Cohocton Wind Watch: January 2010
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.

READ about the FIRST WIND Connection to the Obama Administration

Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud


Friday, January 29, 2010

The only green thing about wind turbines is the cash in the pockets of the rich

The majority of the money that out-of-state speculators, out-of-country manufacturers and local wind farm lease-signers will receive has been unwillingly donated by American taxpayers and electricity consumers. If the money went instead to inner-city mothers, Appalachian Americans or work-visa-holding immigrants, you folks would be the first to complain. Because the money goes to people in blue suits or people with nice trucks and ball caps, it's just fine. Recipients of this money should get a job.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) funds, renewable energy credits, Cap and Trade, accelerated depreciation and enterprise zones (which allow companies to take private lands by a mechanism similar to eminent domain), are all a part of an inverted Robin Hood scheme. Robin Hood robbed from a rich government to give to an oppressed peasantry. These folks rob from the middle class and poor, and give to the already rich, who in turn contribute to their buddies in government.

Do you have grandchildren? I do not, but in the future when I do they will each be born owing money to China; money that went into the pockets of already-wealthy citizens, oil companies, foreign manufacturers and politicians.

Industrial wind turbine complexes are not green energy. Taking generally from convection currents in the atmosphere has a direct impact on our climate. We are not speaking about some fuzzy computer model, where if we tweak the inputs we can arrive at the desired results. We are talking about each turbine blade removing six-tenths of a megawatt of energy from the convection currents, which are the stabilizers of our planet's temperature. This times three blades to the turbine, 112 turbines to the project, times how many projects?

When the wind blows, coal-fired plants must ramp down to stand-by. When the wind stops, these coal-fired generation plants must immediately ramp up. This has a net harmful effect on emissions.

We will all pay the price for this massive industrial intrusion into our quiet countryside. Let's take some time to count the cost. Big Wind is at your door.

Brett A. Heffner


Governor: Wind farm’s in

Officially, feds must still OK massive Cape project

The fix is in for Cape Wind, the controversial plan to build 400-foot-tall wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, and you can take Gov. Deval Patrick’s word for it.

“We expect to have federal approval in the next few weeks,” Patrick told representatives from major energy and construction firms, including Iberdola, Hunt Oil and Gas and Bechtel Power Corp., a subsidiary of the Big Dig manager.

Patrick was speaking yesterday at a so-called Cape Wind Contractors Convention to businessman who came from as far away as Singapore to hear about how to cash in on the $1.6 billion, publicly subsidized, clean energy project.

The only problem is that, publicly at least, federal approval of Cape Wind is seriously in doubt.

U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar had told all the interested parties that he is weighing the merits of the controversial project, which is opposed by Native Americans as well as many Cape neighbors, and expects to have some sort of resolution by March 1.

In fact, state and federal agencies have recently determined that the 25-mile swath where developer Jim Gordon wants to build 130 wind turbines qualifies as tribal cultural property.

That means the two Wampanoag tribes that oppose Cape Wind are supposed to have a voice in federal deliberations about it.

In an ominous sign to Patrick, Massachusetts voters also just chose Cape Wind critic Scott Brown over Cape Wind supporter Martha Coakley for U.S. Senate.

Brown’s predecessor, interim Sen. Paul D. Kirk - who took over for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, also a project foe - recently fired off an anti-Cape Wind letter to Salazar.

“What truly offends the principles of good governance is the highly irregular and irresponsible way that (the U.S. Mineral Management Service) has behaved throughout the Cape Wind review,” Kirk wrote, referring to the push for federal approval of the project.

Because Cape Wind could receive as much as $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies, the federal government must make sure that the project complies with the law, Kirk said.

But those subsidies weren’t something Patrick, who has accepted political donations from Gordon and other Cape Wind backers, wanted to discuss yesterday.

In fact, details on project costs and the cost of electricity produced by Cape Wind have been hard to come by.

When asked by the Herald if he’s looking out for the taxpayers’ interests in what some critics say is a developer’s boondoggle, Patrick just walked away.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Eastbrook reviews wind power options

Jan. 28--EASTBROOK, Maine -- A handful of local municipal officials and a few residents got an advance look Tuesday night at what kind of effect a large-scale wind farm might have on their town, which has fewer than 400 year-round residents.

One scenario floated at the meeting, which included attorneys and planners representing the town and the firm that hopes to erect the turbines on Bull Hill, included the creation of a community benefit fund that could generate more than $2.5 million for the town over a 20-year period. Another suggestion was the creation of a tax-increment financing district that would earmark a certain percentage of the company's property taxes for economic development projects in town, with the rest being returned to the company for the 20-year term of the agreement.

"This is a big deal for such a small town," Charles Yeo, the town's first selectman, said after he and his fellow town officials met with First Wind representatives to discuss what kind of permitting process and planning schedule they would have to go through if the project were to be approved.

First Wind, which already has a 28-turbine wind farm in Mars Hill and a 38-turbine facility on Stetson Mountain in Washington County, is not sure how many turbines could end up on Bull Hill, according to Dave Fowler, senior land manager for the firm. He declined Wednesday to provide a rough preliminary estimate, but said that the Bull Hill development, if it goes forward, likely would be smaller than either Mars Hill or Stetson Mountain.

Joan Fortin, a Portland attorney who is representing the company's interests in drafting a potential TIF district agreement with the town, told selectmen that the company might be willing to donate to a community benefit fund $5,000 for each of the 25.5 megawatts that might be generated by the facility. If the wind farm had a total capacity of 25.5 megawatts, and if each turbine had a 1.5 megawatt capacity, that would suggest that there would be 17 turbines erected in Eastbrook.

Fowler said that the turbines at Mars Hill and at Stetson Mountain each have a 1.5 megawatt capacity, but he said First Wind is considering larger-capacity turbines for Bull Hill. The capacity range under consideration for each turbine, he said, runs from 1.5 megawatts to 3 megawatts. He said the possible height of the turbines ranges from 386 feet to 470 feet.

Fowler stressed, however, that the company and the town are in the very early planning stages for what kind of project might move forward, if any.

He said wind testing done at the site has been promising so far, but that the company also has to make sure whatever project it can get approval for would be financially viable before it moves ahead. And before it can do so, it has to get all the necessary permits required by Maine Department of Environmental Protection and by the town of Eastbrook.
"We need to know that the town is on board with this project," Fowler said.

Planning board member Charlene Bunker urged the developer to carefully study the issue of noise generated by the turbines as it envisions what kind of project it wants to pursue. A nurse by trade, Bunker said sleep deprivation that might result from turbine noise could lead to more serious health problems.

Fowler said First Wind is required by law to meet certain decibel and distance limits for surrounding houses when it erects and operates turbines.

"We take [the noise issue] very seriously when we site these," Fowler assured Bunker.

Yeo said First Wind has estimated that the overall value of the Eastbrook portion of the wind farm, which would extend into neighboring Township 16, could be about $40 million. But Yeo said he thought that was an overly conservative estimate.

"It will be twice that, or maybe even more," he said.

First Wind representatives are expected to reappear before town officials on Feb. 9, when selectmen are expected to appoint a committee of local residents to consider land use ordinance changes that would be needed for any wind farm on Bull Hill to get local approval. At the same meeting, local officials expect to be briefed about the DEP application review and approval process that First Wind would have to go through.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

High court to hear wind project case

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hear arguments from a Lincoln-based residents group next month on why First Wind of Massachusetts should not be allowed to build a $130 million industrial wind site on Rollins Mountain, officials said Tuesday.

The court will hear arguments in Portland at 1:45 p.m. Feb. 10 both for and against the Maine Board of Environmental Protection’s decision to support the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s permit approval of the proposed 60-megawatt facility in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn in April.

The Friends of Lincoln Lakes group, which opposes the development, is expected to argue, among other things, that:

— The board’s determination that the project met applicable licensing criteria with respect to noise, and would minimize the impact on wildlife habitats, is unsupported by substantial evidence in the record.

— The state law allowing appeals of board decisions to go directly to the state supreme court is unconstitutional.

The group’s attorney, Lynne Williams of Bar Harbor, said she wasn’t surprised that the board reaffirmed the DEP permit approval.

“In documents we have gotten, the state has really shown that it has been of a mind that any noise from one of these [projects] is merely an annoyance, and I think they are doing a real disservice to the people of this state when they do that,” Williams said.

In her 27-page brief filed with the court on Nov. 30, Williams cited notes from an internal conference call at DEP in March, which she acquired as she prepared the group’s appeal, in which the DEP’s own peer reviewer stated that he “has issues with [the] model being used.”

The DEP issued the project a permit despite the reviewer never reconciling his expressed concerns with his ultimate approval of the project, Williams said.

Low-decibel sounds or vibrations are allegedly the primary cause of “wind turbine syndrome,” or “acoustic radiation,” in which people have claimed to suffer symptoms — including nausea, back problems, mood disorders, seizures and heart attacks — due to their proximity to turbines. Strobe effects caused by rotating blades cutting sunlight also contribute, opponents say.

First Wind attorneys and other project supporters say that claims regarding the syndrome are scientifically unsupported. Low-level sound or vibration standards and many scientific peer reviews are part of DEP regulations and low-level vibrations have been studied since the 1960s. Other health agencies, including the U.S. Cen-ters for Disease Control and Prevention, also find no harm associated with the low-level vibrations.

DEP regulations are adequate for wind site reviews, agency officials have said.

The Rollins Mountain project is a 40-turbine industrial wind site proposed for the Rollins Mountain ridgelines in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn.

The friends group contends the turbines would lower land values and threaten human and animal health with light flicker and low-decibel sound; disrupt the pastoral nature of Rollins; and typically generate a fraction of their capacity.

First Wind has argued that its project meets or exceeds all state environmental requirements and that wind turbines have no adverse impact on land values. They say the Lincoln Lakes project would create as much as 60 megawatts of pollution-free electricity in peak winds while helping create many jobs in the area.

Under the state’s fast-track law, Williams has said, the friends group’s appeal must go to the Law Court, a requirement she called unconstitutional, as it denies appellants the opportunity to appeal to lesser courts first.

In October, the Maine Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved awarding a 20-year contract to First Wind Holding LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Evergreen Wind Power III LLC, that would make Rollins Mountain the state’s first wind farm to supply electricity to Central Maine Power Co. and Bangor Hydro-Electric Co., state officials said.

The friends group also has another appeal pending in civil court. The group’s second court action protests the Lincoln Board of Appeals’ refusal to hear the group’s appeal of a permit the Lincoln Planning Board issued to the proposed wind farm.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The 'green' lining developers' pockets

Donald Alexander and the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency have decided to continue their unseemly push for the Galloo Island wind project, lest the developer and his Wall Street friends lose an opportunity to grab another $150 million of taxpayer's money.

Not being satisfied to walk off with only $150 million, the developer demands further concessions from Jefferson County taxpayers in a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement negotiated with the JCIDA. The developer hides behind the "green" cloak, pretending it is doing something wonderful for the environment, while it is really all about the "green" they stuff in their pockets.

Developers speak of "clean energy." The power produced by wind turbines is, however, unpredictable and highly variable. The power is proportional to the cube of wind speed and, thereby, wind's natural variability is magnified. In order to accept wind power and its variable and unpredictable nature, the electric utility must have generating capacity that can ramp up or down quickly to accommodate the variability of wind power, while supplying uniform power to the grid.

The only commonly utilized generators that can accommodate wind's inherent variability are simple-cycle gas turbines. These machines are flexible in output, but at the sacrifice of efficiency, being only 35 percent to 40 percent efficient. If the utility did not have to accommodate wind and its variability, it could utilize combined-cycle gas turbines with an efficiency approaching 60 percent.

The combined-cycle gas turbine, without wind turbines, produces the same amount of power as the simple-cycle turbine augmented by wind turbines, at a fuel saving of at least 14 percent. The use of wind turbines, with their highly variable and unpredictable output, actually increases the usage of fuel and resulting emissions from the system.

The increased usage of fuel when wind turbines are added to the system, plus the added investment for two underutilized power plants — wind typically produces about 25 percent of its rated power and the necessary gas turbine backup produces the other 75 percent will raise electrical rates for residential and commercial users.

Increased electrical rates will make it more difficult to attract or retain real businesses providing lasting employment. Another benefit of the more efficient combined-cycle gas turbine generator is that it can be located where the power is needed without the need for additional distribution lines.

We must ask our county legislators to vote against this blatant giveaway to Wall Street at the expense of Jefferson County residents and businesses.

Albert H. Bowers III


How stimulus saved renewable energy

NEW YORK ( -- On a mountain top 80 miles northeast of Bangor, Maine, in country where houses and gravel pits are mere pinpricks on a map green with forest, Paul Gaynor is making stimulus work.

Gaynor, chief executive of First Wind, is using $40 million in federal funds to help build a wind farm that will produce enough power for 13,000 homes and has created 200construction jobs.

Without stimulus, First Wind's project -- and most renewable energy projects across the country -- may not have happened.

"To us, it's been essential to get through the nuclear winter of financing ability," Gaynor said, referring to the dark days of early 2009 right after the financial collapse. "The recovery act was the bridge that got us from a broken market to one where projects actually get done."

Because of the way tax incentives worked prior to stimulus, few industries were more dependent on Wall Street profits than renewable energy.

Pre-stimulus, renewable energy developments were funded largely by big banks. As an incentive to expand clean, homegrown power, the government offered generous tax credits.

The credit wasn't limited to just big banks, said Ethan Zindler, head of North American research at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a firm that tracks renewable energy investments. But the banks had the money and understood the rules, so they were by far the biggest financiers.

But tax credits only work when you're paying taxes. When Wall Street profits dried up and their tax bill fell, almost all funding for new renewable energy froze up.

"The market for financing large-scale power projects collapsed," said Zindler. "Stimulus fixed that."

Stimulus fixed it by changing the tax credit to an outright government grant worth roughly the same amount.

There is no limit to the amount that can be spent under the grant program, although it is set to expire at the end of this year. The government originally estimated it would cost taxpayers $5 billion.

The Energy Department said that from the start of the program in July though September, the last month for which data is available, over $1 billion has been paid to finance 32 projects nationwide.

It's hard to say for sure how many projects stimulus saved or what the renewable energy industry would look like without it, said Zindler.

In 2009, some 9,000 megawatts of renewable energy was built in this country, he said. The vast majority of that was wind power.

That's just slightly less than 2008, although without stimulus he estimated that maybe only half the 2009 projects would have been built.

Numbers from the American Wind Energy Association suggest that even fewer projects could have gotten built.

In years when Congress let a previous tax credit lapse, investments in wind energy fell by 75%.

That wouldn't bode well for President Obama's stated goal of doubling the country's renewable energy capacity by 2012.

And it wouldn't bode well for companies like First Wind, or anyone hoping to get a job in renewable energy.

The company's Maine project is actually an expansion of an existing $160-million facility right across the street that was completed last year.

First Wind took that tax credit and rolled it right over into the current expansion. Even on a frigid day in January, Gaynor said more than a hundred people are busy on the mountain constructing the new facility.

"It's a beehive of activity up there," he said.

Before 2010 is out, First Wind hopes to construct another 4 to 6 projects -- all partially paid for with stimulus money.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Impact of State RPS’s and the Prospect of a Federal RPS on What Utilities are Doing in Terms of Purchasing the Output of Wind Farms

With 3/5 of the States having Renewable Portfolio Standard in place and the prospect of a Federal RPS, many utilities are seeking to become first time purchasers of the output from wind projects. And utilities with a history of purchasing wind are seeking additional resources. In 2009, the presenters collectively worked on over 40 wind power purchase agreements for projects located throughout the United States, enabling them to present a comprehensive overview of the impact of these developments. A number of first time purchasers have been using the RFP process as a vehicle for educating themselves about wind, and often experience difficulty in translating PPA terms that are appropriate for base load resources into PPA terms that work for intermittent resources like wind. Through various PPA terms, utilities are increasingly seeking to place the risk of non-compliance with the RPS on the wind project developer. These developments can result in PPA terms that are very problematic for the financing of the project. This webinar will explore these recent developments, including issues related to output and availability guarantees, allocation of curtailment risk for long-distance transmission to load, wind integration charges, delay damages, conditions precedent, termination rights and the measure of damages.

Just Energy Purchases Local, Green Power From First Wind's Steel Winds Project in New York

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Just Energy (JE.UN), one of North America's leading energy retailers, is pleased to announce it will enter into a five year power purchase agreement (PPA) to purchase electricity, capacity and Renewable Energy Certificates ("RECs") from First Wind, an independent North American wind energy company. First Wind is a leading developer of wind energy projects and is focused on the development and operation of wind farms in the northeastern and western United States and Hawaii.

Under the agreement, Just Energy will purchase the entire output of capacity and RECs generated from First Wind's Steel Winds I wind energy project, located in Lackawanna, NY. In addition, as part of the agreement, Just Energy will bid and schedule the energy output from Steel Winds I into the NYISO power market. Built on a former Bethlehem Steel site, Steel Winds I is one of the largest urban wind power developments in the United States. Its eight state-of-the-art wind turbines have the rated capacity to generate over 50 million kWh of electric energy annually: enough to power about 9,000 New York homes.

"In the battle against global climate change and given the growing demand for electricity, wind power is becoming a crucial part of North America's long-term energy solution," said Ken Hartwick, Just Energy's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our position as a leading energy retailer accords us with the responsibility to provide an increasing number of environmentally-conscious consumers with clean, renewable energy supply options. Our partnership with First Wind enables us to provide New York energy customers with green electric power from local, clean energy sources."

"We are pleased to enter into this power purchase agreement with Just Energy for the electricity, capacity and RECs from our Steel Winds I facility," said Michael Alvarez, President of First Wind. "The transaction with Just Energy is further proof that the demand for clean energy continues to be a driving force behind the energy needs of the future. We are happy to work with Just Energy to deliver green energy solutions to those customers who desire it."

About Just Energy:

Just Energy is one of North America's leading electricity and natural gas retailers with offices in Canada and the U.S. Through its affiliates under its parent, Just Energy Income Fund, a publicly traded Income Trust (TSX: JE.UN), Just Energy provides over 1.6 million residential, small to mid-sized commercial and small industrial customers with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they are protected from energy price volatility. In addition, through its subsidiary National Home Services, Just Energy sells and rents high efficiency and tankless water heaters, and through its subsidiary Terra Grain Fuels, produces and sells wheat-based ethanol. Just Energy is poised to become an industry leader in providing environmentally responsible energy supply solutions to consumers across North America. Visit Just Energy at

Prattsburgh sets hearing on wind farm moratorium

Prattsburgh, N.Y.

Prattsburgh residents will have an opportunity next month to weigh in on issues surrounding a proposed moratorium on wind development in the town.

Prattsburgh Town Supervisor Al Wordingham said the public hearing set for 6 p.m. Feb. 15 is on the town’s comprehensive plan and a proposal made at the regular board meeting last week to set up a zoning board.

A study of the comprehensive plan and possible land use regulations are expected to be the town’s focus during a proposed six-month ban on any wind development-related matters in Prattsburgh. The ban was given preliminary, 4-1 approval by the board during a special meeting Jan. 7.

Wordingham, and councilmen Anneke Radin-Snaith, Chuck Shick and Steve Kula voted for the proposed moratorium. Councilwoman Stacey Bottoni voted against it.

The public hearing will cap a year of increasing tension and lawsuits as wind farm supporters and skeptics argued the merits of allowing wind development in the town. Complicating the issue were claims by wind developer Ecogen their 16-turbine project was ready for construction in Prattsburgh.

Supporters and critics of new board members took three hours last week to air their views, Wordingham said.

“A lot of people I’ve never met say it’s a great idea to be able to have an open forum,” Wordingham said. “So far, it’s worked pretty well, I think.”

Wordingham said the “open forum” extends to Ecogen, which filed a lawsuit in November against the previous town board.

“If they want to sit down with us and discuss things, well, none of us want to shut the door on an economic opportunity for the town,” Wordingham said. “Their big claim is, ‘We want to be your partner.’ Well, my definition of a partnership is where everybody wins.”

The public hearing will be held at the Fire Hall.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

First Wind calls it quits in Prattsburgh

Prattsburgh, N.Y.

One of two potential wind farm developers in the town of Prattsburgh announced Friday it is abandoning plans to put up nearly 50 turbines in the town.

First Wind spokesman John Lamontagne said lease holders for potential turbine sites have been notified of the firm’s decision, made at the end of December.

Lamontagne said First Wind’s decision to pull out was made after a careful, internal review of pending, “viable” projects.

“We appreciate the support – and there was a lot of support – from the people in Prattsburgh,” Lamontagne said.

First Wind also drew a fair share of critics, particularly after it launched eminent domain procedures via a divided town board. Plagued by the economic downturn during the summer and fall of 2008, the developer announced a yearlong hiatus in 2009, in order to reassess its projects.

First Wind intends to pursue projects this year in Maine, Vermont, Utah and Hawaii, but remains committed to its projects in the town of Cohocton and Lackawanna, Lamontagne said.

He did not rule out the possibility of future development in Prattsburgh, “but we’d be back starting at ground zero, so it would be pretty difficult.”

Lamontagne said the decision to leave was not influenced by the disputes that erupted last year between second developer Ecogen, town residents, and some town board members.

The disputes -- which were driven in part over concerns about excessive noise at First Wind’s operating wind farm in Cohocton -- led to angry charges from both sides, unseated two pro-wind board members in November and resulted in a flurry of lawsuits.

The new town board is now considering a six-month moratorium in order to review its comprehensive plan and possibly set up a zoning board.

Town Councilman Steve Kula wondered if the move would benefit the Ecogen project.

“Does this open up more land, to identify possibly new sites for Ecogen?” he asked.

Kula has advocated for greater setbacks than those currently in place to ensure residents’ health and safety.

“Before, you had two projects squeezed into one small town. First Wind had 50 (turbines),” Kula said. “Now you’ll have one project and more land. I don’t know. But maybe.”

Supervisor Al Wordingham said a First Wind representative left a message, but so far he has not spoken with the developer’s agent.

“All I can say is, after the experience they had in Cohocton, which is less densely populated than Prattsburgh, maybe they just decided this is not a suitable place for any wind farm,” Wordingham said.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

NY Town of Huron Votes "NO" on Offshore Wind

The NYS Town of Huron town board (Wayne County) officially took a position opposing the New York Power Authority's plan for offshore wind farms in Lake Ontario and voted 5 to 0 against it. Huron is a rural lake shore town and NYPA's map indicated the potential for an offshore wind farm off Huron's coast. ALL towns and counties along Lakes Ontario and Erie need to follow Huron's lead and pass similar resolutions to put a halt to NYPA's and Gov. Paterson's threat of industrializing the Great Lakes.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wind PILOT - County should consider negotiating

The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency disregarded county lawmakers in resubmitting for approval the same payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for the Galloo Island wind farm, which lawmakers questioned.

The agency raised expectations that it would revise the PILOT to address growing doubts about the plan when IDA officials withdrew the proposal from consideration at a Board of Legislators meeting earlier this month. Now the same PILOT is back. The JCIDA intends to resubmit the same proposal despite objections that county residents should not provide millions and millions of dollars in tax subsidies.

Lawmakers questioned the 20-year term of the proposed PILOT rather than the standard 15-year plan. Has that changed? No.

The route of the proposed transmission line through parts of southern Jefferson County with the possible use of eminent domain has been in doubt. Has that been resolved? No.

The cost of decommissioning has been raised. Is that part of the PILOT? No.

Legislators requested a uniform PILOT agreement instead of one specifically designed for this project. Is this a policy for all wind power developers? No.

Absolutely nothing changes. The JCIDA offers only promises of more agreements to come on decommissioning and a project development agreement to hire local workers and support county businesses.

Huge local tax subsidies and federal stimulus funds are underwriting the project. The 20-year PILOT proposal gives Upstate NY Power more than $5 million in tax breaks beyond what they would receive in the standard pilot. County taxpayers will pay for that lost revenue. Yet, the JCIDA did not even bother to take Upstate NY Power Corp. up on its offer to accept a shorter 18-year agreement worth another $5 million to the county, town of Hounsfield and Sackets Harbor School District.

In exchange, Upstate stands to receive $150 million in federal stimulus funding if it meets construction schedule guidelines. It will get another $23 million break on mortgage and sales taxes for the wind farm at a loss of $4.5 million to Jefferson County and $5 million to the city of Watertown, towns and villages that could use it to build a street, replenish reserves or hold the line on property taxes.

Contrary to JCIDA claims that the proposed PILOT will be the exception to a uniform policy, it sets a precedent for all other wind power developers to demand the same terms in their PILOT .

The PILOT remains a win for developers exploiting Jefferson County's natural resources at the expense of county residents.

The JCIDA had its chance to negotiate a PILOT that will serve Jefferson County. It did not. Now it's time for the county Legislature to assert more leadership.

We do not object to the wind farm on Galloo Island. However, there should be a standard 15-year PILOT, no sales tax exemption, no mortgage tax exmption, and an underwater route for the transmission line to Oswego County that does not go through some of the best farmland in Jefferson County.

The Legislature should make clear those terms for a PILOT and then let JCIDA reach an agreement, or better yet take over the negotiations.

Are wind developers turning off the generators when hosting site visits?

There has been much discussion lately about industrial wind power on Vermont’s mountains. The Lempster, N.H., turbine site is often used as an example of a typical wind tower site, especially after Green Mountain Power’s Dec. 5 bus trip for Lowell residents.

I am a Vermont resident, but I have an insider’s perspective of the Lempster site. I own two pieces of land on Lempster Mountain, one of which has been in my family for over 70 years.

There are 12 turbines in Lempster, but because they are artfully sited on a mountain with a wide top, most of them appear to be tucked into the terrain instead of strung along a steep ridge in an intimidating line, like marching metal monsters from War of the Worlds. Because of how they are sited and the rolling terrain, it is difficult to see more than a handful of these towers from most viewsheds in Lempster.

I was in Lempster on Dec. 5 when Lowell area residents were visiting the site. During the entire time I was there, the blades of the turbines were most likely free-wheeling (not generating electricity) in the gentle breeze. When a turbine is free-wheeling it hardly makes any noise, and the blade tips are only barely bent backwards, such as was the case that day. I recently read a comment from one of the Dec. 5 bus riders, expounding on how quiet wind turbines are, based on what he heard that day.

Oh, I wish it were true.

When turbine blades are spinning in an average decent wind, the tips of these blades are moving at about 180 miles per hour and are bent back severely because of resistance to the wind. This resistance to the wind, plus the high speed of the tips, causes turbulence, which creates noise. The noise sounds like that of a stiff wind when one stands only a couple hundred yards away from the towers. But when one stands at a spot ½-mile to over 2 miles away, the sound is a low, dull, penetrating, throbbing series of never-ending pressure waves—hour after hour, day and night, sometimes for days on end, like Chinese water torture.

The Lempster turbines have been operating for about a year now. While I was hunting there this year, I noticed that I didn’t need a compass to orient myself in the deep, dark woods 2½ miles away so long as the turbines were throbbing.

On Dec. 5, I talked to two people who work for the town of Lempster. They told me that people are grieving their taxes because of noise. They also told me that the wind company has turned from being Mr. Friend before the project to being Mr. Foe now. The company is contesting the town’s assertion that the company’s massively heavy machinery caused road damage.

Will Vermont learn from the experiences of others? Not if people don’t have the facts. I submitted this piece to the Burlington Free Press two times and they never even contacted me.

Bert Bowers January 22, 2010 Letter to the Editor - Galloo Island

Donald Alexander and the JCIDA have decided to continue their unseemly push for the Galloo Island wind project, lest the developer and his Wall Street friends lose an opportunity to grab another $150 million of taxpayer’s money. Not being satisfied to walk off with only $150 million, the developer demands further concessions from Jefferson County taxpayers in a PILOT negotiated with the JCIDA. The developer hides behind the “green” cloak, pretending it is doing something wonderful for the environment, while it is really all about the “green” they stuff in their pockets.

Developers speak of “clean energy.” The power produced by wind turbines is, however, unpredictable and highly variable. The power is proportional to the cube of wind speed and, thereby, winds natural variability is magnified. In order to accept wind power and its variable and unpredictable nature, the electric utility must have generating capacity that can ramp up or down quickly to accommodate the variability of wind power, while supplying uniform power to the grid.

The only commonly utilized generators that can accommodate wind’s inherent variability are simple-cycle gas turbines. These machines are flexible in output, but at the sacrifice of efficiency, being only 35-40% efficient. If the utility did not have to accommodate wind and its variability, it could utilize combined-cycle gas turbines with an efficiency approaching 60%. The combined-cycle gas turbine, without wind turbines, produces the same amount of power as the simple-cycle turbine augmented by wind turbines, at a fuel saving of at least 14%. The use of wind turbines, with their highly variable and unpredictable output, actually increases the usage of fuel and resulting emissions from the system!

The increased usage of fuel when wind turbines are added to the system, plus the added investment for two underutilized power plants – wind typically produces about 25% of its rated power and the necessary gas turbine backup produces the other 75% will raise electrical rates for residential and commercial users. Increased electrical rates will make it more difficult to attract or retain real businesses providing lasting employment. Another benefit of the more efficient combined-cycle gas turbine generator is that it can be located where the power is needed without the need for additional distribution lines.

We must ask our County Legislators to vote against this blatant giveaway to Wall Street at the expense of Jefferson County residents and businesses.

Albert H. Bowers III

Chaumont, NY

Officials snubbed advisers' warnings about wind farm

SUNBURY — Two separate Northumberland County boards of commissioners were cautioned since 2006 by three legal advisers about “shortcomings” in a Sunbury firm’s wind farm proposal.

At issue is the land-lease agreement between the county and Penn Wind, a 29-year deal that is in the midst of being renewed and has been in jeopardy for months.

The two sides are hoping to keep the project afloat and plan to meet early next week.

Commissioner Vinny Clausi, who has loudly voiced his displeasure with the financial details and discrepancy about the amount of land involved, and Commissioner Kurt Masser said they’re optimistic about reaching an agreement.

Since 2007, the county has been leasing land in Coal and East Cameron townships to the company for $1 a year, with an agreement that the county would receive $56,000 a year once the site begins generating wind energy.

Late last week, Penn Wind CEO Justin Dunkelberger revealed the company’s intention to sell the lease to an unidentified California company for $1 million and allow it to set up wind turbines on the land.

Masser said he was surprised to learn an outside company might be stepping in, but said he’s willing to work with any business that’s able to bring jobs and revenue to the county.

“I want to do what’s right for the taxpayer,” he said, agreeing that the county should reap more financially from the project.

Masser played down the impact of political contributions he received from Penn Wind representatives during the 2007 election, including $600 from James Garman and $500 from Chris Purdy, both of Sunbury, and $100 from Dunkelberger, of Northumberland.

“If I was pushing to get (the deal) done, it might be an issue,” Masser said. “But I’ve been saying all along that we should put our concerns on the table and lay out what we want.”

He said that will likely occur when commissioners return to the negotiating table with Penn Wind next week.

And, Masser said, “Unless everyone can agree to the terms, I won’t vote for it.”

Even before the first contract was signed in 2007, then-county solicitor Guy Schlesinger raised questions about whether the county would receive its fair share. The former board, headed by Samuel Deitrick, along with Masser and Frank Sawicki, went ahead with the contract to lease about 500 acres for $1 a year until a 23-acre site is developed.

In 2008, solicitor Hugh Jones wrote to the commissioners recommending the contract not be signed.

He cited “shortcomings” in the deal cited by former planning Director Steve Bartos, including the lack of provisions for giving the county a percentage of the wind energy revenue and failure to place a limit on how long Penn Wind can lease the property at $1 a year without developing the site.

Despite the concerns addressed by Jones, the current board — Sawicki, Masser and Vinny Clausi — signed the deal for another year.

Assistant solicitor Kymberley Best added her concerns about the project last week in a letter in which she described the contract as “disadvantageous” to the county.

On Friday, three days after Best’s letter was written, the commissioners learned that Penn Wind planned to sell its lease and allow an outside company to develop the site.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

DOE Releases Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory today released a major study of the technical, operational, and economic issues facing the integration of large amounts of wind energy into the power system. The Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS), the largest study of its kind conducted in the United States to date, evaluates the future operational and integration impacts of up to 30% wind energy penetration into the power system in the study year 2024. The study encompasses the majority of the utilities in the Eastern Interconnection. The study also includes a high-level analysis of transmission needed to deliver the wind energy to load centers and a cursory analysis of carbon pricing impacts.

The study consists of three main parts: a wind resource assessment and wind plant siting study, a transmission study, and a wind integration study. The results of the study show that:

•There are no fundamental technical barriers to the integration of 20% wind energy into the electrical system, but transmission planning and system operation policy and market development need to continue to evolve in order for these penetration levels to be achieved;
•Without transmission enhancements, substantial curtailment of wind generation would be required for all of the 20% wind penetration scenarios;
•Interconnection-wide costs for integrating large amounts of wind generation are manageable with large regional operating pools, because increasing the geographic diversity of wind power projects in a given operating pool generally makes the aggregated wind power output more predicable and less variable, while also reducing the variation in load and increasing the number of generation assets that can be committed and dispatched;
•Although the costs of aggressive expansion of the existing grid are significant, they make up a relatively small piece of the total annual power system costs in any of the scenarios studied;
•Wind generation displaces carbon-based fuels, directly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Emissions continue to decline as more wind generation is added to the energy supply; and
•Reduced expenditures on fossil fuel costs more than pay for the increased costs of transmission in all wind scenarios.

For more information about DOE's work on incorporating increasing amounts of wind energy into the power system while maintaining reliable grid operations, see the Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program's Renewable Systems Interconnection page.

DOE is sponsoring a similar study that is examining the integration of both wind and solar energy into part of the Western Interconnection. The Western Wind and Solar Integration Study will evaluate issues similar to EWITS and is scheduled for completion in mid-2010.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

State subsidies could impact wind energy PILOT

Herkimer, N.Y.

A recent announcement that the proposed Hardscrabble wind farm is eligible to receive government subsidies may impact the amount of money local taxing jurisdictions receive from the project, county officials said.

State officials have said they are unable to provide how much the Hardscrabble project may receive, but they did say it is one of five clean energy projects splitting $96 million. The funds are part of a total of $300 million pledged for clean energy production.

County officials want to know how these additional funds will affect a payment in lieu of taxes agreement, which sets how much a company pays to those affected by the project.

Patrick Russell, county Finance Committee chair, said “due diligence” requires looking into how the state money could affect any PILOT agreement.

County Finance Committee members last week proposed hiring a consultant to provide advice on the issue. The legislature will address the resolution at its meeting Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Steven Levine, of Encap Development LLC, had previously acted as consultant to the county on an original PILOT resolution in November 2008. Levine could not be reached for comment Monday.

Russell said he anticipates re-hiring the same consultant at an estimated cost of nearly $5,000. The services mainly involve providing advise on the potential fluctuations in the energy market, he added.

The 2008 resolution set a payment from energy companies to taxing jurisdictions of $8,000 per megawatt produced by wind energy projects. The county, towns of Fairfield, Norway and Little Falls and West Canada Valley school district would each share a portion of nearly $600,000 annually, based on the Hardscrabble project’s 37 turbines producing 2-megawatts each. Over a 20-year agreement, as has been proposed, the project could generate $11.8 million in PILOT revenues.

But now that state officials are promising subsidies for the company, only once energy production begins, a PILOT agreement may have to reflect the impact government funds would have on the project and energy market.

What’s Next:

If a PILOT agreement is reached in principle with the company Atlantic Wind LLC (a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables), the county Industrial Development Agency must hold a public hearing prior to approval.

WindTamer Corporation Announces Installation of Wind Turbine at Perry-Warsaw, NY Airport

WindTamer Corporation ("WindTamer" or the "Company"), (OTCBB: WNDT) a developer and manufacturer of a patented new wind turbine technology, announced today that it has completed the installation of one of its wind turbines at the Perry-Warsaw Airport, a public general aviation airport located 3 miles northwest of the village of Perry in Wyoming County, New York. The Airport, which covers 158 acres and has two runways, is operated by the towns of Perry and Warsaw.

The installation of the WindTamer turbine required approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which was received in 2009.

Gerald E. Brock, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WindTamer, said that FAA approval was received after WindTamer and the Airport demonstrated to the FAA's satisfaction that the turbine would not interfere with radar and radio signals, affect wildlife or otherwise impact the operation of the airport or the surrounding community, among other things. He added that because the WindTamer turbine is less than 40 feet high it will not create any aviation problems.

"Receiving FAA approval to install our turbine at a general aviation airport is a significant event for WindTamer," said Mr. Brock. "The FAA is actively encouraging airports to look at 'green' alternatives as a means of reducing carbon emissions and reducing energy costs. Large airports with thousands of people passing through them every day are like mini-cities, with their own costs and environmental concerns. We think airports will be a significant market for WindTamer going forward."

According to Ralph Thompson, Manager of the Airport Planning & Environmental Division of the Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA has embarked on a pilot program with some airports designed to develop ways to reduce energy consumption and encourage reduction of greenhouse gasses. Mr. Thompson said that the FAA may step up such programs in the future, and may eventually assist airports in funding greener initiatives. "The FAA is definitely looking for ways to make airports more environmentally-friendly," he said.

Charles Bell, Manager of the Perry-Warsaw Airport, said that, "We view the installation of the WindTamer turbine as a very positive thing in several respects. Our airport is located at one of the windiest points in our area, so we expect a dramatic reduction in our energy costs. And we like the idea of doing something to be more environmentally friendly. We also think that this will be a nice showcase for WindTamer, because as people pass through our airport they will see an exciting new technology in operation firsthand."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Turbine foes seek new regs

The Western Catskill Preservation Alliance is asking the towns of Roxbury and Stamford to increase wind turbine setbacks to a minimum of 1,300 feet in town laws related to wind turbines, WCPA President Ron Karam said in a media release.

WCPA attorney Peter Henner has formally requested that the towns revisit the ordinances governing the placement of Industrial Wind Turbines based on setback requirements defined by Vestas, the manufacturer of the V90 turbines being proposed for the Invenergy project.

Invenergy was expected to submit its Final Environmental Impact Statement by the end of the year, but there was no mention of the document being submitted at the Stamford Town Board meeting on Monday, according to a spokeswoman at the Stamford Town Clerk's Office.

Invenergy spokesman Eric Miller said Friday that the company plans to have the FEIS completed within the month, but before it can be submitted to the Roxbury Planning Board, the town's engineer must approve it.

Miller said the FEIS has been delayed by several additional studies that were required after the comment period. The studies included bird studies and concerns with access roads, among other things, he said.

Miller said the setback regulations have been looked at very closely. He said Roxbury and Stamford require larger setbacks than many municipalities.

According to Karam, the "Safety Regulations for Operators and Technicians _ V90-3.0MW Turbines" manual published by Vestas and included in the Stamford Application and Draft Environmental Impact Statement is the safety manual for the V90 turbines being proposed for the project. The document states: "Do not stay within a radius of 400m (1300ft) from the turbine unless it is necessary."

The Roxbury wind ordinance requires that a turbine be placed 1.5 times the height of the turbine from a neighboring property line, Karam said. In Stamford, the setback is 1,000 feet to a property line.

"This is pure and simple an environmental safety issue that needs to be addressed by the towns," Karam said. "As new and relevant information becomes available about industrial wind turbines, the ordinances should be updated accordingly to protect its citizens."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Expert scientist: Wind turbines produce worrisome low frequency noise (USA and UK)

“I am a professional consultant engineer, and my company is based in the United Kingdom,” begins Dr. Malcolm A. Swinbanks in his letter to the Michigan Public Service Commission, “but fourteen years ago I was asked to come to the US to lead an advanced research project for the Office of Naval Research. My American wife & I now live in Port Hope, Michigan. During the course of my career, I became a consultant to many different companies and research organizations on a wide variety of problems related to unsteady dynamics, noise, vibration, shock and acoustics.

“I have worked personally with both Professor J.E. Ffowcs-Williams, and Dr. H.G. Leventhall, two of the foremost UK acousticians. Twenty to 30 years ago, I worked directly in collaboration with both on several low-frequency noise installations, thus gaining first-hand experience of the problems associated with low-frequency noise and infrasound. My actual time-on-site addressing low-frequency noise probably well exceeds either”—Malcolm A. Swinbanks, PhD

“Low frequency noise can induce feelings of discomfort and nausea, not unlike seasickness. Like seasickness, the sensitivity of different individuals varies enormously, some being immediately sensitive, while others can barely detect anything.

“I have stood beside two people on a site where low-frequency noise was present. One person said ‘I can’t really hear anything.’ The other said ‘I feel ill. I should like to leave.’ Both were reporting accurately; there can often be more than 12dB difference (a factor of 4) in the sensitivity of individuals to low-frequency noise. Given that for very low frequencies, 12dB represents the difference between just audible, and uncomfortably loud, it is clear that very real problems are experienced by some individuals, while others remain largely unaffected.

“It is important to emphasize that there does not yet appear to be a full understanding of how to assess low-frequency wind-turbine noise.

“So it is difficult to understand how it can be argued emphatically that there is no problem, when it is clearly reported that significant ambiguity still remains in assessing these effects.” (Click here for full text, posted with the author’s permission.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Usual Suspects Persist In New York Development

North American WindPower magazine featured an article on the current state of New York State’s wind industry, cogently penned by the magazine’s editor, Mark Del Franco. (Disclosure: this blogger was interviewed for the article.) - Wind Power Law Blog


Developers around the world are buzzing about New York's plan for Great Lakes wind farms, NYPA head says

Syracuse, NY -- The New York Power Authority’s plan for offshore wind turbines in the Great Lakes is drawing “huge interest” from developers all over the world, the head of the authority said Thursday.

NYPA is seeking proposals for 100 or more windmills in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario to generate up to 500 megawatts of electricity. Advantages will go to bidders who agree to manufacture windmill parts in Upstate New York.

“It’s not just a renewable energy project,” Richard Kessel, president and chief executive officer of the power authority, said Thursday in a meeting of The Post-Standard’s editorial board. “It's a job creator. It could make New York state the center for manufacturing of offshore wind components if we get in there right away.”

A Great Lakes wind farm could be the first in North America, unless Cape Wind beats it to the punch. A decision on whether the 420-megawatt project off Cape Cod can go forward is due by April.

Responses to the power authority’s request for proposals are due June 1. “We will select a developer by the end of the year,” Kessel declared.

Offshore wind faces three broad challenges, he said: economics, construction in the water, and aesthetics. The third — how the wind turbines look — is the most difficult to overcome, Kessel said.

Opposition to wind development is building in communities bordering Lake Ontario, from Galloo Island to Cape Vincent to the Thousand Islands. Some residents feel the North Country is becoming a giant wind factory, to the detriment of tourism and wildlife.

“There’s enough area in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario to put this away from people who don’t want it,” Kessel said. “If people don’t want it in their area, they’re not going to get it.”

While in Syracuse Thursday, Kessel met with the Manufacturers Association of Central New York to discuss Power for Jobs, the state program through NYPA that reduces electricity rates for manufacturers.

Randall Wolken, president of MACNY, said they agreed the program should be authorized for a longer term, instead of annually, so that businesses can plan ahead. They also want the Legislature to allow new companies to take power allocations given up by companies that left the state or went out of business.

“A significant number of companies would like to . . . get into the program,” Wolken said. “We do know there’s a need.”

Kessel said companies that get a power subsidy in exchange for keeping or creating jobs should not be expected to keep those promises in this difficult economy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Critics say this is a conflict of interest

It is not really news since the facts released this week by EVERPOWER were well known but this is the official confirmation that four of the five board members in the Town of Howard have contracts with the wind company and will personally gain financially from installation of the controversial wind turbines.

According the EVERPOWER, town board members Robert Palmer, Bill Hatch, and Lowell Smith all have contacts with the company that means they will be paid by the wind power company. This has raised cries of conflict of interest and even corruption by opponents of the wind project who say they will suffer while the very officials who approved the project will gain financially. It is now reported that Board Member Jeff Gardner has been offered a contract for use of his land for a line to the turbines. However, Gardner says he is not certain what he will do and has not signed any agreement.

CORRECTION: Wednesday we identified Jack Bossard as having an agreement with EVERPOWER and being on the Town Board. He does have an agreement but Bossard actually serves on the Planning Board.

In addition to the board members named by EVERPOWER, a planning board members Dale Smith, is also mentioned as one who will receive money. Two other Planning Board members are also said to be connected to the wind project. They are Wesley Coots and Gary Hosmer.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More windmills planned for Bethlehem site

First Wind, the Massachusetts-based company behind the Steel Winds project, plans to build six more wind turbines this year at the old Bethlehem Steel site.

Without providing a time frame, First Wind spokesman John Lamontagne said, “Our goal is to be able to install six new ones this year, and they would be the same kind that stand there now.”

Each of the eight windmills that dot the Lackawanna-Lake Erie shoreline stand nearly 400 feet tall and generate 2.5 megawatts of power. The additional six, Lamontagne said, would add 15 megawatts of power, and be built just south of the existing ones, with two in Lackawanna and four in Hamburg.

Lamontagne said First Wind is well along in the permitting process, and finalizing details of a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement, since the project is tax-exempt. He added that these factors are among those that make it difficult to provide a timetable when construction would begin on the new ones.

Lackawanna Mayor Norman Polanski said the PILOT will total around $10,000 per megawatt, or $50,000 annually to the city. Hamburg, he said, would receive $100,000.

A phone message for Hamburg supervisor Steven Walters was not returned.

Polanski said First Wind currently pays $100,000 annually to Lackawanna for the eight original turbines that generate 20 megawatts of power, as well as its share of buzz.

He expects more of the same when the next six are built. And like Lamontagne, said it’s too early to provide a construction start date.

“People are impressed by these, and if we put six more up, I can’t imagine how many phone calls we’ll get,” Polanski said.

Over the last two years, Lamontagne said repairs were made to the turbines. Specifically, gear boxes needed fixing and some blades needed to be strengthened and required reinforcing.

“Any issues the turbines were experiencing have been addressed and are not an issue,” Lamontagne said.

Jan 2010 Hammond Town Board Meeting Introducing Local Laws for Moratorium and Land Use

(Click to view the video)

Hammond Town Supervisor Bertram introduces two local laws and sets a public hearing date for both. Local Law #1 allows the board to enforce land use regulations with a majority vote while Local Law #2 proposes a 6-month moratorium on wind development and prevents any applications for projects from being accepted.


As a colonial-rooted Cape Cod native who firmly believes in the sanctity of our maritime heritage, I am writing to ardently express my steadfast support for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. Based upon sensible logic, data and reasoning, I am also conversely opposed to the controversial Cape Wind Project which seeks to despoil and rob us of the pristine nautical legacy bestowed by our forefathers. As a result of the likely profound damaging regional financial, ecological and public safety consequences Cape Wind would wrought upon us all, it should not be allowed to proceed forward to fruition.

The project poses a cogent danger to essential air and sea navigation. Siting the project in Nantucket Sound is a breach of the public trust. Contrary to their sham claims, the cost of the electricity which the project will produce would not be cheap or competitive. It would be an unbearable fiscal burden hoisted upon us without our sanction or consent. Furthermore, it will represent a deleterious local economic blow by it's absconding of undeserved taxpayer-funded subsidies, forced real estate devaluations, and lost revenues from commercial and tourism activities. The proposed one hundred thirty wind turbines will perpetually cause unsightly visual contamination and distressing noise pollution. Finally, Cape Wind will unnecessarily endanger a critical marine and wildlife habitat.

Off-shore deep water wind has surfaced as a cost-effective and technologically feasible option in lieu of the Nantucket Sound situated Cape Wind Project. Cape Wind has chosen a location which possesses countless expenses as well as hazards to public safety, the marine environment, and the local economy. Deeper-water sites offer more powerful winds and the advantages of clean renewable energy without surrendering the irreplaceable natural beauty of Nantucket Sound.

More distantly sited off-shore locations guarantee the advantages of clean wind power without many of the harmful effects of close-shore siting. Furthermore, there would be little harmful impact upon air and marine navigational safety and local tourist-based economies.

In 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) estimated a total off-shore wind energy resource of over 1000 GW. The potential for deep water locations greater than 30 m (or 100 feet) is enormous. Approximately ninety percent of the off-shore wind potential in the United States resides in deep water.

With the aforesaid thoughtful rationales in mind, along with the inherently unfair and inequitable nature of the proposed Cape Wind Project itself, it must not become a reality which will forever doom our children and grandchildren to a ghastly socially inhumane legacy.

Ron Beaty
West Barnstable, MA

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Final Decision on Cape Wind Expected After Wednesday Meeting With Interior Secretary Salazar

Hill: Confident of Outcome After 9 Years of Review, All Questions Answered; 86 Percent of State Residents Support Nation's First Wind Park, Including Many Stakeholders Not at Salazar Meeting.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the eve of a meeting Wednesday (January 13, 2009) on the Cape Wind clean energy project with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Clean Power Now Executive Director Barbara Hill issued the following statement:

"The long-delayed start to the Cape Wind project is now within sight.

After nine years of painstaking and transparent review and extensive public participation under the auspices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Minerals Management Service, the verdict is clear: Federal environmental impact reviews have all concluded that the Cape Wind project will provide significant public interest benefits in terms of clean energy with what are only minor to negligible impacts.

We commend Secretary Salazar for avoiding further delays by convening this meeting in order to move Cape Wind to a final decision point. With the Salazar-imposed deadline of March 1st to conclude the ongoing Section 106 consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act, a favorable Record of Decision for Cape Wind should follow shortly after this week's meeting.

I want to emphasize that the nature of the Section 106 consultation process is such that it is necessarily 'stacked' and not representative of the significant public support that Cape Wind has to build the project on Horseshoe Shoals in Nantucket Sound.

As such, Secretary Salazar will not be hearing at the meeting from the many tens of thousands of Cape Wind supporters including: the 86 percent of Massachusetts residents who favor Cape Wind (see link to survey results below); MA Climate Action Network; Cape & Islands Self Reliance; Clean Water Action; Environmental League of Massachusetts; Civil Society Institute;; American Lung Association - Massachusetts Chapter; Cape Clean Air; Boston Urban Asthma Coalition; Greenpeace; Conservation Law Foundation; Natural Resources Defense Council; Union of Concerned Scientists; Healthlink and many others. (See a link to a fuller list of supporters below.)

Moving ahead on Cape Wind will send a powerful and unmistakable message that the United States is no longer content to lag behind the rest of the world in using wind power to create new jobs, foster energy independence and reduce this nation's carbon footprint.

Cape Wind will concretely advance the Obama Administration's stated objectives in addressing the challenges of climate change while promoting energy security and economic development. Following this lengthy and rigorous review, approval of the Cape Wind project also will send a critical message to the clean energy sector and will help lay the strongest possible foundation for offshore wind energy development in the United States."


Cape Wind is poised to be the United States' first offshore wind park. The project involves 130 wind turbine towers in Horseshoe Shoals, a shallow area in the federal waters of Nantucket Sound, and would produce enough clean power for 75 percent of the Cape & Islands energy needs.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wind Energy Industry Acknowledgement of Adverse Health Effects

Howard EverWind Project Disclosure

EverPower Wind Holdings, Inc.’s (EverPower Rnewables) Report of Municipal Officials known to have a financial interest in Property Identified for Wind Farm Development Prior to August 19th, 2009


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Steel Winds project will add six windmills

Six new windmills will be built on the old Bethlehem Steel site this year, and the state is announcing plans to study construction of other windmills — although smaller — at local Thruway interchanges.

First Wind, the company behind the Steel Winds project at the former Bethlehem Steel site, plans to build four new turbines on the Hamburg side of the site and two more in Lackawanna, according to First Wind spokesman John Lamontagne.

“We hope to build sometime this year, I couldn’t tell you when,” Lamontagne said.

The new towers will be about 240 feet tall, and with the blades, the windmills will be about 400 feet tall, Lamontagne said. They are the same as the eight turbines that the company operates along the Lackawanna shoreline. Problems encountered two years ago with the gearboxes and blades have been addressed, he said.

“They’re running fine and operating well,” Lamontagne.

Frontier Central School District and the Town of Hamburg will split most of the payments for the turbines.

While the project is tax exempt, First Wind agreed to a payment in lieu of taxes of $10,000 for each megawatt generated by the turbines, Hamburg Supervisor Steven J. Walters said.

“We don’t know the figures of what we’re going to get because nothing’s been built yet,” he said.

First Wind’s payment in lieu of taxes will be divided among Erie County, the town and the school district. Walters said he expects the county to receive between 5 percent and 10 percent.

“It’s now our responsibility to reach out to the county and work out with the county what their percentage will be,” Walters said.

After the county takes its share, the town will receive 51.5 percent, and Frontier schools will get 48.5 percent of the remainder under an agreement between Hamburg and the school district.

He said the town will receive the largest percentage because most of the regulation and monitoring of the turbines will fall to the town.

Meanwhile, the Thruway Authority announced Friday it will seek proposals from the wind turbine industry to assess the feasibility of constructing “medium-sized” windmills at six Thruway sites in Western New York.

The idea is to determine if the authority could generate power from the machines to sustain many of its own operations and possibly sell excess power back to the grid, spokeswoman Betsy Graham said.

“We think this goes a long way to offset our utility costs, and in turn, protect and enhance the environment,” she said.

The interchanges under study for turbines are Batavia, Eden-Angola, Silver Creek, Dunkirk, Westfield and Ripley.

Graham said the proposed turbines are not as big as those n the Bethlehem Steel site and will be appropriately sized for the Thruway properties at the exits. She said the studies will also determine if wind velocity at the six sites is strong enough to sustain the proposed turbines. It is expected the authority will make a final decision on the idea this summer, Graham added.

“The Thruway Authority is eager to hear from the wind power development industry as to how it can work towards a more sustainable environment and making New York a greener state, benefiting all New Yorkers,” said Thruway Executive Director Michael R. Fleischer.

The plan is also part of Gov. David A. Paterson’s objective of meeting 45 percent of the state’s electricity needs through energy efficiency and renewable energy.

“Last month, I accepted the State Energy Plan which provides a detailed road map for achieving this clean energy target, and one of the recommendations is to inventory state-owned land that is suitable for renewable energy development,” Paterson said. “I commend the Thruway Authority for acting so swiftly to help us implement this piece of the State Energy Plan.”

Saturday, January 09, 2010

First Wind Holdings Inc. - FORM S-1/A - December 22, 2009

Cohocton Wind Watch will devote an ongoing series and extensive factual evidence that the second attempt by First Wind to issue an IPO is based upon fraud and pattern of misrepresentations. The public needs to demand that the SEC conduct a comprehensive investigation into the questionable business practices of First Wind.

SEC First Wind IPO Link

Bert Bowers January 8, 2010 Letter to NYS DEC

January 8, 2010

Mr. Stephen Tomasik, Project Manager
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 4th Floor
Albany, New York 12233-1750

Re: Proposed Galloo Island Wind Turbine Project - Environmental Impact

Dear Mr. Tomasik:

I had written to you and spoken to you on several occasions about my concerns about sounds from the turbines proposed for Galloo Island affecting residents on the mainland, particularly on Point Peninsula in the Town of Lyme. Point Peninsula is closer to Galloo than any other part of the mainland and it is also downwind from the Island with the westerlies that prevail in the area.

I have reviewed the acoustic study dated October 8, 2009 prepared by Tech Environmental, Inc. of Waltham, Massachusetts. This study makes use of the old wind developer dodge, claiming essentially that when there is sufficient wind to activate the turbines, the wind and wave noise will be sufficient to mask turbine noise. This is not true. The worst case is that of a stable atmospheric condition where the wind at the surface is still, yet there is enough wind at turbine blade height to activate the turbines.

In addition to reviewing the paper myself, I gave copies to Clif Schneider, who has researched and written extensively on this “stable atmosphere” phenomenon, and also Chuck Ebbing, who is a retired acoustical engineer and has taught acoustics at RPI. I have attached a copy of Clif’s paper for your review.

Chuck Ebbing sent the report back to me with a number of notes in the margin, but the most telling note was one that said if a student at RPI had handed in this study “he would have flunked acoustics and English.”

Tech Environmental simply assumes an ambient sound level at each of several points on the mainland of 50.7 dB and concludes the turbine sound would be masked. The typical nighttime ambient in a rural area such as Point Peninsula can be expected to be in the range of 25 dBA. In this environment, the predicted turbine noise of 32.5 dBA would not only be heard, but could be quite obtrusive.

Sound will carry with little attenuation on quiet nights from Galloo to the nearby points on the mainland, including Point Peninsula (Lyme) and Pillar Point (Brownsville) as well as Henderson. Transmission to these points will be entirely across the water, or in the winters across ice in the direction of the prevailing winds. The nearest points of land are only about five miles from Galloo. I had previously recommended to you that noise studies should consider the condition of a stable atmosphere where the winds at ground level are still, but the turbines are operating in the steady winds at higher elevations. The sound levels should be predicted for the shoreline of the Lake on both the A and C decibel scales. Unless predicted sound levels fall within 5 dBA of the ambient nighttime levels on the lakeshore, the sound levels generated by the Galloo project may be unacceptable, and cause sleep deprivation, to the residents of those areas. The study produced by Tech Environmental is not a satisfactory answer to the questions asked.

I would ask you to consider why a person would build, on the shore of Point Peninsula, a home looking out on the Lake, which is an hour’s drive from the nearest store. It can only be that the owner puts a very high premium on peace and quiet. The installation of industrial wind turbines on Galloo removes the peace and quiet as well as the pristine view and substantially devalues the home site without notice or compensation to the homeowner. This is wrong.


Albert H. Bowers III, Co-Chair
The Coalition for the Preservation of the Golden Crescent and the Thousand Islands

Friday, January 08, 2010

NYPA and the Despicable Oswego 11/13/09 Offshore Wind Project Presentation

The slides give details of what the NYPA has in store to industrialize Lakes Ontario and Erie and should be of grave concern to all lake shore property owners and businessmen and are the same slides presented at Oswego on 11/13/09. You can help the fight against this horrible offshore wind project by passing this info along to your town boards, other county and state elected officials, neighbors, friends, business associates, yacht clubs, fishing groups, etc. that would oppose this project.

(Click to view the slides)

Enfield gets wind farm application

ENFIELD -- Seven years after developer John Rancich first floated the idea of constructing a commercial energy enterprise near Connecticut Hill and a year after the Enfield Town Board passed a controversial wind law outlining guidelines that would allow him to do so, an application for a 20-turbine wind farm along Black Oak Road is finally ready for consideration.

The application, filed by Rancich last month on behalf of his Enfield Energy company, calls for the erection of up to 20 three-bladed, 425-foot turbines, as well as an electrical substation, collection system, pad-mounted transformers and compacted gravel service road, on a project area spread over 925 acres.

The hefty document contains detailed proposals by contractors The Delaney Group as well as easement schedules and supplemental environmental studies.

It has already been reviewed by town consultants, who have outlined initial concerns, most having to do with requests for additional information about things like aesthetic renderings and nearby property ownership.

Rancich said he hopes to be able to provide the supplemental material by early February.

The project has faced opposition from some residents, who spoke out at public hearings in 2008 asking for greater setback requirements, voicing safety fears and noise concerns.

Town Supervisor Roy Barriere said Wednesday that the town is also finalizing an agreement with Rancich regarding bonding and liability, which may be ready for review at next week's regular town board meeting.

An environmental review and public hearing will follow, and it could be another year before any turbines start spinning.

In the meantime, Rancich needs to secure an estimated $100 million for the ambitious project. He said he is in negotiations with a handful of interested investors.

"After all these years of having it just be talk, now it's actually a real thing that's going to happen," Rancich said.

The site was selected because it is among the windiest in the county and already has a high-voltage transmission line running across it.

The 2.5 megawatt turbines could collectively generate enough energy to power all the homes in Tompkins County. Rancich said he hopes to contract with some of the area's largest businesses, like Cornell University, or sell directly to local residents.

His application also mentions the possibility of opening an on-site renewable energy education center.

From the very beginning, Rancich said the idea has been to make it a truly local energy generation and distribution project.

"We hope to employ local contractors, train local people to operate the wind farm, and will return a portion of the profits from the Black Oak Wind Farm to the Town of Enfield, helping improve local services and reduce the tax burden on residents," the application states.

Iberdrola Renewables plans for wind power in the US receive boost with $600 million of incentives

Iberdrola Renewables has brought forward the planned construction of five new wind farms, with a combined 813 MW, thanks to the stimulus funds approved by the US government.

The global leader in wind energy and the second largest operator in the US, with operations in 20 states. Iberdrola Renewables has brought forward the planned construction of five new wind farms, with a combined 813 MW, thanks to the stimulus funds approved by the US government

Iberdrola Renewables hopes to receive an additional $430 million this year as its wind farms come on stream. Iberdrola Renewables has increased its installed capacity in the US by 50% in one year to 3,459 MW.

Iberdrola Renewables, the world’s largest wind power company, saw its growth plans in the US for 2009 receive a boost when it obtained nearly $600 million of stimulus funds for renewable energies (grants) approved by the US government.

The Company has brought forward the construction of five new wind farms in the US with a combined 813 MW. Iberdrola Renewables is currently building the Cayuga Ridge plant in Illinois (300 MW), the Peñascal II plant in Texas (202 MW) and the Star Point plant in Oregon (99 MW). Works on these have led to the creation of 1,000 new jobs.

In addition, in December the company completed the construction of the Rugby plant in North Dakota (149 MW) and in September the Dry Lake plant in Arizona (63 MW).

Iberdrola Renewables has become the second-largest operator in the US, with operations in 20 states and installed capacity at the end of September of 3,459 MW (over 30% of the company’s total worldwide). Over the last year, the company has increased its installed capacity in the US by around 50% (+1,141 MW).

Iberdrola Renewables regards the US as a key market for its future growth, with 42% of its project pipeline (which exceeded 57,400 MW at the end of September 2009) located there.

Stimulus funds for renewable energies

Iberdrola Renewables has so far received $577 million in US Treasury Department grants offered as part of the US government’s incentive package for renewable energies to encourage companies to invest in the country.

The Company hopes to receive an additional $430 million in 2010 as its wind farms come on stream. Iberdrola Renewables will reinvest all current and future grants in the US.

These grants, which temporarily replace the PTCs (Production Tax Credits), offer direct funding of around 30% of the investment in renewable energy facilities coming on stream or whose construction is begun in 2009 and 2010.

Prattsburgh pulls wind farm deal

Prattsburgh, N.Y.

Wind farm issues are back to square one in Prattsburgh.

The Town Board on Thursday rescinded a legal settlement with wind farm developer Ecogen approved in mid-December, and took the first step toward enacting a moratorium on any wind farm-related development for six months.

The board favored rescinding the December settlement drawn up by former town attorney John Leyden, saying it had not been discussed by all the board members and gave the developer the ability to set up the wind turbines at will.

New Supervisor Al Wordingham, councilmen Steve Kula and Chuck Shick, and new Councilwoman Anneka Radin-Snaith voted to rescind the earlier settlement with Ecogen. Councilwoman Stacey Bottoni voted against the measure.

The board also voted 4-1 to begin the steps required to enact a moratorium on wind-related measures in the town, which include holding a public hearing before a ban can be put in place. The purpose of the moratorium would be to allow the board to set up regulations governing wind farm development, according to the town’s new legal counsel, Ed Brockman.

Brockman said moratoriums are designed to give a board time to consider a matter from both sides. Anyone who feels a moratorium is harmful can ask the board for an exemption, or go to court, Brockman said.

Bottoni voted against the proposal because it did not automatically exempt the Ecogen project.

The majority of the board said rescinding the settlement and preparing for a moratorium are the best ways to provide for the safety, well-being and future financial benefits to the town.

When some residents questioned whether the turbines posed problems, resident Richard Joki said he was offered money by the developer’s representatives if he didn’t complain about any noise.

“Why would they do that, if they didn’t know there’d be noise?” he asked.
Wind farm supporter Cathy Socola said it appeared as if the board was throwing away a chance to add to the town’s tax base through the development.

She said the federal government could decide to put the turbines up “and walk all over us.”

“But that’s what’s happening now,” Wordingham said. “Not the federal government, but Ecogen is. We want to be treated fairly… we have to regain control of our town. We don’t want to drive them out. We want to be treated with respect.”

Wordingham said he will offer Ecogen a chance to sit down with the whole board and reach an agreement.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Judge won't OK Steuben wind-energy project, but it goes ahead anyway

A mid-December vote by a Steuben County Town Board that allows a controversial wind-energy project to go forward will stand, for now, without a judicial stamp of approval.

In a ruling released this morning, state Supreme Court Justice Stephen Lindley declined to give his legal imprimatur to a 3-to-2 vote by the Prattsburgh Town Board in favor of a legal settlement with Ecogen Wind LLC.

Buffalo-area Ecogen had sued the board in November to force approval of a 16-turbine wind farm in the hilly Steuben County town. The company has said it spent $13 million on studies, legal fees and other expenses related to the project, which also would feature 17 more 415-foot-high turbines in the neighboring town of Italy, Yates County.

Ecogen brought suit against Prattsburgh shortly after the Nov. 3 townwide election, in which voters chose a new supervisor and a new board member, both of whom are openly skeptical about the Ecogen project.

The company apparently feared that the new board, once seated this month, would kill the project, and it sued preemptively so that pro-wind town lawmakers would have an opportunity to approve a settlement before two of them left office. The terms of the settlement allowed the project to go forward unfettered.

Two wind skeptics already on the board unsuccessfully sought to persuade Lindley not block the lame-duck board from settling the lawsuit. At the same time, Ecogen’s lawyers asked Lindley to give his approval to the settlement, presumably so that it would be more difficult for the new board to overturn.

Lindley said in his ruling, however, that it was “unnecessary and superfluous” for him to approve the settlement. He also said in his ruling that he was not disapproving it, either, and said the question of whether the mid-December vote was proper had not been put before him.

The Prattsburgh board, which now splits 4-to-1 against the Ecogen project, is scheduled to meet this evening.

“I guess that’s a good thing,” said Steve Kula, a wind-skeptic board member, referring to Lindley’s refusal to approve the settlement. “But it sounds like there’s a lot that’s open-ended at this point.”

Kula said he expected the board would begin working on a wind-turbine moratorium in the town and “trying to unwind the position of the previous board.”

Cape Wind Controversy Hits New Low, Illustrates Cost of NIMBYism

Editors note: our good friend Barbara Durkin reply to the foolish article by Nick Aster.

To dismiss legitimate conflicts presented by Cape Wind is to display a lack of knowledge of this project as proposed for Nantucket Sound.

NIMBYism is tired obfuscation for which I have an antidote> free research and fresh material on...

wind energy cost


immitigable avian impacts

Cape Wind is a public safety hazard as proposed for Nantucket Sound.

NIMBYism is interestingly subjective.

8/21/09 World's largest wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, facing stiff NIMBY opposition, has closed their factory on the Isle of Wight. 600 jobs have been or will soon be lost.
"Many more jobs that depend on Vestas will follow."

In summary:

Cape Wind is an FAA Presumed Hazard that threatens navigators, air travelers, migratory and endangered birds, marine mammals, an Essential Fish Habitat and squid spawning ground, fishing ground as well as Sacred Land and NHLs, and tax and ratepayers.

Jim Gordon has a "no-bid" deal for Nantucket Sound as the worst possible location for an industrial scale wind facility. Cape Wind has no incentive to legitimately pursue a less conflicted location and face the competitive bidding process.

Cape Wind is a tale of spin and politics versus public interest and merit. Public interest is served by reliable and affordable energy, not self serving politicians granting unmerited favors to the annointed writing policy that separates us from our money and resource wealth. Wind energy offers a poor return on our investment of public capital and resources.

So, I hope the Tribes success will spare the rest from ignorance and greed.

DiNapoli: NYS Pension Fund Invests $15 Million in Invenergy’s High Sheldon Wind Farm

High Sheldon Wind Turbines Start Power Production

The New York State Common Retirement Fund (the Fund) invested $15 million in Invenergy’s High Sheldon Wind Farm, located in Wyoming County, through Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today.

“Invenergy’s High Sheldon Wind Farm is a perfect example of how we can do well for the members of the Retirement System while doing good for New York businesses and the environment,” DiNapoli said. “High Sheldon Wind Farm is creating clean and renewable energy for use in New York state. This is a great investment for the pension fund, and a good step toward making New York and the country more energy independent.”

Invenergy’s High Sheldon Wind Farm’s 75 wind turbines began generating power in March and are feeding the energy to New York state’s electrical grid. The wind farm has the capacity to generate 112.5 MW of energy. As part of its In-state Private Equity Program, the Fund invested $15 million in the High Sheldon Wind Farm through its investment partner Credit Suisse.

“We are pleased the New York State Common Retirement Fund is helping finance this clean energy project which is both financially and environmentally appealing,” said Nadim Barakat, a Managing Director in the Customized Fund Investment Group at Credit Suisse. “The project will generate enough electricity to power 25,000 homes and contribute to New York achieving the renewable energy standard it has established of generating 25 percent of New York’s electricity from renewable sources by 2013.”

“We view the completion of this transaction as a vote of confidence by our investors in our strategy and execution capabilities,” said Michael Polsky, Invenergy’s CEO. “With the commencement of commercial operation and funding of the High Sheldon Wind Farm, we stand poised to explore other wind energy projects that will benefit the residents of New York.”

The renewable energy generated by High Sheldon Wind Farm is delivered to the electrical grid through an underground collection system that moves energy from the wind turbines to an on-site substation. The wind farm interconnects to the transmission system of New York State Electric & Gas Company at a new switch station constructed adjacent to NYSEG’s 230 kilovolt No. 67 Stoelle Road — Meyer transmission line, and delivers its renewable energy for sale in the New York Independent System Operator market through this interconnection.

Through the In-state Private Equity Program, the Fund invests with private equity managers who seek to invest in companies in New York state that require capital for growth. The program, created in 1999, targets investment of state funds in the New York state economy. The program is designed to provide investment returns consistent with the risk of private equity while also expanding the availability of capital for New York businesses. The program aims to help generate jobs and private sector investment in the state.

Since 2000, $403.6 million has been invested in 127 companies through the In-state Private Equity Program. The Fund has achieved a 30 percent rate of return on the investments it has exited. DiNapoli added $478 million to the program since he took office in 2007, bringing the total amount committed to the program to $931 million. The Fund has approximately $528 million available to invest in New York-based companies. DiNapoli will be holding a meeting in Buffalo on June 25 to inform New York entrepreneurs and businesses about the opportunities available through the In-State Program. Learn more about the In-State Program.

About the Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension plan in the United States with more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries from state and local governments. The Fund has a diversified portfolio of public and private equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative instruments.

About Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group
The Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group is one of the world’s leading managers of private equity fund-of-fund and co-investment programs, with nearly $22 billion of commitments to more than 750 private equity funds and portfolio companies. CFIG specializes in developing customized private equity investment programs that address the specific needs of investors. The group develops fund and co-investment programs for sophisticated, active investors who have a specific portfolio need to complement their current private equity holdings and for emerging investors who need assistance with asset allocation, portfolio development and administration, due diligence, and other advisory services, or any combination thereof.

About Invenergy
Invenergy and its affiliates are focused on the development, ownership, operation and management of large-scale wind energy and other clean energy generation assets in the North American and European markets. The Invenergy companies have approximately 2,000 MW of wind projects and 2,800 MW of natural-gas fired generating projects in operation or construction as of December 2008. Invenergy is one of the ‘top 5’ wind energy developers in North America.

Turbines may tower over Herkimer County towns

Nearly 40 wind turbines could begin to sprout in two Herkimer County towns as early as this summer.

The project would place 25 turbines in Fairfield and 12 in Norway. The wind farm, which would be operated by Iberdrola Renewables, would produce 74 megawatts of energy annually, officials said.

The turbines would be some of the tallest in the region. The structures would measure 322 feet to the center hub of the turbine or 476 feet to the tip of the blade, said Paul Copleman, communications manager for Iberdrola Renewables. By comparison, the Statue of Liberty stands a little over 305 feet from its foundation to the top of the torch.

“This project has been in the works for about five years, but we're finally making some headway on it,” Copleman said. “Typically, construction of these projects is fairly quick. Depending on weather, the construction could potentially be done after 12 months.”

Norway Planning Board Chair Lauren Watson said since the inception of the proposal, the project has not stirred controversy in his northern Herkimer County town because the turbines would be clustered in a small area. That contrasts with the more sprawling design for the Fairfield turbines.

“There's optimism about this project, but I can see how there might be some worry, too, with the way it stands now,” Watson said. “When anything this big comes in, you want to make sure it's done right.”

'It's up to a handful of people'

Although some officials said they're excited for the project that's been in the works since 2005 to finally move forward, residents had mixed reactions.

Some praised the economic benefits of the wind farm, which would bring payment in lieu of taxes funds to the municipalities, pending an agreement that would be executed through the Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency.

“We've been on board since the very beginning,” Cheryl Crossett of Norway said. “It's good for us, good for the environment.”

But others voiced concerns over view obstructions, wildlife disruption and the safety of the structures in light of the turbine that recently toppled at Fenner Wind Park, northeast of Cazenovia.

“They're going to be right next to my house,” Steve Fuller of Teall Road in Fairfield said. “I've got serious safety concerns. In the town, it's up to a handful of people, and it's going to affect our whole community.”

The project is awaiting approvals from the Fairfield Town Board and the Norway Planning Board. The Fairfield board will meet Thursday, Jan. 14, to vote on whether to award a special building permit to the developers.

The Norway board will meet Monday, Jan. 18 where it may vote to approve the project, officials said.

Iberdrola Renewables did not yet respond to an O-D inquiry about which state or other permits it has already secured and which permits are necessary for the project to be built.

The project design has morphed over time, largely due to improvements in the technology used for turbine manufacturing, company officials said.

Although as many as 61 1.5-megawatt turbines were once considered for the project, the scope of the project has been reduced to 37 2.0-megawatt turbines. However, as the number of turbines has dwindled, the height of the turbines has increased because the taller structures spin more easily in the wind, Copleman said.

Fairfield Supervisor Richard Souza said he's most concerned with making sure that if the project is approved, the town takes every precaution to ensure the safety of its residents.

“I can understand that there's good and bad to everything, and some people are concerned with visuals and safety and noise,” he said. “As long as we're dotting our I's and crossing our T's, it will be okay.”

The towns have decided to jointly hire an engineering firm that would oversee the project through the construction phase to ensure the turbines are installed safety, officials said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

after Wall Street no confidence in company

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