Thursday, September 15, 2011

'Stony Creek' PSC Hearing

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

Dear Secretary Brilling & fellow PSC members,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Mary Kay Barton

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