Friday, August 31, 2007

A new spin on tourism by Jim Pfiffer

Can windmills attract travelers? Some say yes, others no.

Tourists come to the Southern Tier to visit the wineries, Finger Lakes, Mark Twain's study and the windmills.


Could be. Proponents say high-tech windmills used to generate electricity are also tourist attractions for curious travelers who have never seen a wind farm.

Plans are under way to build 35 wind turbines on and near Dutch Hill in the northern Steuben County town of Cohocton.

Hundreds of Web sites, as well as newspaper articles, claim wind farms are great tourist attractions.

An example is California's Palm Springs wind farm that provides daily tours of the "ultimate power trip" to nearly 12,000 tourists annually, says a January 2006 story in the Atlantic City Weekly.

Denmark, which leads the world in using and exporting wind energy, saw a 25-percent increase in tourism in or around their wind farms, the Atlantic City Weekly article says. Research shows that popular vacation spots, near wind farms, attract more tourists who want to see the wind farms, buy T-shirts and other souvenirs and get photographed with the towering giants in the background.

Baloney, says James Hall, a member of the Cohocton Wind Watch, a
citizens group opposed to the Cohocton wind farm.

"The idea that industrial wind turbines are tourist attracts
is absurd and ludicrous,"
Hall says. "Anyone who thinks people would be
fascinated by industrial machines on pristine wilderness hilltops is an

Hall claims that wind
farms decrease tourism and hurt the local economy.

"Property values sink like a rock because people near the
wind farms put their properties up for sale because of the noise and other
problems generated by these hideous monsters,"
Hall says. "They will
destroy the beauty of the Finger Lakes."

Gordon Yancey of Martinsburg, N.Y., (about 55 miles northeast of Syracuse) agrees. Yancey owns Flat Rock Inn on Tug Hill, where 195 nearby windmills spin in the breeze, make noise, throw ice from the blades in winter and drive away the snowmobile and ATV riders who are his main customers.

The 400-foot-high towers don't attract tourists, but instead lure rubberneckers, Yancey says.

"They drive up the road, look at that these things, get out of their cars and take some pictures and then drive away." Yancey says. "They don't stay and spend their money here."

Curious people may find the windmills interesting the first time they see them, Yancey says.

"But by the second and third time, they realize how truly ugly and distasteful they are," Yancey adds. "They have marred and destroyed the serenity and beauty of the rural landscape. It's no longer a wilderness area, but an industrial plant."

Steuben County tourism officials don't know whether the Cohocton wind farm, owned by Canandaigua Power Partners II of Newton, Mass., will increase tourism."

We have heard from both sides pro and con," says Peggy Coleman, president of the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau. "The board voted that it's not a tourism issue, and for us to take a side one way or another is inappropriate."

But other tourism officials say wind farms do improve tourism.

That's the case in Madison County, N.Y., home to three wind farms. One of those farms includes an education facility where people learn about wind energy and get close to a working wind generator, says Jim Walter, executive director of Madison County Tourism."

I'd say we get 50-75 bus tours a year coming to tour the windmills," Walter says. "The tourists range from people who are about to have a wind farm built in their hometowns to people who are just curious and want to see what one looks like."

The wind farm that has the education center went on line in (2001), and every year since then, we've had an increase in tourism. I can't say, for sure, that the wind farm contributes to that increase, but I can say that it sure hasn't hurt tourism."

Will that be the case in Cohocton?

The answer is blowing in the wind.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Appeal from a member of AFP

If you are approached or know someone who is approached by a wind rep to sign an easement along the road, please know that you are not required to do this. We believe that wind people are saying that they are representing the town and convincing people to sign easements so that they can run the underground lines along the road.A landowner owns the property to the middle of the road and Windfarm Prattsburgh does NOT have the power of eminent domain (a recent ruling from the PSC makes this excrutiatingly clear) and no one is required to sign an easement.

We believe that people are already signing because they think they have no choice, and we need to get the word out.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Road study guts brakes on wind farm by MARY PERHAM

The commissioner added mat UPC ignored requests last week by county public works officials to stay off the roads until the agreement was signed and the study finished. This past Friday, the county posted 10-ton limits on County Routes 35 and 121 to prohibit heavy truck traffic.

(Click to read entire article)

UPC Host “Special Treatment” Agreement

Have you read the details in the 48 page document? The UPC leaseholders need to pay more attention to legal contracts. If they did the provision for eminent domain, in their agreements, should have alerted them to the eventual loss of their own land. Scrap value to pay decommissioning cost is all you can expect. Why does the Host Agreement refer to 21 turbines being constructed throughout the document? Who is losing their payment?

On page 7 of the Host Community Agreement, section 2 Initial Payment 2.1 On or before January 2, 2008 the Company shall pay the Town the difference between Five Hundred Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($507,500.00) and the building permit fee ("Building Permit Fee") for the building permit ("Building Permit") for the Project paid to the Town for the Project in accordance with the Town's building permit fee schedule, as may be modified pursuant to applicable law ("Initial Payment").

The above host payment would only be paid if the project is completed by the end of 2007. The building permit fee on a $184,000,000 + industrial project should be $368,000 +. When the cost for the actual permits (not issued yet) are known and paid, you will have additional proof of the favoritism that UPC receives by the current administration. Once construction begins without permits, the fees are DOUBLED (per fee schedule). Normal building cost fees should be paid by developers before construction and not become a credit to be paid in the future. Cohocton officials need to significantly reduce their public claims, of the actual amount for host payment.

On page 39, section 20 Transfer of Project: 20.3 In the event of any sale, lease, transfer or assignment (collectively, "Assignment") of all of the Company's rights interest and obligations under this Agreement to a Transferee, the Company shall be released of all of its obligations hereunder from and after the effective date of any such Assignment.

Read any mortgage agreement, the primary obligation is not forgiven until the note is paid in full. How many new or different shell LLC’s will be used by UPC to transfer ownership to other foreign companies? The host agreement is all about ways of getting out of paying the promised monies!

SCIDA admits that the PILOT is not approved. UPC has to sell/leaseback or lease/leaseback the project to SCIDA to avoid paying industrial tax rates. Who would pay the host agreement then?

On page 41, section 29.1. Company Rights of Termination: 29.1.1at the Company's option, the Company may terminate this Agreement at any time, by written notice to the Town (the date of such notice being the "Termination Date"), delivered on or before September 1, 2008

So much for protecting the Town! Wake up Cohocton vote out the incumbents.

(Visit Reform Cohocton for more information)

Hundreds protest wind turbines

CAIRNBROOK — Accusations flew and tempers flared Tuesday as hundreds of residents in Bedford and Somerset counties ordered Gamesa Energy to keep wind turbines off Shaffer Mountain.

The wind energy company is seeking a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit for the controversial project, which calls for at least 30 turbines.

About a thousand people gathered at Shade-Central City High School for a public hearing held by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Dozens held signs of protest, while a group of about 50 steel workers from Gamesa came out in support of the project.

Gamesa leaders were met with jeers and loud booing when they tried to explain their plans before the hearing began. Angry residents claimed DEP officials were bowing to political pressure and didn’t care what they had to say.

“Everyone who wants Gamesa out, get up,” said Joseph Kaminsky of Somerset County, prompting about three-quarters of the audience to stand. “The ecosystem on Shaffer Mountain is like no other. This is because of the presence of the water —exceptional value water.

”The permit Gamesa seeks deals with discharging storm water from the construction site into several area waterways.

At the center of the debate is the water quality in the Windber Area Watershed, where Shaffer Mountain lies. The state has deemed two of the trout streams there as exceptional value streams, meaning they have the highest water quality in Pennsylvania.

Gamesa officials insist a wind farm won’t damage the water. The proposed project will be in Shade and Ogle townships in Somerset County, though it will include 1,000 feet of gravel road about 15 feet wide in Napier Township, Bedford County.

“We are aware that this is an exceptional value watershed,” said Tim Vought, project developer. Project roads won’t cross any streams or wetlands, he said.

An engineer Gamesa hired to review the project chimed in, saying the impact on the water would be nil.

“This project probably uses more effective protection practices than any other project I’ve worked on,” said Mike Byle of California-based engineering and consulting firm Tetra Tech.

Many residents aren’t buying it.

“I am not anti-wind energy. I’m anti-Shaffer Mountain destruction,” said Jack Buchan of Johnstown, who owns 500 acres of land atop the mountain in Napier Township.

Protesters scoffed at comparisons between the Shaffer Mountain project and the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm on the Blair-Cambria County line. That wind farm near Portage isn’t in an exceptional-value watershed, they said.

“It’s ridiculous. The watershed will become industrialized,” Buchan said. “We need DEP to quit being a facilitator and an advocate for the wind industry.

”That’s not happening, DEP officials countered.

“Rules and regulations are what dictates our review,” said Rita Coleman, an official with DEP’s Southwest region.

But Larry Hutchinson of Cairnbrook urged the DEP to strike a balance between ecological and energy needs.

“Shaffer Mountain is not an appropriate place for an industrial corridor,” Hutchinson said. “Please do not permit this application.”

Troy Galloway of Hollsopple, unit president of the United Steelworkers union at Gamesa, said he believes many people are ill-informed. Gamesa is a “big believer in the environment,” he said.

“Wind energy benefits the environment as well as the economy,” Galloway said. “Pennsylvania does need a shot in the arm, and why shouldn’t we get that shot from something positive?”

Mirror Staff Writer Allison Bourg is at 946-7520.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wait on Wind

Reunion power wants to put a wind farm in Fulton, and if it does, the farm would be Reunion’s very first. We’re not comfortable with Fulton being a guinea pig for a company looking to make a profit.

Reunion’s approach to Fulton is more than a little curious. Stephen Eisenberg, the company’s marketing director, attended a town board meeting last week supposedly to get feedback from reisdents. The problem was that there was little to give feedback about because Reunion has yet to actually propose a project. So last Monday’s meeting turned into a question session, with the audience prying information out of Mr. Eisenberg. Although he said the project is in the “very early stages”, Mr. Eisenberg added that plans call for 25 to 30 wind turbines, 400 feet high with 250 foot blades, in Fulton and Richmondville. Left unanswered at the meeting were questions about how much Reunion would pay Fulton, how the turbines would affect property values and Reunion’s experience in this field.

Though all of those questions cry for answers, it’s the last one that most concerns us. Reunion, according to Mr. Eisenberg, manages two wind farms in the midwest but has never built one. Managing and building are entirely different tasks. It’s unlikely for instance, that you’d ask a supermarket manager to built a supermarket. Reunion is coming into the Fulton project with a track record of zero and absolutely no resume to show. This hardly inspires confidence.

And so far, Reunion has done little to enhance its image. Information is incomplete and at best, difficult to come by. Mr. Eisenberg wants feedback without having proposed anything yet. He said he doesn’t know how wind farms have affected property values. C’mon, how hard is that to find out? What about payments to towns? What do residents get out of this? In the process of planning a wind farm that likely costs millions, Reunion surely has the answers to these simple - and very obvious - questions. We’d advise Reunion to be up front and honest; playing hard to get implies the opposite.

Reunion wants Fulton and Richmondville to get a wind-farm law in place, and fast. Local officials should hold off. This company has little to show and little to say, and such behavior sets off alarms.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blowin' in the Wind by Stanley Fish

NY Times
August 26, 2007

When the issue of energy came up in the debate among the Democratic presidential contenders on Aug. 7, the candidates began talking about “renewable” energy and one of them (Chris Dodd) mentioned wind power. Seems logical. Why spend all the effort and money to build huge electricity plants when the wind is always blowing? Who could argue against a technology that promises to derive energy from a renewable, and free, resource?

Everyone I know.

For five months of the year, I live in the very small town of Andes, N.Y. Each year has its signature event — floods, drought, road construction, caterpillars. And 2006 to 2007 has been the year of the wind turbines.

Like many of the other towns targeted by the wind turbine industry, Andes is a rural community that over the years has lost its economic base. At one time the hills and valleys were home to many small dairy farms, but most of them are no longer in operation, and no industry, light or heavy, has taken their place. Now the area relies for its revenue on retirees and second home owners who are educated, relatively well off and tend to be teachers therapists, lawyers, artists and social workers. In short, liberals. They are all soldiers in Al Gore’s army, into organic foods, hybrid cars, clean air, clean water, the whole bit.

They are also against wind power.

Their reasons are the ones always given by those who wake up to find the wind interests at their door. Even if large wind farms were in place throughout the country, the electricity produced would be a very small percentage of the electricity we use. Because the turbines are huge, 400 feet or more, installing them involves tearing up the ridges on which they are placed. Once in operation, they cast shadows and produce noise. Their blades cause a “flicker” effect, kill birds and interfere with migration. The outsized towers ruin scenic views and depress real-estate values.

These last two reasons are seized on by wind proponents who say that a few elite newcomers are putting their aesthetic preferences ahead of both the community’s welfare and the national effort to shift to green energy as a way of slowing down global warming.

It’s a nice line, but it won’t fly. The wind companies may advertise themselves as environmentalists, but they are really developers, which means that they do things with other peoples’ money — yours. Wind farms are attractive as an investment because the combination of tax credits, tax shelters and accelerated depreciation rates means that investors reap large profits in a few years. Meanwhile, those in the community pay twice for their electricity; once when their taxes go to subsidize the wind interests and a second time when the monthly bill arrives. And that bill will likely be larger than it would have been had the turbines never been erected.

Then there are the issues of “de-commissioning.” What happens when the turbines are no longer profitable and are shut down or fall into disrepair and become postmodern ruins larger than Stonehenge? Who fixes them? Who takes them down? Who repairs the ridges?

Don’t ask the original developers. Before the special tax and depreciation breaks have run their course, they will be long gone, either because they have sold the project to another developer or because they have just decamped and moved on to the next town.

So what do you do? Some towns have done nothing; they think it can’t happen here. Other towns take the developer’s money but extract promises that the turbines will be set back so many yards or miles. (Good luck if the promises aren’t kept; developers never return your calls.)

Others across the country have done what we did in Andes — organize. We formed an alliance, incorporated, raised money, sent out flyers, took polls, sponsored forums, wrote a zoning ordinance, presented it to the town council and planning board, and finally saw it pass. It was democracy in action.

But it’s not over. The Spitzer administration has been working on a plan to shift the authority for land use control from local communities to a state commission. Local zoning ordinances would be countermanded and communities like Andes could get wind farms even if they didn’t want them.

Perhaps the governor and his colleagues should be reminded of the company that made wind power into a big, profitable business in this country. It was called Enron.

U.S. House Energy Bill: Rhetoric Over Reality by Robert Bryce

U.S. House Energy Bill: Rhetoric Over Reality

When it comes to energy issues, Americans are far more interested in rhetoric than pragmatism.

For proof of that, look no further than the massive energy bill passed by the House last month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi heralded the passage of the 780-page bill, known as "A New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection," declaring, “Energy independence is a national security issue, an environmental and health issue, an economic issue, and a moral issue.” (What? No mention of male-pattern baldness?)
The bill does nothing to increase energy supplies. It won’t cut oil imports, it won’t strengthen America’s creaky electricity grid, nor make America energy independent. Other than that, it’s great legislation.

Perhaps the most significant – and most controversial – element of the House bill is its requirement that by 2020, publicly traded power companies must get 15 percent of all their electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar.

Let’s put that in perspective.

In mid-2007 electricity demand was growing by 2.7 percent annually, and if it continues at that rate, electricity consumption in the U.S. will double in about 26 years. In late 2006 the North American Electric Reliability Council warned that this growing demand is not being met by increasing supply, and the U.S. may have a generating capacity shortfall of 81,000 megawatts by 2015. Just for perspective, the Three Mile Island Generating Station in Pennsylvania operates one 850-megawatt reactor. So the looming electricity shortfall in the U.S. is equal to the output of 95 reactors.

But keep in mind that those reactors are reliable sources of base load power. Wind turbines and solar panels are not. In fact, due to the intermittence of wind and sunlight, virtually every new megawatt of renewable energy must be backed up by conventional power plants. Thus, all of the new renewable sources will have little effect on overall emissions of carbon dioxide.

Nor will the new renewable electricity requirement do anything for “energy independence” because only a marginal amount of domestic electricity (about 2 percent) is generated by oil-fired power plants.

The House bill does nothing to decrease energy imports because it doesn’t allow any increases in domestic production of oil and gas. Regions known to contain billions of barrels of hydrocarbons, like the eastern Gulf of Mexico or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, continue to be off-limits to prospectors.

But perhaps it’s wrong to expect the House to come up with any meaningful energy policy. After all, it is only responding to the whims of the American populace. A March survey by Yale University’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy found that 93 percent questioned said imported oil is a serious problem, and 70 percent said it was “very” serious. An April poll by CBS News and the New York Times found overwhelming support – 92 percent! – for laws requiring automakers to produce more efficient cars. But when asked if they would support a tax on gasoline in order to “cut down on energy consumption and reduce global warming,” 58 percent of respondents said no.

In other words, Americans still crave a free lunch when it comes to energy. They want lots of cheap gasoline, but they hate the oil companies. They say they are concerned about imported oil, but they don’t want to pay more for any of the energy they use.

Congress has responded to this muddle by passing two monster energy bills that are long on rhetoric but woefully short on substance. In June, the Senate passed a bill that could require the production of 36 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels by 2022. Now, the House and the Senate will have to work on a compromise bill that will be palatable to George W. Bush, who is already threatening a veto.

A veto may be the best possible outcome. Democrats can express their outrage, Bush can bash an unpopular Congress (a mid-August Gallup poll found 76 percent of Americans disapprove of the job it’s doing) and better still, Washington ends up abiding by the Hippocratic oath: first, do no harm. And when it comes to energy issues, that may be the most pragmatic move of all.

WIND POWER GROUP SPENT $384,000 Lobbying

The American Wind Energy Association, which represents the wind power industry, spent nearly $384,000 to lobby the federal government in the first half of 2007, according to a disclosure form.

The Washington-based trade group lobbied Congress on a proposed requirement that utilities get a portion of their power from renewable sources like wind, the extension of a key tax credit and federal technology research efforts.

Earlier this month, the House voted to require investor-owned electric utilities nationwide to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind or biofuels. An energy bill passed by the Senate earlier this summer does not contain that provision.

The wind energy industry has been promoting its interests in the contentious debate on renewable standards, battling utility owners such as Atlanta-based Southern Co. that say the mandate would be too expensive and impractical to meet.

It also lobbied the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to the disclosure form posted online Aug. 10 by the Senate's public records office.

Under a federal law enacted in 1995, lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches. They must register with Congress within 45 days of being hired or engaging in lobbying.

Members include General Electric Co., BP PLC, AES Corp. and FPL Group Inc.

The Dangers of Wind Power by Simone Kaiser and Michael Fröhlingsdorf

It came without warning. A sudden gust of wind ripped the tip off of the rotor blade with a loud bang. The heavy, 10-meter (32 foot) fragment spun through the air, and crashed into a field some 200 meters away.

The wind turbine, which is 100 meters (328 feet) tall, broke apart in early November 2006 in the region of Oldenburg in northern Germany—and the consequences of the event are only now becoming apparent. Startled by the accident, the local building authority ordered the examination of six other wind turbines of the same model.

The results, which finally came in this summer, alarmed District Administrator Frank Eger. He immediately alerted the state government of Lower Saxony, writing that he had shut down four turbines due to safety concerns. It was already the second incident in his district, he wrote, adding that turbines of this type could pose a threat across the country. The expert evaluation had discovered possible manufacturing defects and irregularities.

Mishaps, Breakdowns and Accidents

After the industry's recent boom years, wind power providers and experts are now concerned. The facilities may not be as reliable and durable as producers claim. Indeed, with thousands of mishaps, breakdowns and accidents having been reported in recent years, the difficulties seem to be mounting. Gearboxes hiding inside the casings perched on top of the towering masts have short shelf lives, often crapping out before even five years is up. In some cases, fractures form along the rotors, or even in the foundation, after only limited operation. Short circuits or overheated propellers have been known to cause fires. All this despite manufacturers' promises that the turbines would last at least 20 years.

Gearboxes have already had to be replaced "in large numbers," the German Insurance Association is now complaining. "In addition to generators and gearboxes, rotor blades also often display defects," a report on the technical shortcomings of wind turbines claims. The insurance companies are complaining of problems ranging from those caused by improper storage to dangerous cracks and fractures.

The frail turbines coming off the assembly lines at some manufacturers threaten to damage an industry that for years has been hailed as a wild success. As recently as the end of July, the German WindEnergy Association (BWE) crowed that business had once again hit record levels. The wind power industry expanded by a solid 40 percent in 2006, according to the BWE, and it now provides work for 74,000 people.

Germany, moreover, is the global leader when it comes to wind power: More than 19,000 windmills now dot the countryside—more than in any other country. Green power has become a point of pride in Germany in recent years, and Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel would now like to construct vast new wind farms along the country's North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts.

No Time for Testing

Generous government subsidies have transformed wind power into a billion-euro industry within just a few years. Because energy providers have to purchase wind power at set prices, everyone, it seems, wants in.

But it is precisely the industry's prodigious success that is leading to its technological shortcomings. "Many companies have sold an endless number of units," complains engineer Manfred Perkun, until recently a claims adjuster for R+V Insurance. "It hardly leaves any time for testing prototypes."

Wind power expert Martin Stöckl knows the problems all too well. The Bavarian travels some 80,000 kilometers (49,710 miles) across Germany every year, but he is only rarely able to help the wind farmers. It is not just the rotors that, due to enormous worldwide demand, take forever to deliver, but simple replacement parts are likewise nowhere to be found. "You often have to wait 18 months for a new rotor mount, which means the turbine stands still for that long," says Stöckl.

"Sales Top, Service Flop" is the headline on a recent cover story which appeared in the industry journal Erneuerbare Energien. The story reports the disastrous results of a questionnaire passed out to members of the German WindEnergy Association asking them to rank manufacturers. Only Enercon, based in Germany, managed a ranking of "good." The company produces wind turbines without gearboxes, eliminating one of the weakest links in the chain.
Even among insurers, who raced into the new market in the 1990s, wind power is now considered a risky sector. Industry giant Allianz was faced with around a thousand damage claims in 2006 alone. Jan Pohl, who works for Allianz in Munich, has calculated that on average "an operator has to expect damage to his facility every four years, not including malfunctions and uninsured breakdowns."

Many insurance companies have learned their lessons and are now writing maintenance requirements—requiring wind farmers to replace vulnerable components such as gearboxes every five years—directly into their contracts. But a gearbox replacement can cost up to 10 percent of the original construction price tag, enough to cut deep into anticipated profits. Indeed, many investors may be in for a nasty surprise. "Between 3,000 and 4,000 older facilities are currently due for new insurance policies," says Holger Martsfeld, head of technical insurance at Germany's leading wind turbine insurer Gothaer. "We know that many of these facilities have flaws."

Flaws And Dangers

And the technical hitches are not without their dangers. For example:

• In December of last year, fragments of a broken rotor blade landed on a road shortly before rush hour traffic near the city of Trier
• Two wind turbines caught fire near Osnabrück and in the Havelland region in January. The firefighters could only watch: Their ladders were not tall enough to reach the burning casings
• The same month, a 70-meter (230-foot) tall wind turbine folded in half in Schleswig-Holstein—right next to a highway
• The rotor blades of a wind turbine in Brandenburg ripped off at a height of 100 meters (328 feet). Fragments of the rotors stuck into a grain field near a road.

At the Allianz Technology Center (AZT) in Munich, the bits and pieces from wind turbine meltdowns are closely examined. "The force that comes to bear on the rotors is much greater than originally expected," says AZT evaluator Erwin Bauer. Wind speed is simply not consistent enough, he points out. "There are gusts and direction changes all the time," he says.
But instead of working to create more efficient technology, many manufacturers have simply elected to build even larger rotor blades, Bauer adds. "Large machines may have great capacity, but the strains they are subject to are even harder to control," he says.

Even the technically basic concrete foundations are suffering from those strains. Vibrations and load changes cause fractures, water seeps into the cracks, and the rebar begins to rust. Repairs are difficult. "You can't look inside concrete," says Marc Gutermann, a professor for experimental statics in Bremen. "It's no use just closing the cracks from above."
The engineering expert suspects construction errors are to blame. "The facilities keep getting bigger," he says, "but the diameter of the masts has to remain the same because otherwise they would be too big to transport on the roadways."

Not Sufficiently Resilient

Still the wind power business is focusing on replacing smaller facilities with ever larger ones. With all the best sites already taken, boosting size is one of the few ways left to boost output. On land at least. So far, there are no offshore wind parks in German waters, a situation that Minister Gabriel hopes to change. He wants offshore wind farms to produce a total of 25,000 megawatts by 2030.

Perhaps by then, the lessons learned on land will ward off disaster at sea. Many constructors of such offshore facilities in other countries have run into difficulties. Danish company and world market leader Vestas, for example, had to remove the turbines from an entire wind park along Denmark's western coast in 2004 because the turbines were not sufficiently resilient to withstand the local sea and weather conditions. Similar problems were encountered off the British coast in 2005.

German wind turbine giant Enercon, for its part, considers the risks associated with offshore wind power generation too great, says Enercon spokesman Andreas Düser says. While the growth potential is tempting, he says, the company does not want to lose its good standing on the high seas.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wind turbine collapse kills one, injures second worker by ADRIANE HORNER, staff

One man was killed and another injured Saturday after a wind turbine collapsed in Sherman County.
Deputy Shull with the Sherman County Sheriff's office said the two men involved were working on a non-operational turbine at the Klondike Wind Farms east of Wasco Oregon.

Officials said one worker who was at the top of the turbine was killed when it buckled. A second man had to be rescued from the barrel of the collapsed structure. He was taken to an area hospital where his condition was unknown.

Deputy Shull said OHSHA was investigating the cause of the collapse

Saturday, August 25, 2007

New EIA Report on "Renewable" Energy -- Useful data, Lacks Objectivity

Ladies & Gentlemen:

In case you haven't already seen it, you may want to check out the US EIA's recently released report, Renewable Energy Consumption and Electricity Preliminary 2006 Statistics, August 2007 which you can find at (Click to read)

Several comments:

1. "BTU from Wind." For those not "steeped" in EIA data and calculations, please don't be misled by the first table that shows up on the web site which shows "BTU consumption" for each renewable energy source. As EIA explains (e.g., See page 4, at "There is no generally accepted practice for measuring the thermal conversion rates for power plants that generate electricity from hydro, wind photovoltaic, or solar thermal energy sources. Therefore EIA calculates a rate factor that is equal to the annual average heat rate factor for fossil fueled power plants in the United States."

2. Net electricity generation is a better measure of the contribution of renewables. Data on net generation (in thousand kWh) for 2002-2006 are shown in Table 3 of the full report (which can be downloaded from the above site.) The following table shows the 2006 numbers -- along with their respective share of total US electricity net generation. In case you are interested, the data for all 5 years is attached to this email.

3. Incomplete discussion of subsidies for wind energy. EIA's new report has a section on wind energy that lists factors driving growth in electricity from wind. The report lists (i) Production Tax credit, (ii) RPS and state mandates, (iii) High natural gas prices, and (iv). concerns about potential "global warming." EIA has an unfortunate habit of ignoring all the other tax breaks and subsidies that are encouraging the construction of "wind farms" such as:

a. Five-year double declining balance accelerated depreciation that permits corporations to recover through depreciation deductions from otherwise taxable income, all "wind farm" capital costs over 6 tax years (52% in first 2 tax years). This applies to Federal corporate income taxes and to corporate income taxes in most states. (Most electric generating units are depreciated for tax purposes over 20 years using 150% rather than 200% declining balance.)

b. Utility "green energy" programs forced on them by state PUCs, governors and legislators -- or adopted to burnish "green" images (but with cost borne by electric customers).

c. Presidential Executive Order requiring federal agencies to buy "green energy" -- and similar directives from some governors. (The higher costs are "hidden" in agency program costs.)

d. Numerous state and local property, sales, and business tax exemptions or reductions for "wind farm" equipment.

e. Industrial development bond financing for "wind farms" (which results in subsidized loan rates).

f. Propaganda programs conducted and/or financed with tax dollars by the US Dept of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE) and the National Renewable Energy "Laboratory" (NREL). Both organizations stress and exaggerate the "benefits" of wind energy and studiously ignore the true costs (environmental, economic, scenic, property value). New York's NYSERDA also engages in this type activity. Both organizations give money to contractors and grantees that produce biased "studies," "reports," and "analyses" which are then "advertised" on DOE and NREL web sites.

g. DOE-EERE and/or NREL provided financing (using tax dollars) for so-called state "wind working groups" that produce biased studies, reports, and analyses favoring wind energy and with "work group" members lobbying state PUCs and legislatures, and local government officials to approve "wind farms."

h. Regulatory subsidies provided by FERC, state PUCs and by "Independent System Operators" (ISO) that favor "wind farm" owners; e.g., arbitrary assignments of "capacity value."

i. State PUCs and/or ISOs that approve new transmission lines to serve wind farms while passing the costs along to unsuspecting electric customers; e.g., Texas & Minnesota.

(The EIA report does mention the web site,, which has information on many but certainly not all federal and state tax breaks and subsidies for renewables.)

When evaluated on the basis of either existing or potential contribution in supplying energy for US requirements, wind energy is almost certainly THE most heavily subsidized of all energy sources -- a FACT that is directly contrary to persistent claims by the wind industry that wind doesn't get it's "fair share."


Glenn R. Schleede
18220 Turnberry Drive
Round Hill, VA 20141-2574

Where will sale lead New Yorkers?

It was with sad eyes that I read the business page of the Democrat and Chronicle Wednesday morning. Iberdrola SA will complete the sale with Energy East Corp., the parent of RG&E and New York State Electric and Gas, in early 2008, sooner than expected. So, in addition to paying big bucks at the pump for oil-producing evildoers, now we can anticipate paying much more for electric power to Spain ... when they complete the building of their "cheap" wind turbines, that is. We will "pay" in many ways: in the loss of our beautiful scenic vistas, in our decreased bird populations and wildlife, in the loss of personal property that is usurped, and the sadness of many property owners, along with another pinch in the wallet.

So, as more money leaves our state and country, what comes in? Besides wind turbines, I mean.

Just who is in charge in New York state?


Friday, August 24, 2007

Proposed NY Wind Farm Scrapped

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) -- Long Island's utility company intends to dump plans to build a $700 million wind energy park in the Atlantic Ocean, a top official said.

"It's just too expensive," Long Island Power Authority Chairman Kevin Law told The Associated Press. "It's not going to work. This is an economically based decision. We didn't even have to consider environmental or aesthetic concerns."

The utility's board of directors will meet next month to officially vote on scrapping the project.

Initially popular with environmental activists, politicians and residents, the project, which was to include 40 turbines in an 8-square-mile area, has lost support because of construction costs and concerns that it would mar the landscape of Long Island's south shore beaches.

It is the second offshore wind project to be scrapped in recent months. A developer in South Texas called off construction of about 170 turbines there after determining it no longer made economic sense to proceed. That developer said building an offshore farm would have been more than double the cost of one on land.

Plans are proceeding for an offshore wind farm in Massachusetts, where a company called Cape Wind hopes to build 130 windmills in Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind has not said how much that project would cost. Developers in Delaware also are planning an offshore wind farm.

Original estimates for construction on the Long Island wind farm were between $150 and $200 million. In 2004, FPL Energy, a subsidiary of Florida Power & Light, won the right to build the project with a bid of $356 million, pending regulatory approvals. The latest estimates put the cost at $697 million.

A call to FPL seeking comment was not immediately returned, but the company told Newsday it had not received official word from the utility that the project was being scrapped.

In a recent report, the Department of Energy said the nation's wind-power capacity increased by 27 percent in 2006, and that the U.S. had the fastest-growing wind-power capacity in the world in 2005 and 2006. Still, despite wind farms now operating in 36 states, wind accounts for less than 1 percent of the U.S. power supply.

Steven M. Sick Vote for a Dynamic Councilman

You know me and my family. I'm a life-long resident and grew up on my parents' and grandparents' farms and graduated from Cohocton School and BOCES. I have decided to seek nomination as a candidate for the Cohocton Town Board because I feel that the current board is not fairly representing the interests of all taxpayers.

I believe that the present Town Board has been unethical and is catering to special interest groups. As a property owner, I feel my rights have been violated. A Town Board should protect the rights of all of its citizens, not just a select few. Family ties and relations are important to all of us but when it comes to electing town officials, we all need to vote for representatives who have the courage to do what is right.

I served three years in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam era and joined the US Army reserve in 1979. Following September 11, 2001, I was called to active duty for Operation Enduring Freedom and served six months at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Defending our country starts with eternal vigilance of your own local town government.

As Supervisor of the Cohocton Steuben County Highway Shop I have valuable experience with government agencies. Providing dependable public services requires intelligent planning and dedicated performance. Incompetent and biased incumbents can't be trusted to spend municipal revenue. Their record is a scandal.

It is time to change politics in Cohocton. The current administration has deeply divided our town to the point where family members don't talk to each other. As a member of the Cohocton Town Board I would listen to the concerns of all of our citizens and would protect the rights of all taxpayers fairly. Please support me and my fellow Reform Cohocton candidates in the Republican primary on Sept 18, 2007.

UPC Host Agreement with Town of Cohocton


Bishop Gabriel Letter To Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

75 East 93rd Street,
New York, NY 101 28
tel: 21 2 534-1601 fax: 212 426-1086
Gabriel, Bishop of Manhattan

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
932 Legislative Office Building,
Albany, New York 1 2248

Dear Honorable Speaker Silver!

1 am writing to ask that New York State halt the wind "farm" planned for Jordanville by a Spanish company, Iberdroila, represented by Community Energy, its Pennsylvania subsidiary, because of the destructive impact this wind "farm" will have on Holy Trinity Monastery, the world spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. To allow this to happen would be a sacrilegious travesty, a disgraceful act unworthy of any state or nation that calls itself civilized.

The name of "Abroad" for the Church stems from the fact that "Abroad" stands for the millions of exiles, clergy and faithful, who fled Russia to escape persecution, and often execution, in the early 1920s after the assumption of power by militant, atheistic Communists. The very survival of pure Christianity in Russia was at stake, and to insure that it would survive and return with the eventual end of Communist rule, no matter how long that took, the hierarchy of Russian Orthodox Church Abroad kept the faith and the flame alive, first in Central Europe and then, with the rise of Hitler and the specter of war looming, to refuge in the United States of America, the bastion of freedom.

Thus some 70 years ago, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad established the Holy Trinity Monastery and the adjacent Cathedral, the seat of the Metropolitan Laurus the First Hierarch, in Jordanville i n southern Herkimer County. Here amid this beautifully bucolic and quiet landscape the Church built the spiritual center that has drawn pilgrims from the Russian diaspora, hundreds of thousands of them, fiom this country, Canada, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia, to this sacred ground. This sacred ground includes a seminary that grants degrees approved by the New York State Board of Regents as well as the Convent of St. Elizabeth for nuns. I also must note here that Holy Trinity has served as a unique beacon for emigre Russian culture in "the land of the fiee and home of the brave." Many Russian families have been drawn to the Jordanville area. They include doctors, teachers, writers, musicians and composers; among them the son of Shostakovich and Mstislav Rostropovich, the great conductor and cellist who recently died in Paris.

What are we to believe about civilization and respect for religious institutions, spiritu values and moral values, if New York State supports his destructive wind project?

Our serenity, our peace of mind, our grounds for worship of the Divine will be subsumed by a project that cannot even begin to compare to the values that we represent, except that in this case subsidized cash and quick buck are all that matter. Instead of civilization, we are faced with industrial barbarism.

Yes, we are very much aware of the threat of global warming. But at what frivolous cost does the state seek to arrest global warming? The returns fiom this Jordanville "wind farm" are pitifully small, in fact negative.
At best, given the vagaries of the wind, the project will supply electricity to 16,000 homes.

And for this a rich religious and cultural heritage must be sacrificed on the altar of mammon? To a cause that is far more greed than green? To what end?

I came to Jordanville in 1980 to study at Holy Trinity Seminary, which, as mentioned above, is located on the grounds of the Monastery. Having spent eight years there I not only received a theological education, but also came to know many of the monks closely, including the abbot of the monastery Archbishop Laurus (now the metropolitan).

Life at the Monastery helped me to not only understand more thoroughly the Christian Orthodox faith, but also the importance of the Monastery itself, as a spiritual center for all the Russian Orthodox faithful, who fled the terror of Soviet Russia, and found freedom in western Europe, the US, Australia, Canada and South America.

I am a son of such immigrants, and am very grateful that Holy Trinity Monastery exists and continues to attract pilgrims and the faiffil from all comers of the world. Having completed my studies, I lectured at the Seminary and then a few years later was tonsured a monk at the Monastery and ordained a deacon. A short time after, I was chosen to become Bishop of Manhattan, and was also consecrated to the episcopacy in Jordanville in July of 1996.

Since that time I have resided in New York City, but despite my busy schedule, I have always made an effort to regularly visit that the small town in Upstate New York that I call my home away from home.

As bishop of Manhattan, I oversee over 80 parishes in our diocese. Thousands of new immigrants from Russia have now become members of those parishes as well as citizens of this great country. Having become members of our Church, they have also become regular visitors and pilgrims of Holy Trinity Monastery. Needless to say, the erection of Wind-turbines in Jordanville would produce a profound negative effect on their future visits to the Monastery. Undoubtedly, the appearance of Wind-turbines in and around Jordanville would represent a tragedy not only to the beautiful surroundings of that particular area, but also, the continued existence and significance of the Monastery, which would-suffer-immeasurably.

I urge you to do everything in your power to stop this from happening.

Bishop of Manhattan

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Data table and maps that describe the location of the Cohocton Wind Power Project

Table 1 Turbine Coordinates of the Steuben County, NY
Cohocton Wind Power Project in NAD 83
Turbine ID Latitude Longitude

1) 42.57520794870 -77.43074452880
2) 42.57235407830 -77.43123984340
3) 42.56953239440 -77.43089008330
4) 42.56056308750 -77.45067346100
5) 42.56267720670 -77.44873111410
6) 42.56467223170 -77.44423496720
8) 42.56070256230 -77.43958806990
7) 42.56348194270 -77.43640811370
9) 42.55868554110 -77.42924606800
10) 42.55575656890 -77.43180966380
11) 42.54996299740 -77.44117462630
12) 42.55064964290 -77.40776336190
13) 42.54731297490 -77.40608847140
14) 42.54264593120 -77.40080237390
17) 42.53498554230 -77.39788997170
18) 42.53007173540 -77.39937496190
19) 42.52646684650 -77.40152955060
20) 42.52706766130 -77.40930342670
22) 42.52505064010 -77.41870784760
27) 42.52889156340 -77.44521856310
28) 42.53079283330 -77.43917309760
26) 42.52846241000 -77.45370626450
25) 42.52626299860 -77.45683634280
24) 42.52322673800 -77.45878708360
23) 42.52086102960 -77.46162569520
15) 42.54282832140 -77.42094123360
16) 42.53809865180 -77.42245911340
21) 42.51918823360 -77.40671498230
31) 42.51399993900 -77.43505156040
30) 42.51805543900 -77.43362510200
32) 42.50603914260 -77.44721889500
29) 42.52528667450 -77.43228685860
36) 42.44042158130 -77.52934968470
35) 42.44243860240 -77.52683448790
34) 42.44449853900 -77.52430474760
33_ 42.44577777720 -77.51818517380

Construction underway on Cohocton wind farm by Kat De Maria

"The town developed its own wind law, UPC did numerous environmental and interconnection studies. This is really the culmination of a long process," Swartley said.

That long process has been scrutinized by a group of concerned residents.

"We are not against a wind farm in Cohocton, contrary to popular opinion. What we are for is the proper sitting of the windmills," said Judith Hall, of Cohocton Wind Watch.

She says she wants to make sure the windmills go up a safe distance from the residences and a cemetery that dot Cohocton's hills.

"It's a very ill-thought-out project," Hall said.

Town and state officials haven't agreed and signed off on the project in recent weeks. But with lawsuits, some permits and construction pending, the dust...and dirt...haven't settled. Town leaders say they will.

(Click to read entire article)

(Click on link from article to view video)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cohocton Town Clerk Needs Real Leadership

My name is Blair Hall and I am running for Town Clerk in the Republican primary. If you are offended by the arrogant and undemocratic process that is the hallmark of the current administration, your vote can remove the incumbents from office.

The future of Cohocton must include and advance the benefit of all residents and property owners. The younger generation needs to be part of rebuilding our town. All citizens are owed an honest government. The dishonesty that has been tolerated in local government, by elected and appointed officials must end. I pledge to all my neighbors to establish the highest professional standards for an ethical and competent Town Clerk administration.

I was born in Atlanta, NY and attended Naples Central School. I earned a BSc and MA degrees from University College London. My formal education provides the discipline, organization and computer skills that will transform the Town Clerk into a model and trustworthy office. I will research and obtain available grants for the Town. The office will be open evening hours to make it easier for working residents to access the clerk's office.

If Cohocton Republicans truly believe in traditional conservative principles, then you must vote out all incumbents. You know in your heart that a cancer of deceit is at the core of the current administration. The integrity of town records and documents needs to be kept under the supervision of the Town Clerk, at the Town Hall. Cohocton MUST clean house in order to build a community that all citizens can be proud to call home. Younger residents like me should have a bright future that allows us to stay in this beautiful rural area to raise our families.

I ask for your vote and appeal to your moral courage to vote out of office the current incumbents. Reform Cohocton NOW, or pay the price for decades to come.

BLAIR HALL for Town Clerk - Republican primary Sept 18, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

Steuben Rural Electric Newsletter August 2007


Hamlin Wind Tower Report Delayed

A frustrated HamlinWind Tower Committee told the town board and town supervisor Monday night that more work must be done before anyone can decide whether to proceed with wind tower development in Hamlin.

The Committee was originally given until December to recommend whether wind turbine development is in the town's best interest and to and propose regulations. Earlier this month committee members were told by town supervisor Dennis Roach that their deadline was being moved-up to July 30th.

As the Wind Tower Committee report was presented last night Chairperson Linda DeRue made it clear that the group ran-out of time to complete its charge. DeRue said that more time should be spent looking at health concerns, legal concerns, economic impact, environmental impact and other issues. She indicated that town residents should be surveyed, and town leaders should visit a community where wind towers are already part of the landscape.

The committee did present proposed regulations for wind tower development, in the event that the Town Board and the Supervisor decide that Wind Towers are in the town's best interest.

The committee was applauded by citizens who have expressed concerns over property values, public health and other issues.

Supervisor Dennis Roach said that the committee's timeline was shortened due to indications that the state may act soon to regulate wind tower development. Roach says the Town of Hamlin should maintain local control of such projects by enacting its own regulations before the state acts.

Roach thanked the Wind Tower Committee for its work and he said that the committee report will be used by the town going forward. He said public hearings will be scheduled before the town board decides whether to regulate wind tower development, or ban it from Hamlin.

Friday, August 17, 2007

PSC Issues Certificates for Cohocton Projects

A copy of today’s decision in Case 07-E-0138, when issued, will be available on theCommission’s Web site by accessing the Commission’s File Room sectionof the homepage. Many libraries offer free Internet access. Commission orders can also beobtained from the Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500).

(Click to read PSC document)

Public Service Commission take up Iberdrola Energy East Merger

Case 07-M-0906
Iberdrola - Energy East Merger

(click to read PDF files)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

CAT - Concern About the Malone Telegram Letter


Dr. Frank "Stoner" Clark—I ASK FOR YOUR VOTE Cohocton Town Justice

In seeking the Republican nomination for Cohocton Town Justice and asking for your support, I want to say from the beginning what a unique position this office represents. It differs greatly from other elected positions in that while integrated into the entire New York State system of jurisprudence, it does not require the specific judicial background and education in law mandated for most other offices in this system. .It is designed to relieve the state judiciary of much of its burdensome case load at the local and municipal level while encouraging the healthy decentralization of government through local commu­nity participation.

(Click to read entire ad)



Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Concerned Citizens brings various interests together for forum by JOHN T. EBERTH

OLEAN - Wind turbines are promoted as a green, Earth-friendly energy source but the huge windmills have opponents seeing red.

More than 40 people gathered at the Olean Public Library Monday for a wind energy discussion hosted by Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County, an environmental advocacy group.

Concerned Citizens invited Bradley E. Jones, a business consultant from Naples, N.Y., to the meeting to talk about wind power problems in the central Finger Lakes Region. Mr. Jones is part of a group fighting two wind farms near his home.

Small towns in Western New York and Pennsylvania have been besieged by offers from companies to build wind farms in their communities. Three projects are being considered or are under way in Cattaraugus County.

Mr. Jones said wind farms are financed by investment banks because federal and state wind energy subsidies and tax breaks guarantee the turbines will make money even if they don't produce a lot of electricity. Utilities are required by law to buy electricity from wind farms. These wind farms make money because of government policies, not because they make economic or common sense, he said.

Mr. Jones said the promise of green, pollution-free energy from wind farms is also an illusion. He said the 400-foot wind-turbine towers kill up to 1,000 birds per tower per year, cause noise and sun flicker that harm human health, and actually waste energy because the wind farms need to be tied to the electrical grid to meet their own energy needs.

Electric motors turn the turbines so they always face into the wind. To do that they need the constant electricity provided by hydro power and coal-fired electric plants.

Mr. Jones said it also takes a typical wind farm with 60 turbines seven years to make up for the amount of fossil-fuel energy needed to build the wind farm in the first place. Mr. Jones is also concerned that federal energy policy allows wind farms to sell the "carbon credits" they earn for not burning fossil fuels to other industries such as coal-burning electric plants.

The policy makes money for the wind-farm operator while allowing the coal-burning plant to continue polluting because they can use the carbon credit to avoid plant improvements that protect the environment.

State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, is a proponent of wind energy as part of an overall energy policy. She attended the meeting at the request of Concerned Citizens. She said she realizes wind energy can never replace traditional forms of electricity production but believes New York needs to diversify its sources of electricity production.

She said Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the Democratic-controlled state Assembly are in favor of more wind energy as is a majority of the Republican-controlled state Senate.

But Sen. Young said she is concerned that an energy bill called Article 10, backed by Gov. Spitzer, would take control for siting new wind farms out of the hands of local governments.

The bill, still being considered by the Senate and Assembly energy committees, would create a state siting commission that would approve the placement of wind farms. The siting commission's power would supersede that of local town boards and planning boards.

The bill, still being considered by the Senate and Assembly energy committees, would create a state siting commission that would approve the placement of wind farms. The siting commission's power would supersede that of local town boards and planning boards.

The state has created similar siting commissions in the past to deal with controversial projects such as the low-level nuclear waste siting commission that toured sites in Allegany County in the 1990s.

Sen. Young said she's only for wind farms if local communities want them. She fears that if it's established, the siting commission would force communities to accept wind farms they don't want.

"I do support wind energy but I think there are some problems with the Article 10," she said.

Sen. Young urged those concerned about the Article 10 law to write to Gov. Spitzer. People can write to Gov. Spitzer by addressing their letter to Gov. Eliot Spitzer, State Capital, Executive Chamber, Albany, NY 12224.

In order to generate the peak amount of electricity, wind turbines need sustained winds of between 20 and 27 mph. But sometimes there is no wind. Because of that, wind turbines cannot replace traditional sources of electricity such as coal-fired steam turbines, Mr. Jones said. Denmark led the world in wind farm construction 20 years ago. But even at their peak, Danish wind farms only produced 20 percent of the country's energy.

"We need a stable, reliable source of electricity," Mr. Jones said. "We're not going to turn ourselves into a Third World country and only do our laundry when the wind is blowing."

Gary Abraham, an environmental attorney and member of Concerned Citizens, said in Europe, where wind turbines have been used for a generation, the demand for stable sources of electricity has meant that wind farms are only a component of an overall energy system.

"In Europe, where these have been used for years, they haven't dispensed with a single coal-burning plant," Mr. Abraham said.

Mr. Jones said Germany just decided to take energy subsidies away from wind farms and give the money to coal-mining companies.

Sen. Young said wind farming can provide some of New York's energy, but the state needs to draft new policies to control the growth of wind farms while protecting the rights of citizens.

"In the Senate we have been trying to negotiate this Article 10 bill with the governor," she said. "If you're going to have wind farms, you have to apply some common sense."

Expansion of UPC wind farm is topic of public hearing

A public hearing will be held this week on the proposed expansion of the Steel Winds wind farm in the City of Lackawanna. The hearing, before the Planning and Development Board, is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Wednesday in the Lackawanna Senior Center, 230 Martin Road.

BQ Energy, (UPC part of project) which operates the eight wind turbines at the former Bethlehem Steel site along Lake Erie, seeks to erect additional turbines but needs a zoning variance.


Our marvel town has the newest trend for our farm,
It's calling for current Windmills to hover my barn.
Song birds and shed bats used to fly free,
But now it's all about me!


I'm getting a Windmill on my land,
It will be worth a bounty of grand.
Come see it spin, come see it roar,
If only I could get twenty more!

Checkered with the "brother of my wife",
Jacketing green envy influential in my life,
Scoring the way up in countryside politics,
Big Wind found bigger wind to prove I'm a hick.


It's tough en route for the mailbox to get my check,
No unease about the family farm cutback. I'm set!
It's my bread and butter, with its strobe light effect,
In the cataract of darkness, a red light sky we get.


I'll cruise Rodeo Drive and sail the Mediterranean Sea,
My teen will drive a Hummer with an extended warrantee.
I'll get massages, and shop Fifth Avenue,
We'll have a home theater; I'm now a Who's--Who.


Pioneer Credit won't call me no more,
My neighbors may see monsters, but they didn't know poor.
This is my windfall; my ship has come in,
Just cause I'm doing better than you, it's not a sin.

By Linda George

Monday, August 13, 2007

U.S. Manufacturers and Electric Companies Remain Firmly United Against Federal Renewable Portfolio Standard

Renewable Portfolio Standard is an Electricity Tax on American Consumers

Washington, August 3, 2007 - A proposal to require U.S. power companies to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable resources in roughly the next decade likely will cost consumers billions of dollars, with little chance of achieving such an ambitious goal, manufacturing and utility groups said on August 2.

On the eve of an expected House vote on a nationwide renewable portfolio standard (RPS), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Edison Electric Institute (EEI) expressed support for increasing electric generation from renewables, but said a federal mandate was the wrong approach.

"We are deeply concerned that an RPS will lead to higher electricity prices for all types of consumers, undermining the ability of U.S. businesses to compete in a global economy and reducing the take-home pay of American workers," said NAM President John Engler, noting that U.S. manufacturers account for a third of the nation's energy use and nearly 30 percent of its electricity. "Affordable and reliable electricity is essential to the long- term health of the U.S. economy."

"Everyone's in favor of renewable energy, but this federal mandate essentially is a tax on electricity for many businesses and consumers," added EEI President Tom Kuhn. "States already are working to increase the amount of electricity produced from renewables. The last thing we need is for Congress to impose a preemptive federal mandate that is neither cost-effective nor achievable nationwide."

Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia already have mandatory renewable electricity standards in place, and three more have established RPS goals. Yet every one of these state plans includes at least one resource that would not be eligible for credit under a federal RPS.

Utilities in states without sufficient renewable resources will end up complying with a federal RPS not by building wind, solar or other types of renewable generation, but by purchasing credits from other utilities or making payments to the federal government. These costs will be incurred on top of those associated with building new, non-renewable back-up generation that can run "24/7" or be dispatched at a moment's notice, an ongoing necessity due to the intermittent nature of most renewable resources.

As a practical matter, a federal renewable electricity mandate is a huge stretch. A 15-percent RPS would mandate a 400-percent increase in renewable electricity generation in just 12 years. Clearly, this isn't an achievable goal in many areas.

The prospect of a federal RPS also raises significant collateral issues. An RPS will require not only the development and construction of new generation projects, but also will necessitate the siting and construction of new transmission infrastructure to move electricity from the remote areas in which it is produced to the customers who need it. Apart from the additional associated costs, siting generation and transmission raises significant 'NIMBY' issues that can throw a wrench into even the best-laid plans to harness renewable energy resources.

For these and many other reasons, states and their utilities -- not the federal government -- should be allowed to make their own fuel choices and tap those renewable resources available in their areas of the country. States have a proven track record when it comes to adoption of renewable electricity generation, and Congress should allow that to continue, while providing incentives and support for renewables technology and development.

"If ever there was a case in which one size doesn't fit all, this is it," the association leaders said.

The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Contact: Kat Snodgrass, 202-637-3094.

Edison Electric Institute is the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies. Our members represent approximately 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry. Contact: Dan Riedinger, 202-508-5483.

Iberdrola Renovables has selected BBVA, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch & Morgan Stanley

Energy East - RG&E and NYSEG - will be taken over by Spanish wind utility Iberdrola. U.S. Wall Street firms help provide the money.

Town of Cortlandt Resolution on Article X


Town of Caroline Resolution on Article X


Genessee Association of Municipalities Resolution


NYS Association of Towns to all Town Supervisors

Dear Supervisor:

If you are concerned about the siting of power plants in your town then you should consider the information contained in this letter and contact your state senator and member of the assembly.

The New York State Legislature is currently negotiating a renewal of Article X of the Public Service Law which will put in place a new State Permit for the siting of power plants. Towns have had the authority to site power plants off and on over the years. Most recently with the expiration of the State power siting legislation on December 31, 2002 towns have spent considerable time and expense developing and implementing local laws to site large-scale wind turbine power generation facilities (wind-farms). The legislation currently under consideration by the Legislature will preempt local authority over the siting of wind-farms in favor of the "stream-lined" state siting policy.

The Article X siting process as proposed affords local governments a limited role in the process. The siting of large-scale power plants (wind, coal, natural gas, oil, solar, nuclear) will be processed by a State siting board made up of the heads of various state agencies and two local resident ad hoc members. Although the State siting board must consider local laws (including zoning) in the review of an Article X application, the board may supersede (ignore) local laws. Local Governments may participate as an intervenor which entitles them to access a pool of money funded by the applicant to assist in funding technical advisors to help the local government review and comment on the power plant application. We have informed the Governor and the Legislature that the siting of large-scale wind turbine projects should remain under local control. While we oppose any such action, if local siting control is preempted, we have alternatively suggested that the State Siting Board must site power plants in accordance with local zoning laws. In addition, we have suggested that local governments should have an official seat on the State siting board as one of the two ad hoc members. We have further suggested that fifty percent of the intervenor fund should be set aside for municipal purposes and that intervenor funds should be used for legal fees as well as technical review. Finally, we have suggested that applicants should be required to negotiate community host agreements with affected local governments.

Although the purpose of Article X is to provide power generation producers with a streamlined one stop application process we believe that local governments should be formally included in the process. I encourage you to contact the Governor, your State Senator and State Assembly Member and members of the joint legislative conference on energy to express your concerns regarding the Article X power plant siting policy.

Kindest regards,

G. Jeffrey Haber
Executive Director

Press Release Regarding Article X - Meeting with Senator Winner

August 13, 2007
For immediate release

New York Energy Siting Law Needs Protection Measures

The New York Legislature is debating re-enactment of Article 10 of the Public Service Law. This Article governs siting of most electrical power plants in New York, all except nuclear and garbage-fired steam plants. Versions have been passed by the Assembly and Senate and Gov. Spitzer has submitted his version. The new versions include language specific to wind turbines and the law contains many positive, as well as alarming provisions. The bills are now in the NYS Energy and Telecommunications Committee to undergo finalization.

Article 10 includes many favorable features not included in other industrial, commercial or sub-division site reviews. It includes mandatory inclusion of comprehensive evaluation of not only health and safety but cultural, aesthetic, noise, historic, wildlife, habitat and other impacts by state agencies. It also creates an Intervener account providing funds for interveners to hire legal and technical expertise. Intervener status is liberally granted and there is and exhaustive review procedure through the permitting process and judicial system. A 7 person siting Board makes a permit decision. Two members are appointed local citizens at the municipality and county level. The other 5 members are from the NY PSC, DEC, DOH, NYSERDA and Economic Dev.

A group of citizens representing Cohocton Wind Watch and the Environmental Compliance Alliance met yesterday with NYS Senator George Winner, a member of the 12 person Energy and Telecommunications Committee currently debating the final content of the legislation. The group wanted to dialog with the Senator about our experiences and knowledge about the proposed widespread placement of large wind turbines throughout upstate, particularly the Finger Lakes, which he represents.

Concerns were raised to him about inappropriately close setbacks, locations in scenic corridors, long term real estate decline, inappropriate town environmental reviews, and the poor energy production, which will not materially aid demand nor reduce emissions.

Relating to Article 10, the group wanted feedback about its two objections, grandfathering of existing applications, and the Board’s power to over-ride local laws controlling turbine placement. The group felt that with so many turbine facilities now in progress that they should come under the Article 10 regulations, providing construction has not begun. Unless construction has begun a developer generally has no vested rights to prevent retroactive adherence to newly enacted laws. This is of great concern because of the widespread poor environmental reviews performed for virtually all wind facilities. With the comprehensive review provisions of Article 10 the review process would vastly improve and give much better public assurances.

Sen. Winner stated that grandfathering was always part of Article 10, it was not and will not be debated.

The law grants the Board power to avoid adherence to local laws, which Sen. Winner acknowledged. The section is below, common to all versions of the bill and was contained in the original Article 10 as well:

Assembly A08697, Senate S5908, Governor S6178:
§ 168. Board decisions.
2(e) That the facility is designed to operate in compliance with applicable state and local laws and regulations issued thereunder concerning, among other matters, the environment, public health and safety, all of which shall be binding upon the applicant, except that the board may refuse to apply any local ordinance, law, resolution or other action or any regulation issued thereunder or any local standard or requirement which would be otherwise applicable if it finds that, as applied to the proposed facility, such is unreasonably restrictive in view of the existing technology or the needs of or costs to ratepayers whether located inside or outside of such municipality. The board shall provide the municipality an opportunity to present evidence in support of such ordinance, law, resolution, regulation or other local action issued thereunder;
(emphasis added)

It was pointed out that this conflicts with NY’s strong “home rule” legacy. And specifically it conflicts with NYS Town Law that says “Among the most important powers and duties granted by the legislature to a town government is the authority and responsibility to undertake town comprehensive planning and to regulate land use for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety and general welfare of its citizens.” When creating wind turbine ordinances many NY towns have sought to preserve their character. Is there any language that could be inserted in the new Article 10 that could protect town rights? In reply Sen. Winner stated that this is an important provision, “Without this no power plant could be sited in New York.”

The Senator realizes that wind facilities will not alleviate the need for backup generating capacity. He stated our concerns “did not fall on deaf ears”, and that his committee is embroiled with debate, centered on conventional power plants. Wind power hasn’t entered yet.

Although the law has many positive aspects it removes the ability of local government to protect its citizens. Large wind facilities dominate a landscape and cause significant environmental alteration to rural areas, where they are most often sited. It does nothing to protect real estate values nor remove the onus of improperly assessed wind facilities already permitted by local governments. We believe these deficiencies should be remedied prior to enactment.

Contact Information:
Cohocton Wind Watch, James Hall (585) 534-5581
Environmental Compliance Alliance, Richard Bolton (585) 554-3809

Saturday, August 11, 2007

In-Home Wind Turbine Noise Is Conducive to Vibroacoustic Disease

Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira
ERISA-Lusofona University, Lisbon, Portugal

Nuno A. A. Castelo Branco, M.D.
Center for Human Performance, Alverca, Portugal



"Introduction. This team has been systematically studying the effects of infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN, <500 Hz) in both human and animal models since 1980. Recently, yet another source of ILFN has appeared: wind turbines (WT). Like many other ILFN-generating devices, WT can greatly benefit humankind if, and only if, responsible and intelligent measures are taken for their implementation. Vibroacoustic disease (VAD) is the pathology that is acquired with repeated exposures to ILFN environments (occupational, residential or recreational). This can be considered a scientific fact because there are 27 years of valid and robust scientific data supporting this assertion.

"Goal. To evaluate if ILFN levels obtained in a home near WT are conducive to VAD.

"Methodology. Case 1: documented in 2004, in-home ILFN levels generated by a port grain terminal, 2 adults and a 10-year-old child diagnosed with VAD. Case 2: isolated farm in agricultural area, four 2MW WT that began operation in Nov 2006, located between 300 m [984 feet] and 700 m [2297 feet] from the residential building, 3 adults and 2 children (8 and 12-years-old). ILFN levels of Case 2 were compared to those in Case 1. In both, ILFN was assessed in 1/3 octave bands, without A-weighting, (i.e. in dB Linear). In Case 1, the lower limiting frequency was 6.3 Hz, while in Case 2, it was 1 Hz.

"Results. ILFN levels in the home of Case 2 were higher than those obtained in the home of Case 1.

"Discussion. ILFN levels contaminating the home of Case 2 are amply sufficient to cause VAD. This family has already received standard diagnostic tests to monitor clinical evolution of VAD. Safe distances from residences have not yet been scientifically established, despite statements by other authors claiming to possess this knowledge. Acceptance, as fact, of statements or assertions not supported by any type of valid scientific data, defeats all principles on which true scientific endeavor is founded. Thus, widespread statements claiming no harm is caused by in-home ILFN produced by WT are fallacies that cannot, in good conscience, continue to be perpetuated. In-home ILFN generated by WT can lead to severe health problems, specifically, VAD. Therefore, real and efficient zoning for WT must be scientifically determined, and quickly adopted, in order to competently and responsibly protect Public Health."

Monday, August 06, 2007


Towns, such as Richmondville are rushing to enact a wind turbine law not to "protect" the town residents as often claimed (Richmondville residents are already protected by zoning laws that prohibit wind turbines in all of the Town's rural residential areas) but rather to remove protections in order to accommodate Reunion Power and other wind power companies.

County and Town officials have conducted private unannounced meetings with Reunion Power in a "we know best" attempt to exclude the residents from decision making. Schoharie County failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Law request for records of those meetings and the Town of Richmondville responded to a similar request by stating that they took no minutes and maintained no records of those meetings.

Town of Richmondville officials "educated" themselves about the complex issues and impacts associated with the building of industrial wind turbine facilities in rural areas, not by consulting independent experts but by watching a DVD produced by Reunion Power. While this process requires months of bipartisan research, the Town Board became experts after a few days of biased information.

If the new wind law under consideration by Richmondville and other Towns is nearly identical to that proposed by the wind power companies themselves and, if adopted, would allow industrial wind turbines in any residential area, with only minimal restrictions on setbacks from neighboring property. This will have a negative affect on nearby property values, but will not reduce those properties' tax assessment.
The power company profits again, while we pay.

Towns are being blackmailed ("make us pay taxes and we will go somewhere
else") by the wind power companies to exempt their multi-million dollar facilities from paying taxes while the residents face revaluation after revaluation to ensure they are paying "full market value" taxes on their homes.

Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) programs, that the wind power companies favor, save the wind power companies millions of dollars a year and deprive Towns of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

In addition, these same wind power companies are subsidized (78%) at the federal level, with millions of your federal tax dollars. They just aren't interested in paying their fair share, while local businesses and residents do just that. Yet, the wind power companies speak of being a "partner" with the residents of the region.

Wind turbine energy will not reduce local electric bills in any way. In fact, some traditional power companies are considering a surcharge on power bills to accommodate wind generation facilities' integration into the grid. The electricity generated is simply sold on the grid and shipped to the highest bidder.

It's important to understand that wind turbines will not impact America's dependence on foreign oil, since only 3% of domestic electricity is generated by oil-fired power plants.

The turbines proposed are not picturesque "windmills." They are massive, industrial power facilities, with fences, access roads and high voltage feeder lines. Each turbine is over 400 feet high topped by a blinking FAA required aviation beacon, which will alter the views and sight lines for hundreds, if not thousands of County residents, FOREVER. It's also important to consider that if you say "yes" to wind turbines, you also say "yes" to the eventual above ground high tension transmission towers and lines, clear-cutting, soil mitigation issues, road damage, site-fencing and associated security lighting. Not to mention the hundreds of gallons of toxic fluids EACH turbine contains including lubricating oils, dialectric oils, hydraulic fluids, anti-freeze, etc.

Industrial wind turbines create noise. The amount of noise varies from location to location, depending on geographic, topographic and other factors. The Richmondville Town Board is even considering removing the noise statute from the already lax, model wind turbine law to further accommodate Reunion Power, further exposing their constituents and full-rate taxpayers to another hazard.

Wind power companies are proposing large and invasive projects in towns throughout the County. How many are enough? How many are too many? Just in neighboring Delaware County, over 100 turbines are being proposed in the Town of Meredith. Test towers are in place in Jefferson, Richmondville and other area towns. Consider joining towns such as Andes, Bovina, Cherry Valley, Castile and others by saying "No".

We urge you contact your County and Town officials and demand an open process and fair evaluation of wind turbine proposals. Attend public hearings and demand that the interests of the community are considered before the interests of the wind power companies.

Finally, ask yourself if it is fair and acceptable to force your neighbors to live next to an Industrial Electrical Generating Facility that did not exist when they purchased or built their homes. Also please consider it is the wind power companies attempting to change the status quo, not homeowners that would have to see, hear and live with turbine and the inconvenience of the large construction project. If this is allowed to happen, what's next?

Sponsored by Schoharie Valley Watch, a non-partisan, citizens action group dedicated to open government, public awareness and maintaining the rural quality of valley life.

If suppliers compete, it's the ratepayers who'll win savings

Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. has won praise in some quarters for its proposal to redevelop Russell Station and build a new 300-megawatt electricity generating plant. While redeveloping this brownfield site clearly makes sense, retreating to the days when monopoly utilities built, owned and operated power plants is not in ratepayers' best interest. Ratepayers should not be forced to pay the escalating costs of new utility-owned plants plus a guaranteed profit. It is the old way and skews our emerging markets.

Competitive suppliers have built most of the new power generation in the last decade — including more than 5,000 megawatts (enough power to supply 5 million homes) of cleaner, state-of-the-art generation in New York since the year 2000. These projects have been undertaken by private companies at their own risk and expense. In today's competitive wholesale power market, entrepreneurial risk-taking, disciplined capital investment and operational efficiency are the keys to success for power providers and the best hope for consumers. Unfortunately, these terms and business philosophies were never synonymous with regulated utilities.

(Click to read entire article)

Robert C. Strasburg Message to Cohocton


On Thursday night August 2, 2007 the Cohocton Planning Board approved the site plans for the proposed Wind Project in our Town. We were told (recorded on video) that this was done before the Town Board finalized the agreements governing the income stream and liability protection between the Developer of the Wind Project (UPC) and the Town. Now the Developer has permission from the Town to build their project without having agreed to finalized terms of financial remunerations. We taxpayers are now at huge risk for lawsuits if the Town Board tries to negotiate financial or liability protection terms that the Developer does not like. It is now too late to negotiate with any leverage. We are now hostages at the mercy of this Developer.

Do you remember the picture of Saddam Hussein standing in the hole in Iraq looking up and foolishly demanding to negotiate with our soldiers because he was the leader of Iraq? What a pathetic picture of a delusional mind. This is a fine example of the inept leadership of the current governing administration of our Town.

Robert C. Strasburg II 585-384-9318

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Just Who Do You Trust? by James Hall

Once again the falsehoods and frauds are revealed at the Cohocton Town Board "Special Meeting" 7/31/07. Zigenfus states he has been negotiating a host payment with UPC. You will hear that large sums will be coming to Cohocton soon. What a wonderful virtual paradise, "a land of milk and honey" we will all get, provided by the "Town Fathers". That's strange; those most concerned and affected don't see it that way! All residents are supposed to receive, from the Town Board, a detailed summary about the UPC project very soon in the mail.

Before you go out and spend this great windfall, examine the facts behind the scam. Demand that any actual contracts be made public and the Town Board provide evidence of the comprehensive financial consequences. Pie in the sky claims from LLC corporate structures will not guarantee monies promised. But you are supposed to trust what Jack says because he says so and trust him to spend all this pledged money properly!

Anyone who has attended Town and Planning Board meetings knows full well that deception, deceit and disinformation are the only sure outcomes you can depend on. When Albany attorney Todd Mathes says it is appropriate for the Planning Board to issue special use permits for the entire project before the PILOT agreement is known, illustrates the insane lengths the current administration will go to advance UPC interests.

Other towns and many residents armed with documented facts stand ready to file immediate court actions against the Town and Planning Boards, UPC and their shell companies, developer paid consultants and law firms, UPC leaseholders. Zigenfus says that the Town is protected by insurance from liability, then goes on to note the exception of negligence and malfeasance. Well what do you think town officials have been doing for the last several years? The legal risks to every property owner, far exceeds the unfunded promises to pay host agreements.

WHO SHOULD YOU TRUST and WHO HAS A RECORD OF FACTUAL CONDUCT? This UPC project STILL needs mandatory State and Federal approval for necessary permits before any legally authorized construction can begin. CWW has been a voice of common sense and prudent caution that demands the Town Boards comply with all lawful regulations. Whatever host agreements become reality do you really think it is directly because of the great negotiating skills of Zigenfus, Hunt and LeVesque or settled completely on UPC terms? That question will be answered under oath at a deposition in some future legal actions.

Think long and hard. Reform Cohocton NOW or be condemned to continued closed door politics.

James Hall

Friday, August 03, 2007

Clipper Wind Manufacturer a bad investment, poor performance

Clipper Windpower, the wind turbine manufacturer that is backed by Sir Anthony Hopkins, the Oscar-winning actor, and Colin Moynihan, the former Olympian and Conservative minister, tumbled after it braced investors for a large half-year loss.

The California-based group, one of the biggest stocks on AIM, said that supply constraints meant that turbine production this year would fall nearly 30 per cent below analysts’ expectations. It added that it faced a non-recurring charge of $25 million (£12.1 million) in forthcoming first-half figures after losses on two projects. Clipper’s shares plunged nearly 11 per cent, or 87p, to 701½p.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Press/Media Release - Cohocton Planning Board to vote on Special Use Permits for UPC Project


8/2/2007 3:09:57 PM


At 7:30 PM tonight in the town of Cohocton, New York, the Joint Town and Village Planning Board will likely approve the issuance of Special Use Permits authorizing the construction of a questionable and controversial gigantic industrial wind turbine complex to be sited on the pristine hill tops of this rural farming community. A significant number of the proposed fifty 423 foot tall massive turbines, each with a blade wing span wide enough to easily fit a giant 747 aircraft between the tips, will be placed near permanent and seasonal residences.

A petition signed by almost 30 percent of the taxpayers of the town requesting a six moratorium was filed under a sworn affidavit last November with the Town Board and the Planning Board. The Town Board, Planning Board and Town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus stonewalled and consistently refuse to consider and hear the concerns of over 240 concerned property owners who were signatories. The Boards only response was to adopt a resolution prohibiting citizens from speaking to their elected officials at Town Board meetings. That action arbitrarily and capriciously took away a privilege extended to all citizens of the town for over 200 years.

There is so much suspicious smoke surrounding this proposed project, many concerned groups and individuals strongly suspect the fires of greed and corruption burn strongly beneath the surface at the expense of the health, safety and welfare of not only Cohocton’s residents, but all US citizen taxpayers.

If given the chance, strong opposition to the proposed project can be expected to be heard at tonight’s meeting to be held at 7:30 PM at the Hatch Hose Fire Company in Atlanta, New York.

The critical question for all of us is: are we fighting a dependence on foreign oil by turning over control of the national power grid to foreign owned companies?

F. Jeffrey Goldthwait, JD

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hamlin Wind Tower Report Delayed by Walter Gabalski

HAMLIN, NY (2007-07-31) A frustrated HamlinWind Tower Committee told the town board and town supervisor Monday night that more work must be done before anyone can decide whether to proceed with wind tower development in Hamlin.

The Committee was originally given until December to recommend whether wind turbine development is in the town's best interest and to and propose regulations. Earlier this month committee members were told by town supervisor Dennis Roach that their deadline was being moved-up to July 30th.

As the Wind Tower Committee report was presented last night Chairperson Linda DeRue made it clear that the group ran-out of time to complete its charge. DeRue said that more time should be spent looking at health concerns, legal concerns, economic impact, environmental impact and other issues. She indicated that town residents should be surveyed, and town leaders should visit a community where wind towers are already part of the landscape.

The committee did present proposed regulations for wind tower development, in the event that the Town Board and the Supervisor decide that Wind Towers are in the town's best interest.

The committee was applauded by citizens who have expressed concerns over property values, public health and other issues.

Supervisor Dennis Roach said that the committee's timeline was shortened due to indications that the state may act soon to regulate wind tower development. Roach says the Town of Hamlin should maintain local control of such projects by enacting its own regulations before the state acts.

Roach thanked the Wind Tower Committee for its work and he said that the committee report will be used by the town going forward. He said public hearings will be scheduled before the town board decides whether to regulate wind tower development, or ban it from Hamlin.