Cohocton Wind Watch: September 2011
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.

READ about the FIRST WIND Connection to the Obama Administration

Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sheffield wind turbine spills gear oil

Workers Tuesday were to complete cleaning up 55 to 60 gallons of gear oil that spilled Saturday from a wind turbine generator high on a ridgeline in Sheffield.

The turbine is one of 16 recently installed by First Wind, a Boston company, which is constructing northern Vermont's first commercial wind farm. The turbines are being tested and have not begun generating power.

"Most of the oil spilled on the turbine itself and the gravel pad around it, but a small amount traveled 200 yards away," Chuck Schwer, head of the state's spill management program, said Tuesday.

He said none of the oil reached a water source.

John Lamontagne, a spokesman for First Wind, said no natural resource was affected by the leak.

"In areas where oil reached the soil, the soil has been removed and is being cleaned," he said and new grass planted.

The turbine generators sit atop 262-foot-tall towers. Each holds about 110 gallons of hydraulic and lubricating oils, according to a draft spill prevention plan the company filed in 2006, when it was seeking a permit from the Public Service Board.

Opponents of commercial wind projects on Vermont's ridgelines have warned in the past that wind development raises new pollution dangers on fragile mountaintops.

The leak was caused by a "mechanical issue involving an oil line in the generator," Lamontagne said.

He said the company was inspecting the remaining 15 turbines to be certain there are no other leaks. The Sheffield project is expected to begin generating power within the next six weeks.

EverPower To Provide Grant Funding For Internet Infrastructure In Allegany

ALLEGANY — The newly-formed Town of Allegany Economic Development Corp. met Tuesday to discuss the possibility of setting up a broadband system in the community with grant money that will be provided by EverPower Wind Holdings Inc.

Town Supervisor Pat Eaton, who is a member of the development corporation, said the town hopes to establish broadband and other community development projects through a grant provided by EverPower which expects to build a 29-wind turbine farm in the Chipmonk and Knapp Creek areas. After the controversial project was approved by the Allegany Town Board last month, Concerned Citizens filed an appeal with the Allegany Zoning Board of Appeals. The organization is arguing that the Allegany Planning Board failed to analyze noise impact as required by the law.

Other members of the development corporation are town board member John Hare, Dr. Todd Palmer of St. Bonaventure University, David Potter and Wendy Brand.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wind gets knocked out of energy farm plan

The proposal for a wind energy farm off the shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario is officially dead.

The New York Power Authority on Tuesday pulled the plug on the project, citing the high costs of the subsidies that would be needed to make the wind farm economically feasible.

"It's not fiscally prudent at this time to select a proposal and pursue a project in the Great Lakes," said Jill Anderson, a Power Authority staff member who delivered a report to the agency's board of directors.

The Power Authority's staff estimated that a 150-megawatt wind farm off the Great Lakes shoreline would require a subsidy of $60 million to $100 million a year. A larger project -- authority officials had said a project could generate as much as 500 megawatts of electricity -- would require much larger subsidies.

The Power Authority last year received five proposals from developers seeking to build the offshore wind farm, which would have placed as many as 150 to 170 wind turbines along a stretch of Lake Erie from Chautauqua County to Buffalo. A 500-megawatt project would have generated enough electricity to supply about 130,000 homes and would have reduced pollution by reducing the state's reliance on power plants that run on fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas.

The project's supporters also hoped the wind farm would spin off an entire side industry for the region, making it a center for manufacturing many of the 8,000-odd components that go into each wind turbine.

"This is a painful missed opportunity for Western New York," said Brian P. Smith, the communications and program director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment in Buffalo. "We had the opportunity to be at the forefront of an emerging industry."

However, Anderson said the high costs of building a wind farm several miles offshore in deep water made the project too expensive. She estimated that the subsidies required by an offshore wind farm in the Great Lakes would be two to four times the subsidy needed by a similar wind farm built on land.

"The value of that estimated economic activity has to be weighed against the cost borne by customers," said Anderson, the Power Authority's director of supply acquisition and renewable energy.

The Power Authority would have provided the subsidy for the offshore wind farm by agreeing to a 20-year deal to purchase the project's electricity at a negotiated rate that would have been many times higher than the current market price of power in Western New York.

"This was not an easy decision for us to make," said John Dyson, a Power Authority trustee.

Chris Wissemann, the managing director of Ohio-based Great Lakes Wind Energy LLC, said the Power Authority's "closed door" process did not advance to the point where bidders could develop their "best and final pricing" or discuss the potential advantages of the project.

"[The Power Authority] focused on the cost, but not the benefits," said Wissemann, whose company had proposed a project of less than 100 megawatts.

While the Great Lakes project was backed by many environmental groups, and a petition drive in support of the project garnered more than 12,000 signatures, it also faced stiff political opposition. County legislatures in seven of the nine counties lining the Lakes Erie and Ontario shoreline, including those in Erie, Chautauqua and Niagara counties, passed resolutions opposing the wind farm project.

In addition, the offshore wind project lost its highest-profile supporter earlier this month when authority President Richard Kessel left his job.

Despite the decision to drop the Great Lakes wind project, Dyson said the authority remains committed to developing renewable energy, noting that earlier this month it, the Long Island Power Authority and Consolidated Edison applied for permits to build a massive wind farm off Long Island with a capacity of 350 to 700 megawatts.

"It proves our commitment to wind, in general," Dyson said.

Anderson noted that the gap between the current market price for power and the potential cost of the electricity that would have been generated by the offshore wind farm likely would be smaller with a project off Long Island because today's power prices are higher there. In addition, the need for new sources of electricity is greater downstate than it is upstate.

"It's not, by any means, an indication that we're closing the door to offshore wind in New York," Anderson said.

Smith, however, criticized Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for not backing the Great Lakes wind project. And he called the Long Island proposal a "baby step" toward the development of offshore wind in New York because a downstate project is years away from fruition, leaving states like Ohio, New Jersey and Massachusetts on the leading edge of the push for water-based wind farms.

NYPA cancels 150MW Great Lakes offshore project

The Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project (Glow) was envisaged as a 150MW offshore wind farm on either Lake Erie or Lake Ontario.

The NYPA said it had voted to end the tender after viewing submissions for the project and discovered GLOW would need a subsidy of around $60-100 million.

In a statement, NYPA said: "Evaluation of the proposed project’s economics determined that it would not be fiscally prudent for the Power Authority to commit to the initiative."

The submissions were from Apex Offshore Wind, Great Winds, NRG Bluewater Wind Great Lakes, Pattern Renewables and RES Americas. The tender went out at the end of 2009.

The decision to cancel the project will be welcomed by a number of campaigners who were against the project. State senator George Maziarz told Windpower Monthly the deep waters in Lake Ontario ruled it out as a suitable location.

At the time the tender went out, there were questions over whether the NYPA understood the costs of offshore wind and whether it would award a contract at the high rates that would support private financing of project construction.

GLOW is not the first offshore wind project to be cancelled by the NYPA. In 2006, costs projections forced it to abandon plans to develop a 140MW wind farm off Long Island.

However, the Long Island project was revived last year and is unaffected by the NYPA decision on GLOW.

The NYPA’s decision follows a similar move by Ontario, which put a moratorium on offshore development in Lake Ontario. The provincial government said more scientific study is needed before it can develop rules for offshore development

Quashed plan for wind turbines a little victory for some

When the New York Power Authority first introduced its plans for offshore wind turbines on Lake Ontario, Greece reisdent David Bell took it upon himself to get education on the issue.

A self-described environmentalist, and "two-Prius driver," Bell says he's in favor of new green technologies replacing fossil fuel bases. But what he learned about wind energy put him storngly against any 450-foot wind turbines off the coast of Lake Ontario.

"Two years ago i probably thought, as most Americans do, that wind is great thing to get us off of the oil," Bell said. "I found out as I studied it in many months of research that not only is it ineffective in offshore, they also don't work that well onshore or produce any reasonable amount of energy that can be stored and the inconsistency they provide in energy is almost useless."

But for now, NYPA won't be installing any wind turbines on Lake Ontario, which were proposed as a part of the Great Lakes Offshore Wind (GLOW) project in 2009. Though NYPA received five bids for the project, each would've been too costly to merit the investment, and all bids were denied.

Though wind energy doesn't have the same effects on the environment as oil-produced energy does, Bell says the environmental affects in the Lake Ontario region could've been disasterous, especially to drinking water. Settled contaminents in the bottom of the lake would be brought up by the burying of transmission lines, possibly adding toxic material to the drinking water of thousands.

The local fight may be over, Bell says, but he's worried about investments in other regions.

"I can see our country wasting valuable resources on science that hasn't been proven yet," Bell said.

Ryne Raffaelle, the vice president for research and associate provost at Rochester Institute of Technology, who formerly worked at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado, says the best wind energy resource is offshore, Raffaelle says, and the Greak Lakes region is deemed one of the prime locations. As such, wind research at the Department of Energy is focused on offshore developments.

“It makes a lot of sense from the population standpoint,” he said. “Ninety percent of the worlds population lives within 10 miles of water. Especially in the northeast, we have large traditional cities all out on the Great Lakes and along the seaboard, so it makes sense.”

Charlotte resident Larry Kilmer says while the end of GLOW is a victory, federal and state governments continue to pour in subsidies to wind energy, and he doesn't see that as a wise use of taxpayer dollars. Not when wind energy doesn't mean the same standards as the technology that's widely used today, he says.

"Perhaps some day the technology will mature and be able to compete in the capitalistic power marketplace without government welfare payments," Kilmer said. "That day is not today."

Rafaelle says its no secret that lobbyists are hard at work to fund the special interest of renewable energy. But investing subsidies in renewable energy is key to staying competitive in the international marketplace, he says. The solar industry alone, he says, is about a $300 billion worldwide market.

“The green energy economy is going to be the largest single market in the world, and we want to be able to compete in that market,” he said. “Other countries are willing to invest heavily to try to corner that market. Unless we step it up we’re going to be left behind.”

NYPA will not pay for offshore wind, Galloo Island Wind Farm

The New York Power Authority will not support offshore wind power projects in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, including Galloo Island Wind Farm.

NYPA’s board of trustees decided Tuesday morning not to award any power purchase agreements through its Great Lakes Offshore Wind project because of exorbitant cost.

“While deciding not to proceed with GLOW, the Power Authority will continue its commitment to developing and implementing wind and other clean alternative energy sources to produce emissions-free power for the benefit of New Yorkers today and for future generations,” said Gil C. Quiniones, acting president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The authority will focus on an offshore wind project near Long Island with a direct connection to Long Island, New York City and New Jersey. But the upstate project would be too costly, the authority said, requiring an annual subsidy of $60 million to $100 million for a 150-megawatt project, not even the full capacity proposed.

Read the entire article

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Power Authority decides against off-shore wind turbines

The New York Power Authority formally voted today to end its push for off-shore wind turbines in Lake Ontario or Lake Erie.

At a meeting at the authority's Westchester County office, NYPA's trustees voted unanimously to shelve the idea. "This was not an easy decision to make," trustee John Dyson said.

Cancellation of the so-called Great Lakes Offshore Wind project was widely expected. Decision-making on the project was months behind schedule, and critics were insisting it would not make financial sense.

NYPA staff agreed. "We’ve decided we are recommending it’s not fiscally prudent at this time to proceed," Jill Anderson, a renewable-energy executive for the authority, told trustees.

Read the entire article

Jerusalem needs bond rule for wind farm regulations

Penn Yan, N.Y. — During a public hearing in the Sept. 21 Jerusalem Town Board meeting, resident John Grabski praised the work done by the town on wind farm regulations, calling it “a wonderful job,” but asked the board why there was no clause requiring a bond for property value protection. With three of the four major wind energy companies being owned by foreign corporations, Grabski asserts that without the bond requirement, it would be difficult if not impossible to recover any damages even if proved. Board member Michael Folts agreed, saying, “If it’s not in there, it should be. I won’t entertain passing if it isn’t.”

Resident James Fitzgibbons handed the board a recommendation for a resolution to insert the clause into the regulation. Town Attorney Phil Bailey suggests this could be interpreted as a major change which requires another public hearing. Town Engineer Wayne Ackart concurred, but said no time would be lost because the State Environmental Quality Review won’t be passed until November.

Litchfield official signs easement with wind project company

Litchfield, N.Y. — As town officials move toward possibly instituting a law banning large-scale wind projects, the town codes officer has signed an easement on his personal property with the potential wind developer.

Town codes officer Scott Davies at one time stood to earn as much as $20,000 for leasing his land for a wind project proposed there, but he said in 2010 his land no longer was being considered for a turbine.

Davies, however, is one of several Litchfield residents to recently sign easements with the developer, according to Herkimer County Clerk’s Office records.

The land owned by Davies would not be used for a turbine, and the easement is for a right of way, Davies and the developer said.

Davies said it is his understanding that the town would have engineers in place to handle zoning and codes issues for any wind project that might be established, so the easement wouldn’t be a conflict for him.

“I know how to separate my codes position from being a lifelong resident, landowner, taxpayer and voter,” Davies said.

Albany-based NorthWind and Power has been looking to build a 20-megawatt wind farm with eight to 12 turbines on Dry Hill in Litchfield.

The town is considering a local law that would ban large-scale wind projects, and a public hearing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 804 Cedarville Road in Ilion.

NorthWind and Power, meanwhile, has merged into Seattle-based Ridgeline Energy and is in the process of changing its name to Ridgeline Energy, said Patrick Doyle, vice president of development for Ridgeline.

Ridgeline is part of Veolia Environnement, which is headquartered in France. The company also has establishing Dry Lots Wind LLC to run the potential Litchfield project. The easements signed by town residents are with Dry Lots Wind LLC.

There is potential for a wind project larger than 25 megawatts to be installed through state — instead of local — approval because of Article X of the Power NY Act of 2011.

Susan Lerner, executive director of the watchdog group Common Cause New York, said Davies signing the easement with the developer certainly raises “interesting questions.”

“On its face, there’s an appearance of some sort of conflict of interest that should be explored further,” Lerner said.

Davies, who noted he makes about $90 per week from his codes officer position and pays about $400 per week in taxes, said too many variables remain with the project to know how much money he would make from the easement.

Davies, whose wife, Christine Davies, also signed the easement, said he has several other right-of-way agreements in place on his property with telephone, gas and electric companies.

Doyle said the easements with Davies and others potentially could be used for something such as transmission lines crossing the property.

“We are not planning to put turbines on his property,” Doyle said.

Doyle had no comment on whether the easement created a conflict of interest for Davies.

“It’s up to the town how it conducts its business,” Doyle said.

Litchfield Deputy Supervisor Kate Entwistle said the role of the codes officer primarily is to enforce town building codes.

If the town wind law is passed and/or a project is built, town officials still would have to decide who oversees the zoning issues, and that likely wouldn’t include Davies, Entwistle said.

“I don’t see any conflict,” Entwistle said. “I encourage Mr. Davies to pursue all opportunities that are presented to him.”

Litchfield Town Council member James Entwistle said the board was notified of the easement by the town attorney, who was notified by the wind developer.

If Davies is ever put in a position where his codes officer role requires him to act related to the wind project, then the issue would have to be further looked at, James Entwistle said.

“He’s done a fine job,” James Entwistle said. “As long as he continues to do his job, I don’t see a problem.”

Meanwhile, there also is some concern among town officials and residents about a recent letter sent to the town by the developer’s attorney explaining the developer’s position opposing the proposed wind law.

The Aug. 9 letter states that the developer believes the wind law would be illegal, and it also mentions the possibility of Article X coming into play with larger projects.

Some residents view the letter as a threat — basically saying do what we want or we’ll sue or use Article X.

James Entwistle said he worries that the letter is the first step of a possible lawsuit if the wind law passes.

“I think they’re setting the tone for a lawsuit down the road, but I could be wrong on that,” he said. “Time will tell.”

Kate Entwistle had no comment on the letter other than to say it was forwarded to attorneys.

Doyle said the letter was just submitted to the town as a way to express the company’s opinion on the draft law as part of the public comment period for the law.

“We’re participating in the process,” Doyle said.

A Wind TurbineSprings Oil Leak

SHEFFIELD -- A turbine at the First Wind renewable energy wind farm on Saturday had an oil leak in a gear in the top of the windmill.

Clean-up efforts to reclaim about 40 gallons of oil were continuing Monday, Sheffield-Wheelock Fire Chief Marc Brown said. The incident was reported Saturday afternoon and volunteers were at the site for about four hours, he said.

"Something happened in one of the gear boxes in one turbine and approximately 70 gallons was spilled, and most of it, actually, was contained within the turbine itself," Brown said. About 40 gallons leaked.

He said there was almost no wind to cause the oil to spread farther, and that it was contained on the ground in rocks around the base of the turbine in the immediate area surrounding the turbine. He said Dana Calkins was called over the weekend to help with clean-up and was continuing to remove any possible traces of contaminant from the incident.

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources was contacted and has been in touch with Brown as has First Wind representatives, Brown said.

First Wind spokesman John Lamontagne on Monday said, "We learned on Saturday that oil leaked from a gear box at one of our turbines at our Sheffield Wind project," said Lamontagne. "Our contractor, RMT, reported the incident immediately to state and local authorities, as required. RMT has been in frequent communication with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to inform them of the status. Turbines are currently being commissioned. The turbine that experienced the leak has not been commissioned yet. We expect the project to be fully commissioned in the coming months.

Chuck Schwer, a member of the Vermont Hazardous Materials Response Team, said, "It first came in and they thought it was 180 gallons that spilled. However, people have been able to get up into the turbine and assess it, and it's looking like a 55 to 60 gallon spill. Once the guys got up there the guys said there was still a lot of oil left in the reservoir, and then talking to the people from the company itself, they satisfied me that it was less."

Schwer said because it happened up high, it did spray about 200 yards, but that was minimal. The worst of it was in the gravel drive around the turbine, he said. "They have really made sure they have tracked it down and gotten all of it."

"I haven't been there, so I'm going on what I've heard, that it ran down the side of the turbine," Schwer said. "So really what got into the environment is even less. It's a heavier oil, so it doesn't soak into the ground as quickly or travel as far, and it makes clean-up a bit easier to do. So that's a good thing. It had something to do with the amount of wind."

He said First Wind will follow up with a report, including photos as part of the reporting requirements.

"I'm more than pleased with the effort they are putting in. They realize they had this release and they want to go the extra mile to get it cleaned up," said Schwer.

"They dug it all up and took it away," Brown said. He also said no vegetation came in contact with the oil nor did any water sources.

"Nothing got to the water," said Brown. "There were no waterways that were affected.

The guys did a really good job."

Brown said the emergency action plan tried and tested many times at the wind farm by the members of the Sheffield-Wheelock Fire Department worked very well.

"It was a very small area, 100 x 100 foot area, the gravel space around the turbine," said Brown. "There was very little wind and absolutely no precipitation.

It's all been cleaned up. We still have Dana Calkins up there and he's putting material back in just in case people see him or hear of anything.

"They're going over and beyond what the state wants. I just got off the phone with the emergency management people and they are happy right now," said Brown. "What they [First Wind] are doing, is above and beyond what the state requirement is. It's like dropping something on the floor and getting down and scrubbing it."

Rob Pforzheimer, a Sutton resident and longtime First Wind critic, said, "This is the second haz mat spill [TNT truck in December] on this project and it hasn't even started producing anything yet. There will undoubtedly be more spills in the future because the Clipper turbines are junk. Some of the turbines in Sheffield are rebuilt failed turbines from Cohocton, New York. I guess in the rush for subsidies, First Wind is being careless."

First Wind's Lamontagne said, "The Clipper turbines are not 'rebuilt turbines from Cohocton, New York.' They have never been used before. They are similar to the Cohocton turbines in that they are 2.5 MW each."

Seeing is believing!

And seeing up close can be a needed shock

The intermittent nature of the power generated by the Wolfe Island wind project is obvious for anyone who spends any time observing it. There are frequent periods of time when the wind turbines there are not turning at all or turning only listlessly. The wind project there has never come close to generating power anywhere close to its rated capacity for any significant length of time.

We have seen the wind developer's own bird kill data. That data is very troublesome and points to a real and serious problem with raptor and migratory bird fatalities from the Wolfe Island turbines.

The adverse visual impact of the Wolfe Island wind project has hit many Cape Vincent residents in the heart and in the wallet. More than a few are very saddened over how the revolving turbines, and particularly the blinking red lights at night atop the turbines, have significantly interfered with the breathtaking beauty of their views of the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario.

Many acknowledge, however, that there may be one small upside to the arrival of the wind farm on Wolfe Island. When that project was completed in 2009 many Cape Vincent and other Thousand Islands Region residents came to understand for the first time what all the fuss was about with regard to wind power development.

Pictures of wind farms in the media, almost all of which are hand-picked by the wind industry's public relations people, tend to show photos of wind turbines in remote pastoral and isolated settings with little or no trace of any people around. But with the arrival of the 86 turbines on Wolfe Island, many of us saw what real turbines – spinning and blinking – really looked like. We saw how numerously and close together they could be packed, and we saw with our own eyes how intrusively they could dominate a viewscape, both day and night.

Some people conjecture that it was the erection of the Wolfe Island wind project that first stirred many previously complacent Cape Vincent residents to begin questioning wind development on our side of the River.

But I fear that looking across at Wolfe Island from a couple of miles away may not be enough for some people to fully comprehend what we are in for if big wind development proceeds on the US side of the St. Lawrence River. Some of you need to get a little closer. Some of you need to put yourself right in the middle of a wind farm for at least a few minutes. To be blunt, some of you can be a bit lazy and need to give yourself a bop on the head. Fortunately, you have two easy and convenient ways to do that.

The Wolfe Island ferry from Cape Vincent will be running for another two weeks before it shuts down for the season. On one of these beautiful autumn afternoons take the short ride across the river on the ferry to Wolfe Island (assuming you have a US passport or an "enhanced" New York driver’s license. After you get off the ferry and go through customs you will drive north on Highway 95 toward the Hamlet of Marysville, 11 km away. After just a couple of minutes on Highway 95 you will find yourself in the middle of the Wolfe Island wind project. Somewhere about halfway to Marysville pull your car over onto the shoulder of the road – perhaps near the intersection of Highway 95 and Reads Bay Road, or near the intersection of Highway 95 and Baseline Road.

Stand by the side of the road and look around you in all directions. Every vantage will be dominated by the sight (and sound) of wind turbines -- many of them very close to you. Try to count the turbines. You will be able to see almost all 86 of them. But if you do try to count them you will probably get too dizzy and give up. But then try just to imagine the combined wind project proposals for Cape Vincent with half again as many turbines as those you see around you on Wolfe Island! Would you really be willing to stand for that? Would you really be willing to put up with that?

It should readily occur to you that there will be many Cape Vincent residents who will have views of wind turbines through every window of their house – on all four sides! Many of those turbines will be close enough to the homes of many Cape Vincent residents so as to have serious sound and shadow flicker consequences. Will you be such a homeowner? What about the people you know and care about and with whom you share the town of Cape Vincent?

If you can't get over to Wolfe Island sometime in the next two weeks you can have an up close visual experience of an even larger wind farm just a short drive away. Just drive down Interstate 81 to Adams Center. and take Route 177 east to the famous Maple Ridge (Tug Hill) wind farm. You'll know when you're there. There are well over 200 turbines in the sprawling wind generation complex. Many are very close to the highway and many are varying distances away. Pull off the road and just gaze around for a while. The wind farm owner has even conveniently prepared a parking area just off the north side of Route 177 going east.

When you're standing there, close your eyes for a few seconds and try to imagine many dozens of those same such turbines (except maybe taller ones) being put in the ground across the length and breadth of Cape Vincent.

If you consider yourself a responsible Cape Vincent citizen, taxpayer and voter, I suggest you should also feel obligated to complete this simple and easy homework assignment. If you are one of those who has not gone to the trouble to see a wind farm up close you cannot possibly appreciate what you're missing until you do. Bring a friend.

Seeing is believing, and seeing up close is even better.

Thank you to a JLL contributor.

Proposed wind energy law to be reviewed by Morristown Town Board at special meeting Wednesday

Supervisor Frank L. Putman said he believes the town’s proposed wind energy law “is as close to fair and equitable to the masses” as possible.

“After receiving assistance from our local wind committee, the St. Lawrence County planning office and our consultant, as well as from the town attorney, I think we have a pretty solid law,” Mr. Putman said Monday. “At least that’s what I’m hearing as feedback from these entities.”

The final draft of the proposal is to be reviewed Wednesday during a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the town offices, 604 Main St.

“What I expect to accomplish is a review of the lawyer’s suggestions, with the board to edit those into the law to our satisfaction. I suspect a public hearing will be scheduled after that,” he said.

Read the entire article

Wind Energy and Radar: A National Security Issue

Military leaders are under pressure to not disrupt White House green energy policies even while green energy technology is disrupting our navigation aids and impairing U.S. national security.

Washington has a track record of muzzling military testimony to protect its pet policies and political friends. Last week, Air Force Gen. William Shelton admitted he was pressured by the administration to change his testimony regarding LightSquared’s network and its adverse impact on military space-based navigation systems. We applaud Shelton for not bowing to the pressure.

But the military has not been honest about the effect wind turbine technology has on our national radar systems.

The fact is that our air space has been made less safe by turbines and our national security compromised because of a reckless policy of siting wind towers within 50-miles of radar installations. Military radar experts in the field know the damage that’s been done. But with the debate surrounding energy policy dominated by politics and money, the military has bowed to the pressure.

Radar Interference and Mitigation
The military services and federal agencies have conducted numerous studies on the radar question, as have multiple international military and private interests. Not all studies agree on levels of severity and potential mitigations, but all agree that large scale industrial wind turbines have the potential to negatively affect military installations, radar, and navigation aids.

The problem is easy to explain, but difficult to resolve.

Since radar technology is designed to detect moving objects, spinning turbine blades create interference which degrades the signal. Wind towers carry a signal strength greater than a Boeing 747, so when the radar repeatedly sees the large return it cannot detect actual aircraft in the same area.

Large expenditures of time and funds have been allocated in pursuit of technical mitigations but so far the results are controversial. According to Raytheon lead radar engineer, Peter Drake, radar mitigation technology does not yet exist. “…These things [turbines] inside of 20 miles, look like a 747 on final approach,” Drake said. The trick, he adds, “…is to somehow make them disappear, while still being able to see a real 747…we have not figured that out yet.”

By 2008, nearly 40% of our long-range radar systems were compromised by wind turbines. Today, more than twice the wind capacity is installed and the problem of radar interference persists.

Proper siting of turbines, while politically cumbersome, is the only tried and true form of mitigation. But this means denying wind developers access to land areas covered by radar.

Radar Interference at Travis Air Force Base

The problem of radar interference first cropped up in the United States in early 2007 near Travis Air Force base in California. Two wind proposals were before the Solano County Planning Commission that would erect over one-hundred new turbines in the area. The spinning blades resulted in smaller planes appearing to drop off the radar while others appeared when they weren’t actually there.

Both Travis and the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission urged the planning commissioners to delay approving the projects, citing air safety and the need for more time to study the effects the towers had on navigation.

In his letter to the County, Colonel Steven Arquiette, commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis, warned: “…we have evidence indicating the wind turbines will create significant interference with the base’s radar and could lead to potentially serious flight safety hazards in terms of planes dropping off radar, flight tracks on radar different from actual tracks and ‘false targets’ — planes the radar sees but aren’t actually there.”

The county heeded their concerns and agreed to the delay. Commissioner John Moore was particularly firm when he said “…If they can’t fix it, it might never get done. Nothing happens unless the Air Force’s problem gets fixed.”

Travis held firm on its objections until a year later when enXco, one of the project proponents gifted $1 million to the base for technical mitigations.

Col. Arquiette was told by his superiors to accept the money and withdraw his complaints despite the fact that the mitigation offered little more than a ”detuning” of the radar signal to lessen the impact of the towers.

enXco’s project was approved and built. But the radar problem was never resolved.

The Travis AFB Midair Collision Avoidance (MACA) pamphlet was updated this year with a warning that states:

“The wind farms southeast of Travis AFB interfere with the Travis ATC radar. In the area shown above (click here to read the MACA) you cannot be seen on radar if you are not squawking! Please squawk. BE SEEN.”

Squawking refers to turning the aircraft’s transponder on to allow communication between the aircraft and the secondary radar system installed at air traffic control facilities.

The strategy of requiring areas to be transponder-only airspace could work but relies on pilots complying with the warning. Recreational pilots may not remember to comply or their aircraft might not be adequately equipped. But worse, drug runners and — in this post-9/11 world — terrorists, might prefer not to be seen and intentionally keep their transponders off to stay invisible. The first thing the 9/11 hijackers did after seizing control of our passenger planes was to turn off the transponders.

Remarkably, participants at the radar forum at AWEA’s Annual Conference last May touted the Travis solution as the gold standard for addressing turbine interference. You be the judge.

Shepherds Flat Wind Farm and Long-range Radar

The radar problem at Travis involves airport surveillance radar. This type of radar is used by air traffic control and has a range of about 60 miles. Long-range radar monitors in-route air traffic control used for homeland defense and NORAD. The mile distance for long range radar is 250 miles.

The Air Force maintains a long-range radar facility in Fossil, Oregon, that’s responsible for monitoring the U.S. border along the Pacific Northwest. It covers the territory north, over the Canadian border, and south into areas in California. If you google “fossil oregon radar” the search returns titles that include:

1. Pentagon objections hold up Oregon wind farm

2. Fears of radar interference threaten Oregon wind farm, but solutions exist

3. Pentagon drops objections to Oregon wind farm

A year ago this radar facility was the source of significant controversy when the Pentagon objected to the proposed $2 billion Shepherds Flat1 wind energy facility. The project’s 338 General Electric turbines totaling 845 megawatts were to be built in the line of sight of Fossil’s radar sweep .

The situation at Fossil was nearly identical to that of Travis.

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley expressed outrage over the Pentagon’s objections and set out to pressure the military into silence. They joined nine other senators in writing to Defense Secretary Robert Gates requesting a resolution of the conflict and insisting the DOD failed to search hard enough for practical solutions.

In order to get his way, Sen. Wyden (D-OR), lobbied for an $8 million earmark in the 2011 appropriations to cover the cost for technical mitigations akin to what was implemented at Travis.

Bottom line: The public was on the hook to fund the project and responsible for degrading our radar.

Outcome TBD interviewed long-range radar specialists familiar with the mitigation proposed for the Fossil radar site. The technology under study (“Scan Step”) involves installing a digital processor that, with software, will work to lessen the effect of turbine clutter. The process results in targets becoming invisible. In fact, aircraft the size of the space shuttle could fly through the radar sweep area undetected. Further, the fix is not universal and may be site specific.

The processor underwent its first suite of tests at the Fossil, Oregon, radar installation last spring. Word back was that it failed all tests. None of the FAA or DOD engineers we’ve spoken to believe Scan Step technology will work in the way people have been led to believe. No one doubts there will be a loss in radar resolution. Critical questions still pending are:

1) What level of radar reduction will be deemed acceptable?

2) Who will decide the level of reduction that will be permitted?

3) Will the public be informed as to the extent Shepherds Flat has compromised our national security?

When asked a staff member of the Senate Armed Services committee what happens if Step Scan doesn’t work, his response was an abrupt: “It has to”

Indeed! Shepherds Flat is slated to go into service next year.

The cases at Travis AFB and Fossil should raise red flags. But unlike the LightSquared objections cited by General Shelton, the military is comfortable whitewashing the turbine issue and hiding behind technical mitigations that don’t work. Our national security and air safety have been compromised by wind turbines and U.S. taxpayers are unknowingly funding the degradation of our radar through federal renewable programs. It’s time the military had the courage to step up and speak the truth to the American people.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thousands of Jobs Scammed or Created

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

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

Apparently, somebody messed with Joe.

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

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

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

First Wind is a green power company that produces windmills, the giant pieces of idiocy littering our landscapes.

Its project in Cohocton, N.Y. — the project Massa rips — was so poorly done originally that residents reported that the turbines sounded like jet engines.

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t even know where to start!

If you haven’t seen the recent legislative offering from Congressman Paul Tonko, D-NY, I’d strongly suggest you read it closely. The requirements placed on the Department of Energy in his H. R. 2782 – “To provide for a program of wind energy research, development, and demonstration, and for other purposes” – are stunning!

Pulled seemingly from this year’s American Wind Energy Association letter to Santa, Representative Tonko is requesting that the DOE take on product research and development activities for the heavily taxpayer subsidized, profit making, private sector wind business.

Take a look at the activities Congressman Tonko is requiring the DOE to perform:


In General.–The Secretary of Energy shall carry out a program of research and development to–

(1) improve the energy efficiency, reliability, and capacity of wind turbines;

(2) optimize the design and adaptability of wind energy systems to the broadest practical range of atmospheric conditions; and

(3) reduce the cost of construction, generation, and maintenance of wind energy systems.

Further, the program under this section shall focus on research and development of–

(1) new materials and designs to make larger, lighter, less expensive, and more reliable and longer lifecycle rotor blades;

(2) technologies to improve gearbox performance, reliability, and lifecycle;

(3) automation, materials, and assembly of large-scale components to reduce manufacturing costs;

(4) low-cost transportable towers greater than 100 meters in height to capitalize on improved wind conditions at higher elevations;

(5) wind technology for offshore applications, including improvement of analysis, testing, verification, and certification to reduce up front time and cost;

(6) advanced computational modeling tools to improve—

(A) the reliability of aeroelastic simulations of wind energy systems;

(B) understanding of the interaction between each wind turbine component;

(C) understanding the loads and lifecycle of each wind turbine component;

(D) siting of wind energy systems to maximize efficiency and minimize variable generation;

(E) integration of wind energy systems into the existing electric grid to ensure reliability; and

(F) understanding of the wake effect between upwind and downwind turbine operations;

(7) advanced control systems and blade sensors to improve performance and reliability under a wide variety of wind conditions;

(8) advanced generators, including–

(A) automated system and drive train sensors to predict and manage maintenance process;

(B) medium-speed and low-speed generators;

(C) direct-drive technology; and

(D) the use of advanced magnets in generator rotors;

(9) methods to assess and mitigate the effects of wind energy systems on radar and electromagnetic fields;

(10) technical processes to enable–

(A) scalability of transmission from remotely located renewable resource rich areas; and

(B) optimization of advanced infrastructure design, including high voltage transmission; and

(11) other research areas as determined by the Secretary.


In General.–The Secretary of Energy shall conduct a wind energy demonstration program. In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall ensure that–

(1) the program is of sufficient size and geographic diversity to measure wind energy system performance under the full productive range of wind conditions in the United States;

(2) demonstration projects carried out under this program are–

(A) conducted in collaboration with industry and, as appropriate, with academic institutions; and

(B) located in various geographic areas representing various wind class regimes; and

(3) data collected from demonstration projects carried out under this program is useful for carrying out section 2(b).

Cost-Sharing.–The Secretary shall carry out the program under this section in compliance with section 988(a) through (d) and section 989 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16352(a) through (d) and 16353).

If you’re not familiar with Representative Tonko, he is a self-proclaimed advocate for a “green economy” and “green-collar jobs”, Congressman Tonko has promoted wind development in Upstate New York and successfully lobbied GE to locate their growing GE Wind operations in Schenectady, NY.

If you’re not familiar with GE Wind … it looks a lot like Enron’s wind business.

I’m not sure if this bill will move forward in the house. I really hope you’ll contact your Representative and let them know that, while it is nice to have a cooperative relationship between government and the private sector, the government should not be doing the private sector’s work. The activities I see listed in H. R. 2782, at least in my experience, are the responsibility of private enterprise.

Your congressional representative’s contact info is here – US House of Representatives

Please make the call! And even if, by the time you reach your congressional representative this bill has been tossed, take the opportunity to stress that the organizational structure outlined in this bill is unacceptable.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dr. Nina Pierpont Interviews Falmouth MA resident Neil Anderson about Wind Turbine Syndrome

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Government shutdown looms and that means OPPORTUNITY for us!

The House passed CR 2012 (Continuing Resolution 2012) before going home to their districts for a week.

This latest CR is needed to fund the government until November 18.

On Friday (Sep 23) the Senate voted NO complaining the bill took DOE loan guarantee money to fund FEMA disaster relief. DOE loans guarantee Solyndra and your local wind projects.




-- even after the SOLYNDRA debacle --


Call -- Email -- Fax your SENATORS' Washington offices. Demand they support the House version of CR 2012. If they don't listen, tell them to COME HOME so you can explain it to them in person.

Call -- Email -- Fax your REPRESENTATIVES' home district offices. Ask them to hold firm on CR 2012 and Cut the Administration's pet loan program.

Please share this e-mail with others.
This is an opportunity we can't afford to pass up!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Galloo Island Wind Farm in limbo as state senator calls for end to Great Lakes Offshore Wind

Developers of Galloo Island Wind Farm have waited months for word on their application for a power purchase agreement, and now a state senator has said the entire program for offshore wind power in the Great Lakes should be scrapped.

State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, told the Buffalo News on Thursday that the New York Power Authority is backing away from the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie project in favor of a wind farm off Long Island with the Long Island Power Authority and Consolidated Edison.

“I think at this time it is very expensive and I think at this time they are moving away from it and I think it’s a wise decision,” he said Friday. “I have every indication that it is not moving forward.”

But Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, said Friday that NYPA officials told her last week that no decisions had been made.

Read the entire article

Tell the deficit reduction committee to end wind subsidies

Go to to tell the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to end federal subsidies to industrial wind, which totaled $5 billion in 2010.

Large-scale wind has been shown to cause significant harm to wildlife, people, and the environment. And because of its intermittency and high variability, it does little or nothing to reduce carbon or other emissions.

Here is a list of federal programs that subsidize large-scale wind energy:

Modified accelerated cost-recovery system and bonus depreciation (5-year depreciation of renewable energy technologies; 100% bonus depreciation expiring 31 Dec 2011, 50% bonus depreciation expiring 31 Dec 2012)

Dept of Treasury renewable energy grants (1603 Program, “Payments for Specified Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credits”, expiring 31 Dec 2011)

Dept of Energy loan guarantee program (for projects that “avoid, reduce or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases; and employ new or significantly improved technologies as compared to commercial technologies in service in the United States at the time the guarantee is issued”)

Renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC, expiring for wind 31 Dec 2012) and renewable energy production incentive (REPI, for entities that don’t pay federal corporate taxes, expiring 1 Oct 2016)


The dream of 60 Clipper Windpower turbines producing green energy in southwestern Guthrie County is no more.

However, the project is not dead; it has just taken on a new owner. According to a deed transfer dated August 19, signed by Clipper Windpower in Ventura County, California, Mid-American Energy Company has bought the rights to the project.

The Clipper Windpower Guthrie County project, titled "Eclipse," began in 2006 with the hopes of bringing 60 new 2.5 megawatt wind turbines to an approximately 20 square mile area just north of Adair in southwest Guthrie County.

The wind towers selected were to be 262 feet high with a maximum blade tip height of 420 feet.

According to data provided in August 2010 by then county assessor Barry Stetzel, the total project cost was estimated at $206.5 million.

Over ninety area landowners were affected by Eclipse's footprint, some for actual turbine installation and others for transmission line access.

Clipper Windpower had repeatedly moved initial construction dates back, stating in early 2010 they hoped to begin work by February 2011, subsequently sliding that date back to "late 2011."

However, financial difficulties and failure to secure affordable transmission line access were likely factors in Clipper Windpower selling Eclipse to MidAmerican Energy according to a recent interview with current county assessor Rusty Pearson.

Pearson noted Mid-American has the infrastructure needed to make the project work, including ownership of vital transmission lines in northern Adair County.

Pearson stated in initial discussions with MidAmer-ican representatives, the company indicated plans to move forward rapidly with the project, seeking to have construction bids awarded by late fall. The company stands to lose large government grant money if the project is not completed by December 31, 2012.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cape Vincent voters break overwhelmingly for anti-wind power candidates; Greig primary flips

Absentee ballots made the difference in the race for the Republican nomination for Greig town supervisor.

Donald D. Schneider beat Supervisor Marilyn E. Patterson for the Republican nomination, 91-90, according to Lewis County Board of Elections figures. Mr. Schneider was losing by two votes on primary night, Sept. 13, but made up the difference after absentee ballots were counted and the primary results were certified Wednesday.

Ms. Patterson has an independent line in the election, so she’ll have a rematch against Mr. Schneider on Nov. 8.

All of the other leads that candidates had in Lewis County on Sept. 13 held.

A quarter of Lewis County Republicans turned out for Michael P. Carpinelli’s upset victory over Devere D. Rumble for sheriff. Mr. Carpinelli won, 1,479 to 779, in certified results. Mr. Rumble said he will continue to campaign on the Independence Party line for the Nov. 8 election.

In Cape Vincent on primary night, the unofficial results in the race for the Republican nod in the town supervisor race had been tabulated: Anti-wind power incumbent Urban C. Hirschey had 277 votes and pro-wind power candidate Harvey J. White had 99 votes.

But that didn’t include absentee ballots — about a third of all votes cast. On Wednesday, those ballots were counted. Mr. Hirschey ended up with 507 votes and Mr. White ended up with 107.

That Mr. Hirschey’s already lopsided victory got even more lopsided when absentee ballots were counted is hardly a surprise. It is likely a result of a months-long voter registration drive by anti-wind power activists that targeted seasonal residents. Seasonal residents who may live during the winter in faraway locales are more likely to oppose wind power development and more likely to vote as absentees — which can allow people to vote via mail in the days leading up to the election, rather than in person on election day.

The absentee ballot counts were similarly grim for pro-wind power Town Council candidates in the Republican primary. Marty T. Mason ended up in third place for two spots, with 125 votes, after absentee ballots were counted. Before the absentees were counted and the results were official, Mr. Mason had 113 votes.

Victorious Republican candidate Clifford P. Schneider, meanwhile, had 506 votes and John L. Byrne III had 488 votes, gaining more than 200 votes each since Sept. 13.

A rematch for supervisor and Town Council will take place at the Nov. 8 general election, because the candidates who lost the Republican primary will have third-party lines in the general election.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

25 Everpower wind turbines finished on hills of Howard

Howard, NY — Twenty-five down, two to go.

Construction of the last of the twenty-five wind turbines in the Town of Howard was finished over the weekend, but the behemoths probably won’t become fully operational until the end of the year, according to Everpower and The Delaney Group officials.
Turbine construction began in July after site roads were finished in May, according to Delaney Project Manager Kyle Settle. The turbines will be plugged into the grid in October for testing.

In the meantime, electrical work and work on the underground collection system will continue.

The project was completed on schedule despite a damp spring, said Settle.

Read the entire article

Future of GLOW project appears uncertain

A plan for the development of the nation’s first freshwater wind farm in Lake Ontario or Lake Erie, which drew opposition from Oswego County officials last year, might have been scrapped for good, according to Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane.

Maziarz, the chairman of the New York State Senate Energy Committee, has claimed that through sources at the New York Power Authority (NYPA), he has heard the agency will not move forward with the Great Lakes Offshore Wind project (GLOW), though the NYPA has not made any official comment confirming that statement.

Members of the NYPA pitched the wind farm concept to municipalities up and down the shores of the Great Lakes in late 2009. The project plan included the construction of anywhere from 40-200 wind turbines in portions of either Lake Ontario or Lake Erie. After the project had been discussed for placement in the waters of Lake Ontario off the shores of Oswego County, the county Legislature passed a resolution, 20-4, expressing opposition to the project.

Seven of the nine county legislatures that had the GLOW project pitched for development in the waters off their shorelines, passed similar resolutions, citing that the project would not offer an increase in job opportunities and would present an eyesore to the affected communities.

Maziarz claims that he believes the project did not move forward due to the cost associated with the development of the wind farm.

In response to the senator’s claims, the NYPA sent an email to The Palladium-Times stating that, “Our trustees have not taken additional action regarding the proposed Great Lakes Offshore Wind project. This is a matter that is still under review by NYPA.”

Requests by The Palladium-Times to elaborate on that statement were denied by a spokesperson for the NYPA.

Last year, members of the NYPA stated that there were five bidders being evaluated for the development of the project, and the NYPA said they expected proposals would be submitted late in 2010 or early 2011. This would have led to a two-year environmental review, which would include input from communities surrounding the potential sites.

However, those dates came to pass.

In August 2011, the NYPA stated that the requests for proposals were still under examination.
Shortly after that announcement, Maziarz requested that the NYPA release the key information regarding the project, including identifying those five project bidders, potential prospective site locations and other basic details pertaining to the bids.

“The power authority is sitting on this information,” he said. “It’s contemptuous. The public has a right to know how this project may impact the Great Lakes and upstate New York.”

Reports suggest that the GLOW project is expected to be discussed when the authority board of trustees meets Sept. 27.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wind Turbines in Charlotte? Debate Powers Up

Dozens of people gathered in Charlotte Monday night to voice their concerns about a proposed project the could bring up to 144 wind turbines to the waters of Lake Ontario.

"The decisions are being made out of the public eye," says Dave Knak, whose house sits right on the edge of the lake in Greece.

The New York State Power Authority first started spinning the idea of an offshore wind farm in 2009, but since then, lakeshore residents have stood up almost unanimously against the idea.

"I understand the need for energy. But to import these turbines from China doesn't make sense," Knak adds.

On Monday evening at the Robach Community Center in Charlotte, the recently formed Great Lakes Concerned Citizens group met to discuss the plan. Among their biggest concerns: what the turbines would do to the view, where the electricity generated would go to and the environmental impact of the structures.

"They wanna put this project two miles out in the lake, that's nothing, that's like the Xerox building rising up from the lake in front of my house," said Mary Isselhard who heads the group.

No one from NYSPA was at Monday's meeting and so far no final vote has been made on the plan already shot down by a handful of other communities.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Troupsburg hears more on wind power

Troupsburg, N.Y. — Five months after it heard an initial presentation on wind power, the Troupsburg town board heard that a meteorological tower was scheduled to be installed by Friday.

In April the board heard from Tim Ahrens from Seattle-based Ridgeline Energy about the idea of conducting a study in the town to determine whether a farm of wind turbines would be feasible.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the board that the meteorological tower will be installed on a hill between Troupsburg and Greenwood off County Route 126. Supervisor Fred Potter said the tower will collect data on whether installing turbines in the town is feasible.

“Once (the tower) is done, it will be at least a year before they know whether the wind energy is strong enough to sustain a project,” said Potter.

Read the entire article

Friday, September 16, 2011

Proposal for wind farm on lake is shelved

An ambitious plan for what was to be the nation's first freshwater wind farm with as many as 150 large turbines in Lake Erie off Buffalo's shoreline is being halted, a state lawmaker with firsthand knowledge said Thursday.

Less than two years after the New York Power Authority unveiled its wind turbine plan as a major generator of green energy and jobs in Western New York, the authority is quietly shelving the project.

"I have every expectation and am assuming at this time that the Power Authority is not moving forward with this very expensive project," said State Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.

Word of the impending retreat for the Lake Erie Project occurred on the same day that the Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority and Consolidated Edison announced they have applied for a permit from the federal government to construct a large wind farm off Long Island.

It also came a day after the State Thruway Authority told The Buffalo News it will build five midsized wind turbines on land it owns along the Thruway south of Buffalo.

The lake project, which the Power Authority said would cost upwards of $1 billion to build, was let out to bidders in December 2009 with a mandate to locate the turbines in Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario.

Lake Erie -- somewhere off Erie and Chautauqua county shorelines -- was favored because of its shallower depth and advantages for staging construction equipment at Buffalo's port.

High price tag The plan then was backed by some Western New York environmental groups but opposed by some local politicians and lakefront communities concerned about the shoreline views being disrupted and other possible problems.

The project called for generation of 120 megawatts to 500 megawatts of electricity from as many as 150 giant turbines atop towers within six miles of the shoreline. The program would have resulted in far fewer turbines being built as part of a process to allay concerns over, some sources said.

Maziarz said he has heard from authority officials that the local project's high price tag was not cost-effective and that some localities expressed worries about the visual aspects of wind farms on the horizon.

The lawmaker was not critical of the authority and said shelving the project will not be a blow to the region's economy.

"I think the Power Authority is looking at other investments in Western New York that are going to pay off; I think, bigger dividends than this," Maziarz said. He declined to elaborate.

"I've had no indication from the authority that they are moving ahead with this project whatsoever," said Maziarz, who is in regular contact with authority Chairman John Dyson.

Asked about the claims by Maziarz, as well as from other sources speaking on condition of anonymity, an authority spokeswoman, Connie Cullen, said, "This is a matter that is still under review by NYPA." She declined to elaborate.

The authority received five bids for the project back in May 2010. But interest in the plan appears to have ceased at about the same time Richard Kessell, the former president of the Power Authority and one of the project's biggest cheerleaders, in July announced he was leaving the authority.

Sources involved in the Lake Erie wind project, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the downstate ocean plan will take longer for construction to begin because of additional federal permits required.

The authority has said its Great Lakes project would have built between 40 and 166 turbines spread out over an area up to 42 square miles.

The authority's documents envisioned picking a bidder to develop the sites by this summer, with construction to begin in 2014. In return for development rights, the authority proposed that it would guarantee purchase of all future energy produced by the turbines, which would then interconnect with transmitting facilities owned by the authority and other utilities, including National Grid.

An executive of a firm bidding for the Great Lakes project voiced concern that the state is focusing on the ocean wind project off Long Island.

"We hope Gov. [Andrew M.] Cuomo and NYPA are not contemplating trading its Great Lakes initiative in favor of this new project," said Chris Wissemann, managing director of Freshwater Wind.

Not surprised Wissemann said the Great Lakes project is better poised to create jobs and clean energy sooner than the ocean plan, which he said could take 10 years for various approval processes to complete.

Carol E. Murphy, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, whose members include energy firms, said the Power Authority has been putting more effort into developing its ocean project.

Murphy said wind conditions are good in both the Great Lakes and ocean areas being considered for development. But, given high electricity prices in the New York City area, growing demand for energy and Cuomo's call to shut down the Indian Point nuclear plant in Westchester County, Murphy said she is not surprised the authority is focused on boosting downstate energy production.

"For NYPA, most of it came down to cost," Maziarz said in characterizing what he called the authority's lost interest in the project.

"I know they're working on other projects in the area. [Authority Chairman John] Dyson and I are meeting regularly, and these projects will create a lot more jobs than this one," the Republican, who has close ties to the Democratic governor, said Thursday.

The Great Lakes project is expected to be discussed when the authority board meets Sept. 27.

Clayton wants wind turbine noise limited at 45 dBA

The Town Council proposed a zoning amendment Wednesday that would force commercial wind turbines to be five decibels quieter than allowed under its existing wind law.

“We want to amend it from 50 dBA to 45 dBA based on the World Health Organization guidelines for community noise. That would be the noise limit at participating residences and nonparticipating property lines,” Town Supervisor Justin A. Taylor said.

The new standard was developed by the five-member Clayton Town Council after a “noise test” Sunday, where Charles E. Ebbing, a retired acoustic engineer, demonstrated how turbines would sound in a number of settings from different distances.

While the council’s newly proposed noise standard is more restrictive than its original law adopted in 2007, it is not as limiting to wind farm developers as the turbine noise cap of five decibels above ambient sound levels recommended by the town’s Wind Committee.

Read the entire article

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Howard approves extra cost for two wind turbines

The Town of Howard met Wednesday and discussed the extra cost of adding two turbines.

The board approved an adjustment to the Environmental Monitoring Services Budget for extra time spent by Labella Associates PC engineers to assess the work to be done adding the last two turbines.

The budget was revised from $126,940 to $180,700 for the entire contract with Everpower. The budget increase comes after the town decided to add two additional turbines, which meant Labella engineers put in more hours assessing the environmental impact study required by Everpower.

Everpower agreed to cover the cost of the engineers and will absorb the budget difference approved by the board in last night’s meeting.

The two turbines were approved by the planning board to be installed on Spencer Hill Road, but a timetable for their installation is not yet determined.

LaBella Associates engineers were hired by the town to assess the construction and impact of the turbines, including all 25 that are currently installed.


Public meeting to review effects of wind turbines on Lake Ontario

Irondequoit, N.Y. — A public meeting, hosted by the Great Lakes Concerned Citizens, will address the economic, environmental and social issues of industrial offshore wind plants.

The New York Power Authority has initiated the Great Lakes Offshore Wind (GLOW) project, but some say that offshore wind plants can have a serious effect on quality of life issues. one location that may be a candidate for a plant is near Charlotte.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19 at the Roger Robach Community Center at Ontario Beach Park.The meeting will present information on the GLOW initiative and details on wind energy effects, with time for a question and answer session.

'Stony Creek' PSC Hearing

Re: Case 11-E-0351 - Petition of Stony Creek Energy LLC for Certificate of Public Convenience & Necessity to establish lightened regulation and approval of debt financing

Dear Secretary Brilling & fellow PSC members,

It is my understanding that the NYS "Public Service Commission" (PSC) is employed by and for NYS taxpayers and ratepayers, as per stated in the PSC website's posted Mission Statement, "to ensure safe, secure, and reliable access to electric... services for New York State’s residential and business consumers, at just and reasonable rates." Is this correct?

I'm wondering if you can please define Capacity Value? I'm also wondering if you aware that industrial wind provides virtually NO Capacity Value???

Are you aware that because wind provides NO Capacity Value, it can NOT provide reliable, dispatchable baseload power, and will always need constant equivalent back-up power???

Are you aware that despite wind industry claims of reduced CO2 emissions, and with over 140,000 industrial wind turbines installed worldwide today, CO2 emissions have NOT been significantly reduced - anywhere???

Are you aware that the National Academies of Science National Research Council Report stated, "Building thousands of turbines won't reduce the pollutants that cause smog and acid rain"?

Are you aware that NYS already gets nearly 50% of its electricity from the emissions-free sources of hydro (19%) & nuclear (29%)???

Are you aware that Denmark (held up by the AWEA and the current administration as the poster child for industrial wind) has electricity rates that are nearly four (4) times what we currently pay in NYS?

Have you seen the report: “New York Wind: Much ado for so little” (http://www,

Are you aware that the current Delivered Efficiency of U.S. power plants has a grim national average of only 30%, with 70% lost as "waste heat" - energy that escapes our energy system unproductively? (The 70% lost as "waste heat" is greater than what it takes to run the entire continent of South America and Central America combined.)

Shouldn't the PSC be working to increase efficiency, and thereby protect consumers from this type of redundancy and price inflation that will surely cause further job loss, business closings, and overall price increases throughout our economy - hurting the poorest sector of our population the most???

How does the PSC justify making NYS consumers pay twice for this wasteful, inefficient redundancy, let alone expecting any of us to approve "lightened regulations" for the multi-national corporations who seek to exploit our rural/residential country-sides, and the lives and pocketbooks of the very citizens who are paying for these projects through their ratepayer & taxpayer dollars???

It is my understanding that it is the responsibility of the applicant (Invenergy) to provide a complete and extensive listing of Alternatives to the Town they propose to transform into an industrial wind installation. If Invenergy's (and NYS's) true concern is for renewable energy and the environment - as they claim, why is only the production side (Invenergy's profits), presented in Invenergy's DEIS? Why has Invenergy not been required to supply an extensive listing of Alternatives to the Town of Orangeville and its citizens, as is required?

I was at the June, 2009 NYSERDA Environmental Group's Meeting specific to Wind Power, at which, NYS Department of Health official, Dr. Jan Storm, acknowledged worldwide health problems associated with noise & infrasound emanating from industrial wind turbines, and yet -- NYS still has not conducted any studies, or made any efforts to protect NYS citizens. At the same meeting, former PSC Sound Engineer, Dan Driscoll, suggested setbacks of approximately 3450 feet could alleviate many problems. Yet, here we are in 2011, still going forward with ludicrously-irresponsible setbacks of only 700' from peoples' property lines, and 1300 feet from the foundations of peoples' homes. The lack of any follow-through at all by NYS elected & appointed officials who are supposed to be working to protect NYS citizens -- not Big Wind corporations -- is disgraceful. NYS's actions speak louder than words -- "It's all about the money!" Apparently, they could not care less about the health and well-being of the very people they were elected to serve.

Let's be clear -- this mad rush for all things "green" is about the transfer of our wealth overseas! Of the $2.2 BILLION dollars of Stimulus money that went to renewables, over 80% went overseas -- and that is NOT going to change. These things are made overseas -- in India, China, Denmark, etc. And the argument for jobs is a joke. What jobs are left once they're up? A lawn-mower, or dead bird & bat picker-upper?!?

If the current administration supports government subsidies for renewables like wind, and justifies such support because it diversifies our electricity supply portfolio while completely ignoring the health and welfare of NYS citizens, then why not do the same for the transportation sector by subsidizing gliders to round out our commercial air transport array? How competitive do they think such a business would be, given today's expectations of reliability and performance?

Industrial Wind does NOT provide modern power - period. We may as well try and get 20% of our electricity from sailboats, or gliders.

Industrial wind provides virtually NO Capacity Value (specified amounts of power on demand), and therefore, can never replace our reliable, dispatchable, baseload power sources -- that is, if you want the lights to come on when you flip the switch.

Americans currently enjoy cheap affordable electricity, and that's been the basis of the growth and overall wellbeing of our great nation. To continue to throw our good money after bad at something that will only continue to escalate our electricity rates, and further drive industry out of NYS and the country, is complete lunacy and overall economic suicide!

Furthermore, focusing on building new generating capacity without first addressing Energy Efficiency is nearly criminal -- especially when those energy sources are the lobbyist-driven, inefficient, ridiculously expensive, unreliable "green" sources of wind & solar.

Why aren't we looking at, and considering, what has been proven to be an unproductive experience in other countries long-invested in industrial wind before making the same expensive mistake here in the U.S.???

A recent Spanish study by researcher Gabriel Alvarez at King Carlos University in Madrid ( and ) concluded that Spain's mad rush to meet overly-aggressive renewable standards has destroyed jobs. For every job created in the wind industry, 2.2 jobs were lost in the rest of the economy. Even worse is the fact that only one in 10 of those wind energy jobs was permanent.

The end result in Spain: Investing in wind has driven up Spain's real cost of electricity, while carbon emissions have increased 50% since 2000 according to data from the European Environment Agency.

The irony is that Spain's entire renewable industry was built on the promise of creating millions of new, high-paying "green jobs" while simultaneously meeting requirements for cutting carbon emissions - the same political agendas Albany & Washington are now unquestioningly pursuing. Where is the common sense in ignoring the expensive lessons already learned by others???

If industrial wind power has no significant impact on the problem of CO2 emissions; if wind causes electricity prices to "skyrocket" - costing us two to three times as much as conventional sources of energy; if wind kills at least twice as many jobs as it creates; and, if wind also has extraordinary additional costs due to significant adverse environmental, ecological, scenic, and personal health and property value impacts --

Then why would any person in their right mind agree to this madness?

Unfortunately, our energy policies are currently being driven by corporate lobbyists - not science. To waste billions on industrial wind when it can never do what industry salesmen claim, is a travesty -- to both to taxpayers & ratepayers, and to the miles & miles of fragmented habitats, devastated historic vistas, and divided communities it leaves in its wake.

To sum it up: industrial wind has exorbitant costs for insignificant benefits.

Invenergy should NOT be granted permission to go ahead with this project at all, let alone be granted "lightened regulations" -- that is, if the PSC and other NYS elected and appointed officials actually wish to protect NYS taxpayers and ratepayers from the fraud of the corporate welfare scam that is industrial wind.


Mary Kay Barton

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In Depth: Romney blasts 'ballyhooed' wind and solar

If elected US president, Republican candidate Mitt Romney would end federal government support for the solar and wind industries, and curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) “reckless regulatory behaviour” and “war on carbon.”

Polls show Romney, 64, running a strong second to Texas Governor Rick Perry among eight declared candidates vying for the opportunity to face President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.

Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, is touting his 35 years in the public and private sectors as giving him the right background to turn around the country’s stagnant economy and cut its dependence on foreign oil.

In “Believe in America,” his 88-page plan for economic growth and jobs, Romney is critical of Obama’s policies that promote renewable energy and green jobs, claiming they are distorting the free market.

“We should not be in the business of steering investment toward particular politically favoured approaches,” he says in the plan. “That is a recipe for both time and money wasted on projects that do not bring us dividends. The failure of windmills and solar plants to become economically viable or make a significant contribution to our energy supply is a prime example.”

Romney calls solar and wind two of the most “ballyhooed” forms of alternative fuel, saying they remain sharply uncompetitive on their own with conventional resources such as oil and gas in most applications. “Indeed, at current prices, these technologies make little sense for the consuming public but great sense only for the companies reaping profits from taxpayer subsidies,” he claims.

According to Romney, there is a place for government investment to promote innovation in the energy industry when time horizons are too long, risks too high and rewards too uncertain to attract private capital.

“However, much of our existing energy research and development budget has been devoted to loan guarantees, cash grants and tax incentives for projects that might have gone forward anyway, “ he contends, adding as president he will redirect clean energy spending towards basic research.

He argues that government research dollars should be used to develop new energy technologies and on initial demonstration projects that establish the feasibility of discoveries. “This approach offers the best opportunity to promote innovation without distorting the market,” he says.

Romney favors doing this through the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, or ARPA-E, the US Energy Department arm that began operation in February 2009, which he says will ensure long-term, non-political sources of funding for a wide variety of competing, early-stage technologies.

Ironically, the initial $400m in funding for ARPA-E came from the $775bn American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the economic stimulus bill, drawn up by Obama and his White House advisers. Romney says the record fiscal stimulus programme failed to resuscitate the economy or create the millions of jobs promised by Obama.

“President Obama made much of his commitment to green jobs, and his stimulus legislation was rife with provisions subsidising initiatives in these areas,” Romney says, referring to the $60bn targeted for clean energy initiatives.

He argues that funneling money in that direction was an inefficient instrument for job creation as alternative and renewable energy is capital- not labor-intensive. Federal spending could also have a marginal impact on employment as the baseline of activity in the green jobs sector is relatively low, adds Romney.

Even as Romney is urging more support for ARPA-E, his fellow Republicans in Congress want to cut its funding by half in the 2012-13 (October-September) fiscal year saying that the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Turning to the EPA, Romney accused the Obama administration of using the agency to impose a “costly and ineffective anti-carbon agenda” that failed to win support in Congress in 2009-10.

He vows to eliminate regulations put in place to curb CO2 emissions and slow refinement of technologies that burn coal cleanly, although he does not name them. Romney claims that had Congress passed Obama’s carbon cap-and-trade proposal, it would have been a crippling blow for the US economy.

Romney says that he will make every effort to safeguard the environment, “but he will be mindful at every step of also protecting the jobs of American workers.” He complains that the White House is using the EPA to blanket the US economy with regulations without allowing a proper assessment of their costs.

If there are compelling human health reasons to restrict industrial emissions, regulatory bodies must issue standards that can be achieved over a reasonable period of time, he argues.

This would afford industries fair notice and a significant window in which to invest in the development and installation of new technology that would bring their facilities into compliance.

Romney also pledges to amend the 1970 Clean Air Act to remove carbon dioxide from its purview, even though the law’s wording does not include the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that most scientists say contributes to global warming.

The US Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that EPA must regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if it determined that they endanger human health and welfare. EPA made its “endangerment finding” in December 2009.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Concerned Citizens Appeal Wind Decision

The group Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County has filed an appeal to the zoning board of appeals in Allegany, contesting the recent approval of an EverPower wind farm project.

On Monday, the group’s attorney, Gary Abraham, said the appeal is asking the zoning board for an independent interpretation of the Allegany zoning law, and is arguing that the Allegany Planning Board failed to analyze noise impact as required by the law.

When reached today, Mr. Abraham said he believes the appeal will help stall the process of building the wind farm.

“The division we’re appealing under authorizes the zoning board to interpret the local law to see whether the requirements we said have not been met, actually apply,” Mr. Abraham said.

He noted that EverPower has to begin construction on the 29-wind turbine farm this fall, and have it up and running by the end of 2012, to receive federal grant money for the project.

Mr. Abraham said if the appeal is unsuccessful, Concerned Citizens has other options.

“I don’t think this is over by any means,” Mr. Abraham said.

Public meeting to review effects of wind turbines on Lake Ontario

Irondequoit, N.Y. — A public meeting, hosted by the Great Lakes Concerned Citizens, will address the economic, environmental and social issues of industrial offshore wind plants.

The New York Power Authority has initiated the Great Lakes Offshore Wind (GLOW) project, but some say that offshore wind plants can have a serious effect on quality of life issues. one location that may be a candidate for a plant is near Charlotte.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19 at the Roger Robach Community Center at Ontario Beach Park.The meeting will present information on the GLOW initiative and details on wind energy effects, with time for a question and answer session.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunflower Electric Announces Wind Energy Contract

Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Infinity Wind Power LLC have announced a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for 104 MW of wind energy from Infinity's Shooting Star wind project, to be located near Mullinville, Kan. The contract was signed by Mid-Kansas Electric Co. LLC, which was formed in 2005 by five of Sunflower's members and a wholly owned subsidiary.

Infinity recently purchased the development rights for the project from Clipper Windpower LLC, which began development in 2001. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2012.

With the addition of this contract, the combined Sunflower system will have a net renewable generation capacity equal to 29% of retail peak demand, according to the utility.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Nothing embodies Big Government more than Big Wind

As I read Orangeville Supervisor Susan May’s locally-published letter on why Orangeville “needs” Invenergy’s Stony Creek industrial wind project, I was truly astounded.

Let’s be real, Ms. May — all the money you are so happy to report that will be coming to Orangeville has been picked from the pockets of New York State taxpayers and ratepayers. By enabling this fraud to continue to be perpetrated on all New York State citizens, you are stealing from all of us!

New York State is already broke. At the cost of $475,000 per “green” job created, and the resulting 2.2 jobs lost in the rest of the economy as a result — all for a politically-driven, inefficient, non-performing boondoggle of Enron’s brainchild, industrial wind — it’s clear Ms. May’s short-sighted payoffs are costing us all dearly in the long run.

Ms. May quoted $120,000, to be divided amongst three school districts at $40,000 each, as if it were something to be proud of. Peoples’ homes stand to be devalued by at least that amount — per home! Big Wind LLCs refuse to enact Property Value Protection Plans for that very obvious reason.

Despite ongoing lawsuits, warnings from contract holders in neighboring towns whose drain tiles and damaged homes remain un-repaired following construction, and the laundry list of other ongoing problems too lengthy to list here — Ms. May talks as if all is wonderful in the Land of Oz. While in reality, her town has already been completely devastated by Big Wind before a single machine has even gone up.

The only thing that has ever been reliably generated from industrial wind facilities is the kind of complete and utter civil discord now evident in Orangeville. The job of good government, headed by competent leaders, is to foresee and prevent this kind of divisiveness. Unfortunately, greed has driven the decisions of the Orangeville Town Board.

Republicans like to bill themselves as the party of small-business working-class, who support smaller government, and despise dependence on entitlements and the welfare state — right? Not in Orangeville.

All five Orangeville Town Board members are registered Republicans (Mr. Boxler flip-flopped to become a Republican last election cycle). They pretend to rail against big government, when in fact they are on the take from it. Why work for a living when you can get a windfall owning land fit for multinational wind developers — at your neighbor’s expense!?

Nothing embodies Big Government more than Big Wind. Good, self-reliant people need wind like their children need to inherit the massive national debt — to which wind subsidies are a substantial contributor.

While our corporate-led state is ultimately responsible for the garbage they continue to allow in this continual blood-sucking of New York State taxpayers and ratepayers — Ms. May and her cohorts on the Orangeville Town Board have joined ranks with the worst of the wind welfare leeches. And I for one, am ashamed that they call themselves Republicans.

Mary Kay Barton lives in Silver Lake.

GE to Provide Wind Service Coverage for Entire First Wind GE Fleet

First Wind, a Boston-based independent wind energy company, has selected GE (NYSE: GE) as its service provider for the companys entire fleet of 264 GE wind turbines at eight sites across the United States. The eight-year comprehensive service agreement expands upon existing contracts with First Wind, and is the first contract to cover an entire fleet of wind turbines signed by GE to date.

GEs agreement with First Wind will include operations, parts and on-site support including a comprehensive maintenance package. First Wind will benefit from GEs latest high tech offerings, including WindBOOST, designed to increase wind turbine production; Winter Ice Operations Mode, which can allow turbines to recapture production in colder climates; and a full service agreement on wind turbine drive trains with the goal of increasing reliability and performance. GE also will provide an availability guarantee at First Winds wind sites in Maine, Utah and Hawaii. GEs 1.5 megawatt (MW) machine is the most widely deployed wind turbine in the world, with more than 15,000 units installed globally.

GE is focused on improving the performance of our installed base of 1.5 MW turbines. We believe this long term service agreement with GE will help us to optimize annual energy production and reduce the overall cost of electricity, both key factors for success in todays challenging wind energy industry, said Michael Alvarez, president and chief financial officer of First Wind. The agreement with GE ensures the availability and reliability of our wind turbines, and the drive train maintenance package will provide us with long term asset management coverage.

GEs wind service solutions are supported by the companys advanced technology, global resources and service facilities, and a network of skilled, highly trained local technicians who are closely connected to GEs engineering organization. GE service agreements also give customers access to GEs suite of turbine upgrades that are based on new product evolutions and the in-depth product knowledge that only an OEM can provide.

As our historic agreement with First Wind clearly illustrates, there is a growing demand across the wind industry for flexible service solutions that enable wind projects to perform at optimal levels of efficiency and availability, said Diarmaid Mulholland, general manager of wind services for GE Power & Water. Our comprehensive portfolio of wind services has been specifically designed to meet those critical needs of our customers.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the worlds toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at

GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE EnergyGE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gaswork together with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.

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