Cohocton Wind Watch: Gary A. Abraham September 2, 2009 Letter to D & C Reporter Steve Orr
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud




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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Gary A. Abraham September 2, 2009 Letter to D & C Reporter Steve Orr

Southern Tier wind farm gets $74.6 million in grants

Mr. Orr,

I am involved in over a half-dozen wind project proposals representing community groups and municipalities struggling to establish responsible siting standards for wind farms in rural residential areas like Cohocton.

Your report should be corrected, because no wind farm can power even a toaster when the wind is not blowing. The claim that a wind farm can generate "enough to power 50,000 homes" is highly misleading because (1) this would be true only at the time of peak performance; anyone living in a home would not tolerate intermittent power; and (2) this would be true only if effective performance could reach peak (rated, installed) capacity, but that has never happened: the largest U.S. manufacturer of wind turbines GE Energy recently reported to NYSERDA that, while the convention is to assign a 30% "capacity factor" to wind turbines, in New York land-based turbines can be expected to perform at an "effective capacity" of only 10%, because wind farms generate most during cold winter nights but the electric grid to which they are connected demands most during warm summer days.

I have attached the relevant portion of the GE Energy report.

Also, you report: "The Cohocton grants are not meant to pay for new construction, but to support the continued use of the existing turbines." This is not an accurate account of the purpose of these grants.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act modified the federal Production Tax Credit, which provides 2.1 cents per kilowatt-hour generated, or about $1 million per year for a 33-turbine wind farm generating 10 MW per year.The wind industry lobbied Congress complaining that poor credit markets made it difficult to finance wind farms, so the PTC should be transformed into an outright grant, and Congress agreed. Under the modification of the PTC a wind farm operator can elect to take a check from U.S. Treasury for 30% of the cost of the facility instead of the PTC, payable as a lump sum in the year the wind farm is put into service.

The grant is a one-time payment with no restrictions on how it might be used to support the continued use of the existing turbines. In reality, as is the case with tax credits, the proceeds are transferred to investment institutions that provided the initial financing for the project and are therefore probably lost to the community and the state.

To put this into context, a recent Manhattan Institute study found that wind farms enjoy a -164% tax rate when federal and typical state tax incentives are combined. that is, such projects are granted 100% of the capital cost of the project plus another 64% in transferable (and thus marketable) tax credits. This was before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

I have also attached the relevant portion of the Manhattan Institute report.

--Gary Abraham

-- Gary A. Abraham, Esq.
170 No. Second St.
Allegany, New York 14706
(716) 372-1913
http://www.garyabraham.com


GE Wind Integration Report

Tax Exempt Report

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