those arrested in this scheme in Europe, Oreste Vigorito, is a former partner of Brian Caffyn, a former partner of the Nantucket “Cape Wind” project, according to the European Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

According to the Boston Herald, the American taxpayer and consumer is once again on the short end of the stick with this “green” scam:

In 2006, the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University undertook the most comprehensive review yet of Cape Wind’s public subsidies.

“What we found was quite remarkable,” David Tuerck, the institute’s executive director, said at the time. “Cape Wind stands to receive subsidies worth $731 million, or 77 percent of the cost of installing the project and 48 percent of the revenues it would generate. The policy question that this amount of subsidy raises is whether the project’s benefit is worth the huge public subsidies that the developer gets.”

Even more interesting perhaps is the fact that this project received $115 million in porkulus, er, stimulus funds from the taxpayers, but hasn’t done anything to merit such a–excuse the pun–windfall:

In September, after First Wind affiliates received $115 million in federal stimulus money, U.S. Rep. Eric J. Massa (D-N.Y.) wrote to President Barack Obama, calling the grants “very alarming” and saying the company “abused the public trust.

“No electricity has been produced for sale out of the projects,” but the company “has already collected production rewards for non-existent energy,” Massa told Obama.

But the people pushing wind farms just want to save the planet, right? They aren’t the greedy ones; it’s those evil oil companies (that supply the material for the vast majority of our modern infrastructure including not only gasoline for our cars and to transport our food, but the plastics which virtually everything is made from these days) that are the only nasty profiteers, right?

Perhaps the environmentalist movement isn’t as altruistic as some Leftists environmental advocates would have us believe?

HT: European Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

Thousands of jobs scammed or created by Ben Shapiro

President Obama has repeatedly stated that his stimulus package has "saved or created" hundreds of thousands of jobs. And hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created. In Unicornland.

According to the website – a website that the Obama administration has spent $18 million "stimulating" – millions have been spent and hundreds of jobs have been created in heretofore unknown areas of America: 30 jobs using $761,420 of federal cash in the fictional 15th Congressional District in Arizona (there are only eight congressional districts in Arizona); $19 million in spending and 15 jobs created in mythical districts in Oklahoma; $10.6 million on 39 jobs in invisible Iowan areas; $68.3 million spent in the magical 1st Congressional District of the U.S. Virgin Islands; $35 million spent and 142 jobs created in the glittering fairy-tale kingdom of the 99th district of the Northern Mariana Islands; and the list goes on.

Apparently, somebody messed with Joe.

The biggest problem, amazingly enough, isn't the Obama administration's incredible creation of districts from scratch. It's the Obama administration's use of stimulus funds to pay off its political allies.

On Sept. 11, 2009, Democrat Rep. Eric Massa of the 29th Congressional District of New York – yes, this district actually exists – wrote President Obama a letter regarding the Obama administration's $74.6 million grant to Canandaigua Power Partners, LLC, and Canandaigua Power Partners II, LLC, in Cohocton, N.Y. These companies, according to Massa, "act as shell companies that deceptively operate on behalf of First Wind, which is currently under investigation by New York State Attorney General Cuomo for corruption charges in Cohocton and across the Northeast."

In fact, wrote Massa, "Constituents in our region see these projects as criminal actions … the award of $74.6 million to corrupt companies that have changed names time and again forming new LLCs and new Inc.s but maintaining their business model of lie, cheat and corrupt at the expense of taxpayers has stirred great unrest." Remember, this is a Democratic congressman.

First Wind is a green power company that produces windmills, the giant pieces of idiocy littering our landscapes. Its project in Cohocton, N.Y. – the project Massa rips – was so poorly done originally that residents reported that the turbines sounded like jet engines.

From March 31, 2007, to March 31, 2008, First Wind had revenue of $12 million and net losses of $73 million. Those losses forced First Wind to take out loans in the amount of $191 million. And up until October, the New York attorney general's office was investigating First Wind for its possible participation in bribery of public officials for land-use purposes.

Broke and under investigation. Not exactly a great candidate for stimulus. But that didn't stop the Obama administration. Why? Because First Wind is supported principally by Madison Dearborn Partners and the D.E. Shaw Group.

Madison Dearborn Partners, not coincidentally, is Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's "best source of funds," according to the Washington Examiner. During his congressional career, employees of Madison Dearborn gave Emanuel $93,600. And Emanuel is instrumental in oversight of the stimulus.

As for D.E. Shaw, White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers was paid $5.2 million in 2008 and 2007 by the company – to work for one day a week, according to the New York Times. Also according to the Times, "Summers said in an interview that his experience at Shaw, however brief, gave him valuable insight into the practical realities of Wall Street, insight he is now putting to use in shaping economic policy in the White House."

The Obama administration is so dominated by obfuscatory aureate and magniloquent verbosity that it believes it can get away with literally anything. This administration creates dollars out of thin air to pay fictitious employees in figmental places. It's no wonder that so far, the Obama administration has stimulated precisely nothing in the real world.

Zotos wants to build 330-foot-tall wind turbines

GENEVA — Zotos International Inc. wants to build four 330-foot-tall wind turbines behind its Forge Avenue plant in the city’s industrial park.

Representatives of the hair products manufacturer presented modified plans for the $2.5 million project to the city’s Planning Board Monday night. In August, the company proposed 22 130-foot-tall turbines around the plant, but it was determined that four taller ones could generate more power, company officials said.

Anthony Perdigao, Zotos’ vice president of operations, told planners that the 330-foot-tall turbines would produce a total of 750 kilowatts of electrical power, compared to 150 kilowatts for the 22 shorter ones.

The company hopes the turbines will generate 60 percent of the plant’s power by the end of next year and 100 percent by the end of 2011.

Zotos would then offer the city 5 percent of the power produced, enough for more than 1,000 street lights, Perdigao said.

Planning Board member Larry Campbell said he was glad to see Zotos go for taller turbines and that he supports them as an alternative power source. He also noted that the 330-foot turbines would be as visible as Guardian Glass’s nearby smokestack.

“I thought going higher, you’d be getting more energy,” Campbell said.

Company representatives said studies would address such issues as ambient noise levels, ice throw from the blades and their impact on bats and migratory birds.

They’d be located in an industrial zone, with the closest residences about 1,300 feet to the north.

Pre-Emption Road resident Andrew Flynn told planners he has a number of concerns about the project, including noise levels in his neighborhood, comparing it to having four lawn mowers running constantly near his home.

“You’re trying to promote tourism,” he said, adding that the turbines would never be allowed to be built near the farmers on White Springs Road. “I don’t think this is in the best interest of Geneva. Let’s put it right on the lakefront and let’s everyone see it.”

During a recent visit to a wind turbine site near Rochester, Campbell said, he stood at the base of the tower and heard only a hum.

After the presentation, Planning Board Chairman Jeff Rokow said he wants to see what the community thinks about the project.

The project would have to go through a series of approvals, including the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Federal Aviation Agency and the Federal Communications Commission.

Company officials hope to submit a site plan application for December and that at least one turbine would be in operation by July.