Monday, October 31, 2011

Wind power subsidy could be in danger

WASHINGTON The wind-power industry is pushing to get its favorite federal subsidy extended amid concerns that the program's expiration next year could halt the expansion of the fastest-growing renewable electricity source in the U.S.

For nearly two decades, wind power has benefited from the production tax credit, a federal incentive providing 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour to companies for new wind capacity for the first 10 years it's online. The industry says the credit has helped wind account for 35 percent of all new U.S. power capacity in the last four years while making the zero-emissions source cost-competitive with coal and natural gas.

With the credit set to expire after Dec. 31, 2012, expansion may slow if Congress doesn't approve an extension.

A recent report from IHS Emerging Energy Research, an independent research group, said expiration would cause wind-power installations to decrease from 5.6 gigawatts a year since 2005 to 2.3 gigawatts a year from 2013 to 2016 and leave wind vulnerable to competition from low natural-gas prices.

The wind-energy trade group wants Congress to extend the credit now and not wait until late next year. Rob Gramlich, senior vice president for public policy at the American Wind Energy Association, said uncertainty already has led some site developers and turbine-component makers to scale back their 2013 plans because they have to make business decisions now.

A bipartisan group of 24 governors in July called for extending the credit by up to seven years. Gramlich said he was optimistic that Congress would act because both parties like policies that provide tax relief to businesses without imposing mandates.

The industry, rushing to build while the credit is certain to be around, could add a record high 10.5 gigawatts in generating capacity next year, up from 6.5 gigawatts in 2011, the IHS report projects. The huge expansion next year means that comparable measures of wind installations will suffer in future years, dropping to 6.6 gigawatts in 2013 with the credit's extension and to less than 2 gigawatts without it, the report projects.

Wind installations decreased 73 to 93 percent each of the three years the tax credit lapsed in the 2000s, according to the wind-energy group.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Governor's Green Jobs Program Unveiled

The Governor announced Wednesday, the first of what he hopes will be hundreds of new green jobs in Vermont at his Sheffield Wind Project "Ribbon Cutting Ceremony".

According to the Governor, Sheffield's Wind Project will create 10 fulltime jobs.
(First Wind's Website says it will be 3 or 4 part and full-time positions)

At a cost of about 100 million dollars to build, (1 million in state dollars and 60 million in federal subsidies) that works out to just ten million dollars for each position created. That sounds like a bargain.

What the Governor is forgetting is that, likely as a result of this project being built, Sheffield lost the King George Farm Private School in Sheffield, a long time opponent to this project - due to the noise, health effects, and environmental damage. The school spent nearly four hundred thousand dollars in legal fees.

KGFS was an employer with 1 million dollars a year in professional salaries and also brought another one million dollars into the community purchasing goods and services. They also paid fifty thousand dollars a year in taxes. That is just one of the industries we have lost.

The Governor would be wise to take some advice from former Governor Jim Douglas, when he coined the phrase, "Vermont Scale". It creates good business, good neighbors, and good policy. These large projects do just the opposite.

Greg Bryant
PO Box 36
Sheffield, Vermont 05866

802 745 7491

Friday, October 28, 2011

Appeals court overturns key Cape Wind clearance

A federal appeals court has rejected the Federal Aviation Administration’s ruling that the Cape Wind project’s turbines present "no hazard" to aviation, overturning a vital clearance for the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

A decision Friday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the FAA didn’t adequately determine whether the planned 130 turbines, each 440 feet tall, would pose a danger to pilots flying by visual flight rules.

The court ordered the "no hazard" determinations vacated and remanded back to the FAA.

It also ruled that if the FAA found the project posed aviation risks, the U.S. Interior Department would likely revoke or modify the lease granted Cape Wind - the first granted to a U.S. offshore wind project.

The decision signals further delays for the project, which has struggled to find financing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The High Cost of Wind Energy as a Carbon-Dioxide Reduction Method

For years, politicians, environmental groups, and the renewable energy lobby have been claiming that widespread use of wind energy would result in substantial reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions.

This report—which relies on data published by the Energy Information Administration and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory— finds that if wind energy were to reduce carbon dioxide, the savings would be so small as to be insignificant and so expensive as to be impractical.

Achieving the oft-stated goal of getting 20 percent of U.S. electricity needs from wind by 2030 would require a total expenditure of more than $850 billion. Yet the likely carbon-dioxide savings from that expenditure would be just 2 percent of global emissions in 2030.

If the “20 by ‘30” target were achieved, it would impose a tax on U.S. electricity consumers of $45 to $54 for each ton of carbon dioxide that was removed. The tax would take the form of an increase of as much as 48 percent over the current price of residential electricity in coal-dependent regions of the country.

A carbon tax at that level would be 23 to 28 times higher than the carbon-taxation regime now being used in the eastern United States. It would greatly exceed the carbon tax recently imposed in Australia and be more than three times as costly, on a per-ton basis, as the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme.


In 2008, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, issued a report that said the United States could produce 20 percent of its electricity from wind by 2030.[1] The report said that the United States is working toward generating more “energy that can be cost-effective, and replaced or ‘renewed’ without contributing to climate change or major environmental impacts.”[2] Since the report was released, the wind industry, along with numerous politicians and environmental groups, has promoted wind energy as an integral part of the strategy to increase the use of renewable energy.

President Barack Obama has expressed his support for a federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which will “require that 25 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources, like solar, geothermal, wind, and biomass, by 2025.”[3] In July 2011, the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, which represents governors from 24 states, implored Obama to push for policies that will “support the continued development of wind manufacturing in the United States.” The group asked that the president extend the tax credits for wind energy production “for at least seven years.” [4]

Two bills now pending in the Senate—S.559 and S.741—would require the United States to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2025.[5]

About two-thirds of the U.S. population now face RPS mandates—29 states and the District of Columbia have passed rules requiring that varying amounts of electricity used by consumers come from renewable sources. Those mandates cannot be met just with solar energy, which, despite enormous growth in recent years, remains a tiny player in the renewable sector. (In 2010, the United States produced more than 70 times as much electricity from wind as it did from solar.)[6] Therefore, if policymakers want to comply with the mandates, wind energy will be the primary source of renewable generation.

The Obama administration is providing money for numerous wind projects. In August, the Department of Energy finalized a $102 million loan guarantee for a 50-megawatt wind project in Maine.[7] That deal follows the June announcement of a conditional loan guarantee for a $135 million, 99-megawatt wind project in New Hampshire.[8] In announcing the Maine deal, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that it was part of the administration’s goal of “doubling clean energy produced in America by 2035.” He added that “clean energy is a major driver of American competitiveness, and investments like these are essential to secure our position as global leader.”[9]

Behind the rhetoric about “clean” energy—and wind energy in particular—is the claim that using more of it will result in major reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions.


Last year, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity generation in the United States totaled 4.1 trillion kilowatt hours.[10] Of that amount, wind energy produced 94.6 billion kilowatt hours, or about 2.3 percent of total generation.[11] For wind to expand so that it could supply 20 percent of U.S. electricity consumption, it would require a nine-fold increase in the size of the installed wind generation base, which, at the end of 2010, stood at about 40,000 megawatts of capacity.[12]

Therefore, meeting the “20 by ‘30” goal would likely require the United States to obtain about 360,000 megawatts of wind-generation capacity. That’s a huge amount given that the total installed electric-generation capacity in the United States (from all sources, i.e., coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, etc.) is about 1 million megawatts.[13]

The land requirements for 360,000 megawatts of wind-generation capacity would be substantial. The Roscoe Wind Complex in Texas, one of the world’s largest wind projects, has a capacity of 781.5 megawatts and covers about 154 square miles—about 0.2 square miles per installed megawatt of wind capacity.[14] Using Roscoe as an example, then, 360,000 megawatts of capacity would require about 72,000 square miles of land to be occupied with wind turbines.

That area, if taken together, would rank as the 17th-largest state in the country, just ahead of North Dakota, which has 69,000 square miles.[15] Put another way, that much land is equivalent to nearly ten New Jerseys.[16] Few people could live on that 72,000 square miles because the noise (including infrasound) generated by the wind turbines is so disruptive. The deleterious health effects of wind-turbine noise have been documented by health professionals in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.[17]

Even if we assume that the installation of massive amounts of new wind capacity poses no health risks, and creates no conflicts with rural landowners, the costs of attempting to achieve the “20 by ‘30” goal will be staggering. The latest data from the EIA put the cost of installing one megawatt of wind-energy capacity at $2.43 million.[18] (Note that this is a major increase over the estimate of $1.7 million per megawatt used by NREL in its 2008 report.)[19] The cost of locating wind turbines offshore will be even higher. The latest EIA estimate for installing one megawatt of wind-generation capacity offshore is $5.97 million.[20] (Here, too, the cost is increasing, not decreasing. In 2009, EIA’s offshore estimate was $3.4 million per megawatt.)[21]

The United States has already spent about $68 billion installing the 40,000 megawatts of wind capacity now in place.[22] Installing an additional 320,000 megawatts of wind power at $2.43 million per megawatt will cost the United States about $777.6 billion, or about $44.7 billion every year for the next 19 years. (As noted above, if policymakers prefer to pursue offshore wind, the annual total would be more than double that sum.)

An allocation of $44.7 billion per year would exceed the current combined budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, Commerce Department, Treasury Department, and Interior Department.[23] It’s not clear how such a program would be funded, however, since the federal government has no money to spare. State governments are also in financial peril. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan research and policy institute, the states had a combined budget shortfall of $130 billion for fiscal year 2011. In 2012, the CBPP expects the combined shortfall to be $103 billion, with another $46 billion shortfall looming in 2013.[24]

Adding the $68 billion spent on existing wind generation capacity to the $777.6 billion cited above produces a total $845.6 billion. But that figure doesn’t include any money for the gas-fired generation capacity that will be needed to counteract the intermittency of the wind. Nor does it include any money for the construction of the additional transmission lines that will be needed to carry the electricity from windy rural areas to customers in distant cities.

Building new transmission capacity will be extremely expensive. For instance, Texas alone is planning to spend about $7 billion on new transmission capacity for wind energy.[25] Adding the expected transmission costs in Texas to the sum mentioned above (while ignoring the additional transmission costs and gas-fired generation costs that will be incurred in other states) shows that achieving the “20 by ‘30 goal” will cost more than $850 billion, or about $7,548 for each U.S. household.[26]

Potential Carbon-Dioxide Reductions

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), an industry group, maintains that reducing the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere “is the most important environmental benefit from wind power generation.”[27] For its part, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a national trade association, says “there is no need to wait for a new climate solution. Wind power is one of only a few near-term options to reduce emissions.”[28] In its 2008 report, the NREL claimed that if the United States were to derive 20 percent of its electricity from wind, it “could avoid approximately 825 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in the electric sector in 2030.”[29]

How does that 825 million tons of carbon dioxide compare with global emissions? In 2010, global carbon-dioxide emissions totaled 33.1 billion tons.[30] Thus, if the United States were somehow able to instantly increase its wind-generated electricity to 20 percent of total consumption, doing so might reduce global emissions by about 2.5 percent. But it is unlikely that global emissions will be the same in 2030 as they were in 2010. By 2030, the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects global emissions will total about 40.2 billion tons.[31] Thus, the 825 million tons that NREL claims might be reduced by achieving the “20 by ‘30” goal will result in a global reduction of just 2 percent.[32]

Therefore, to justify a total investment of $850 billion in wind, U.S. policymakers would have to agree that reducing carbon dioxide in the year 2030 is worth spending $1,030 per ton. Of course, that amount would not be spent all at once. Instead it would be allocated over the coming 19 years and would be, in effect, a carbon tax set at $54 per ton.

However, the actual cost may be somewhat lower. In its 2008 report, NREL claimed that only 305,000 megawatts of wind capacity would be needed to meet the “20 by ‘30” goal. Recall that the United States has built about 40,000 megawatts of wind capacity at a cost of about $68 billion. Thus, building an additional 265,000 megawatts of wind capacity (again, at $2.43 million per megawatt) at a cost of $644 billion, would lead to a total cost of $712 billion, thereby implying that cutting one ton of carbon dioxide by 2030 would cost about $863. Spread over the next 19 years, the cost would be the equivalent of a carbon levy set at $45 per ton.

Achieving the “20 by ‘30” goal will have a significant impact on electricity rates. In 2007, Steven Hayward and Kenneth Green of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) estimated that a $15 carbon tax would likely increase the cost of coal-fired generation by about $0.0163 per kilowatt-hour. Therefore, we can assume that a carbon levy of $54-per-ton could increase electricity rates in coal-reliant regions by about $0.058 per kilowatt-hour. That’s a major increase given that the average price of electricity for residential consumers in the United States is currently $0.12 per kilowatt-hour.[33]

Put another way, if the United States were to achieve the “20 by ‘30” goal, U.S. residential electricity prices in coal-dependent regions could increase by about 48 percent over current levels. If we use the lower range of wind costs outlined by NREL in its 2008 report, and assume that reducing a ton of carbon by 2030 will cost $45 per year, the increase in electricity costs in coal-dependent areas will amount to about $0.049 per kilowatt-hour. That would result in an increase of 40 percent over current levels for residential customers in those regions.
These higher electricity costs will likely accelerate the pace of electric rate increases now underway around the country. Since 2004, the average cost of residential electricity has gone from $0.0895 per kilowatt-hour to $0.1218 per kilowatt-hour, an increase of 36 percent.[34]

A Comparison of Existing Carbon-Tax Regimes

Achieving the “20 by ‘30” goal would create a carbon tax—at $45 or $54 per ton—that would be far higher than similar levies being imposed by other regulatory jurisdictions. The only extant carbon-pricing regime in the United States, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon market established by 10 states in the eastern part of the country, recently sold allowances for $1.89 per ton.[35] (Each allowance gives the owner the right to emit one ton of carbon.) And RGGI, America’s first carbon market, is faltering. In May 2011, New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced that his state would be quitting the program.[36] Christie said the program “is not working as it was intended to work. It’s a failure.”

The California Carbon Allowance cap-and-trade system began trading in August 2011 at a price of $17 per ton.[37] But the program will not launch until 2013. And while the trading now underway will help market participants to structure forward deals and consider compliance strategies, it remains to be seen how the allowances will be priced when covered entities must begin actually complying with the cap-and-trade system.[38]

In mid-2012, the Australian government is to begin imposing a carbon tax of about $24 per ton on major industrial plants.[39] That levy, which is being fought by Australia’s big industrial users, is scheduled to rise by 2.5 percent per year until 2015, after which the country expects to switch to a carbon-trading system. Meanwhile, in Europe, the price of carbon allowances under the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme is falling rapidly as the region’s economic troubles have become more pronounced. In early May, the cost of a one-ton carbon allowance was more than $24. By mid-October, that allowance was trading for about $14.[40]


Wind energy is not a cost-effective method of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions. Any effort—whether at the state level or the federal level—to dramatically increase the use of wind energy will result in a new tax on electricity consumers. If the United States were to achieve the “20 by ‘30” goal, the effective carbon tax of $45 to $54 per ton would far exceed any such tax regime currently in place. Further, if the stated goal were met by 2030, the likely reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would amount to just 2 percent of the expected global total.

Robert Bryce, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jerusalem wind farm law open for comment

At their regular meeting Oct. 19, the Jerusalem Town Board opened four public hearings:

• The proposed wind farm regulations will remain open for public comment until they come up for a vote at the Nov. 16 meeting.

Monday, October 24, 2011

State's top court denies Clear Skies Over Orangeville's latest appeal

ORANGEVILLE — The state’s highest court has denied Clear Skies Over Orangeville’s latest appeal request.

The Court of Appeals issued its ruling Thursday. It declined to hear the case.

The group opposing the Stony Hill wind farm filed the request in July. It argued that councilmen Hans Boxler Jr. and Andrew Flint should have recused themselves from voting on the town’s 2009 zoning ordinances, claiming conflicts of interest.

The ordinances had included rules for wind turbine development.

The CSOO lawsuit was originally filed in January 2010. It sought to invalidate the updated zoning, but was dismissed three months later.

In his original decision, State Supreme Court Judge Patrick NeMoyer ruled Town Board members did not act unlawfully when they approved the ordinances. He also found no conflicts of interest among the voting councilmen.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Martinsburg wind project could happen in 2012, but no promises

With a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes plan for the proposed Roaring Brook Wind Farm expected to be adopted in early December, construction of the nearly five-year-old project may commence as soon as next year.

However, after previously delaying the 39-turbine project owing to market conditions, the developer is making no promises.

“We are still working to close out some development items, like the PILOT,” Paul C. Copelman, a communications manager with Iberdrola Renewables, said via email. “We are also continually evaluating important factors like the market and equipment and construction costs and expect to make a decision about how to proceed within the next few months. If all goes well, we could make this happen next year.”

Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is proposing a 78-megawatt wind farm on 5,280 acres just south of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm. Iberdrola is part owner of that 195-turbine wind farm, which also extends into the towns of Harrisburg and Lowville.

Read the entire article

Friday, October 21, 2011

First Wind signs first turbine deal with Siemens

UNITED STATES: First Wind has signed a deal with Siemens for 69MW to go to a project in Hawaii.

The Siemens 2.3MW turbines will go to the Kawailoa project on the north shore of Oahu island. It is the first turbine supply agreement First Wind has signed with Siemens.

The project is set for construction by the end of the year.

First Wind also owns the 30MW Kahuku wind farm on Hawaii. The project uses Clipper Windpower 2.5MW turbines.

According to the latest Windpower Monthly Windicator, Hawaii has a total wind capacity of 93MW.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Unfavorable news blows about wind, solar power

We have not heard much lately regarding the proposed wind project in Highland Plantation.

We are very aware that, at some point in time, First Wind LLC likely will submit another application to the Land Use Regulation Commission with a few tweaks included for the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.

There is also a very high probability that wind turbines are in the works for Lexington and Concord.

We have heard a lot in the news in recent weeks regarding the green energy options of wind and solar. Not all of the news has been favorable. The Solyndra scandal is a great example of how the alternative energies can go bust. The public is going to pick up the ticket for Solyndra. How many more poor government choices can we afford to pay for?

Wind power will bring higher electricity rates to an already burdened public. New power lines to carry the power south on the grid will be necessary, adding more to the cost, which will again be passed on to us consumers.

How many more added expenses can we afford to pay in this downward spiraling economy? The cost of food, gas, fuel oil, clothing has risen dramatically over the past few months. It makes it difficult to keep our heads above water.

Social Security has had no cost of living increases. Any additional expense makes it even harder for people on limited incomes to survive.

Linda Miller

Lexington Township

Pork Lawsuit NYS Court of Appeals No. 190 Bordeleau v NYS

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hopkinton Town Council holds off on wind law

The Hopkinton Town Council has tabled a law regulating wind energy facilities.

The council had intended to vote on the local law, which would establish parameters for wind energy in Hopkinton, after a public hearing Monday night. But after a last-minute lobby from wind energy opponents, the council deferred its vote until November.

During the two-hour hearing, several in attendance submitted testimony and information about wind power for the council’s consideration. When the time came to vote, some of those who submitted information criticized the council for not reading it before voting.

“You’re acting like you’re indifferent to the voice of the citizens by voting tonight,” said Lynda A. Bage, Hopkinton.

Read the entire article

Lowell wind project fight continues in court and in woods

The highly disputed Lowell Wind Project is now under way.

Green Mountain Power began blasting near where protestors have camped out. Roughly 20 protestors camped out Tuesday on the mountain. The hike takes roughly one hour straight up from behind the Nelson's property.

The protestors are fighting Green Mountain Power's $156 million project planned to build 21 wind turbines-- each more than 400-feet tall. GMP officials say the turbines would power more than 24,000 homes.

The problem is a boundary dispute between GMP and Don and Shirley Nelson. They are unwilling to sell their property that is needed by GMP to blast on.

GMP says the project was supported by 75 percent of Lowell residents.

Protestors claim the town stands behind the Nelsons.

"We will build this wind project. We will most definitely build the wind project. What the issue is now is about safety. We need to clear a zone so that we can blast safely according to normal blasting procedures that are used hundreds of times a year across the state," said Dotty Schnure of GMP.

"Nobody is up there because they are required to be or even asked to be. So individuals are up there based on what they want to do. My folks have never posted their property against hunters and hikers," said Michael Nelson, the landowners' son.

Several protestors we met Tuesday declined to speak on camera and did want their names revealed due to the legal issue at hand. Don Nelson says there is no asking price or compromise aside from shutting the project down. He expects this will likely end in a lawsuit.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wyoming supervisors oppose Power NY Act

The Wyoming County Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution opposing the Power NY Act.

The bill gives the state increased authority to site power plants and streamlines the siting process. It was signed into law two months ago.

Supervisors approved the resolution expressing “deep disappointment and concern” over the law during their Oct. 11 meeting.

“This is in opposition to the state of New York being the last approving agency to decide which green energy projects go where in New York state, particularly in the towns and counties,” said Chairman Douglas Berwanger.

The Power NY Act includes a section re-authorizing Article X of the state’s Public Service law. The original Article X had expired about a decade ago, allowing local governments to assume jurisdiction over power plant siting issues.

Albany now has the authority to site electricity-generating projects of 25 megawatts or more. Construction and operating certifications can also be issued more-quickly.

Large-scale commercial wind farms fall under the new rules.

Wyoming County’s resolution argues the Power NY Act puts the authority into the hands of a bureaucratic state board with only nominal input from affected communities.

It also maintains the new legislation is part of a disturbing trend removing powers from local jurisdictions and transferring them to a faceless bureaucracy with no jurisdiction.

The Power NY Act was approved overwhelmingly this past June. Tallies included 117-13 in the State Assembly and 59-3 in the State Senate.

But the law met resistance from some local legislators. Assemblyman Daniel Burling, R-Warsaw and State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, R-Clarence were among those voting no.

“We needed to take a stand and let people know where we are as far as Article X is,” Berwanger said after the meeting. “We’ve got some enthusiastic supporters and detractors as far as any kind of energy development systems in the county.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cohocton Wind Watch Filing Lawsuit To Fight "Corporate Welfare"

Cohocton Wind Watch Filing Lawsuit To Fight "Corporate Welfare"

BUFFALO, NY - There’s a lawsuit in the New York Court of Appeals which seeks to end state and local government cash grants for businesses for economic development purposes. The case is being argued by Buffalo attorney Jim Ostrowski, who calls these sorts of grants crony-capitalism. "Basically, corporate welfare is the glue that holds the whole rotten system in New York together, so it's extremely important that we end it," Ostrowski told WLEA/WCKR News.

We asked Hornell Industrial Development Agency Director Jim Griffin what he thought about grants for businesses being referred to as crony capitalism. "We're in competition with 49 other states," Griffin said. The IDA Director added that New York needs programs that are competive with the other states, such as the Empire Zone Program.

One of the petitioners in the lawsuit is Steuben County’s watchdog group, Cohocton Wind Watch.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vermont utility warns protesters about cost of delays

MONTPELIER — The Green Mountain Power utility said Wednesday it's ready to hold a couple financially responsible for the costs of delays in construction of a major wind power project if protesters camped on their land within a blasting safety zone don't get out of the way.

GMP spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure said the utility was cleared Wednesday to resume work on the Kingdom Community Wind project on Lowell Mountain after changes had been made to construction procedures to protect stormwater. Construction of the road to the top of the mountain is expected to resume Thursday.

But the effort to build the 21-turbine project was further clouded Wednesday after the owners of a farm that adjoins the Lowell wind project rejected an offer to sell their property to GMP.

Schnure said GMP had offered to pay Don and Shirley Nelson $1.25 million for the 600-acre farm in Lowell, a small town in the northern part of the state. She said the Nelsons rejected the offer and raised their asking price by $1 million.

Meanwhile, the utility threatened to hold the Nelsons responsible for the costs of any delays caused by project opponents camping on their land within the range of debris that could be spread by blasting needed to build the road.

Schnure said that if the protesters were to leave their campsites for 15 minutes several times a day they would be out of the range.

"If they delay us, there are costs involved," she said. "Our customers should not have to pay those costs when it's very simple for them to move. We have told them that if they do not have their people move we will ask the court to hold them responsible for the costs of the delay. That could very quickly run into a million dollars or more."

The Nelsons did not return a telephone call from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday.

But a friend of the Nelsons, Annette Smith, an outspoken critic of large-scale wind projects, called GMP's actions, "extortion."

"Why are they threatening some already victimized downtrodden people?" she said. "Now what's happening is Green Mountain Power has put a gun to their heads."

GMP's $156 million wind power project is due to be completed by the end of next year and could meet the annual electrical needs of more than 20,000 households — about 50,000 residents. It has drawn vigorous opposition from some neighbors and environmentalists, whose concerns include its effects on wildlife, noise from the turbines and marring unspoiled mountain vistas.

Last month the Nelsons invited campers opposed to the Lowell wind project to pitch tents 100 feet from their property line and well within the safety zone surrounding where some of the blasting will occur.

Damage to Corn Field by First Wind Crane - Cohocton, NY

Lawsuit Claims "Corporate Welfare" is Illegal

Court hears arguments in suit challenging state subsidies for business

ALBANY -- In a case that unites liberal and conservative causes, the state's highest court today will hear arguments over a lawsuit seeking to end the state's direct cash subsidies to corporations as part of Albany's economic development programs.

The case, brought by Lockport financial planner Lee Bordeleau and 40 others in an anti-tax group, challenges the underpinnings of what critics say is a longstanding -- and illegal -- corporate welfare system at the Capitol.

Besides an afternoon appearance before the Court of Appeals, a rally sponsored by the Tea Party Coalition is being held at noon outside the Capitol.

"We want to end these cash grants," said Buffalo lawyer James Ostrowski, who is representing the plaintiffs who, if successful, could turn on its head the state's funding of everything from Fortune 100 companies to small startups.

"All the money we save if we win this lawsuit we want to turn into an immediate tax cut," Ostrowski said.

The group says Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is continuing the corporate subsidy program done by generations of governors. They are zeroing in on his recent deal with IBM, Intel and others in which $500 million will be steered through the state university as part of a nanotechnology package based in the Albany area.

Ostrowski said such subsidies -- whether indirectly made through the state university or direct, such as the $600 million to a chip manufacturing facility near Saratoga Springs -- all violate the state constitution.

The lawsuit specifically targets everything from direct cash appropriations the state has made in recent years to IBM, apple and grape growers, Delphi Harrison, the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, a Rochester soccer stadium and others. Even the now-scuttled cash Albany was trying to use to lure Bass Pro Shops to Buffalo was in the earliest court papers when the case was filed three years ago.

The lawsuit was tossed from State Supreme Court. But a mid-level appeals court last year rejected legal arguments by lawyers for Cuomo -- when he served as attorney general representing the state in the case -- and unanimously said the suit could go forward.

"Giving the funds to private entities by channeling them through authorized public entities will not shield these appropriations from challenge," the Appellate Division's Third Department warned last year.

The state has said the grants are legal and necessary for the "public purpose of promoting economic development." A state lawyer last year said the lawsuit could spawn "months or years of uncertainty and the potential for a multitude of additional disputes" over state spending.

Ostrowski said the case has attracted the interest of conservatives from the Tea Party and liberals from the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The state's constitution -- in Article VII, Section 8 -- states that "the money of the state shall not be given or loaned to or in aid of any private corporation or association, or private undertaking." Critics say besides directly violating the ban in annual budget appropriations, the state has used public benefit corporations, authorities and other off-budget ways to steer money to companies.

That Cuomo's nanotechnology announcement sent money to the state university and not directly to IBM and Intel shows the state is nervous about the lawsuit, Ostrowski said. "They're afraid they're going to lose the lawsuit and they're already restructuring their corporate welfare."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tea Party Rally against corporate welfare Albany Capitol steps - NOON Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Everyone invited to join this rally in Albany. CWW is a petitioner in this action. Show you support.

Note: we won in the Appellate Division five to zero.

The name of the case is Bordeleau v. State of New York.

Oral argument will be held at the Court of Appeals, NY's highest court.

For more information google “pork lawsuit.” is the summary from the Court’s web site. Formatting may be a bit off.

To be argued Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No. 190 Bordeleau v State of New York

In this declaratory judgment action, 50 New York taxpayers challenge the constitutionality of state appropriations to the Department of Agriculture and Markets and two public benefit corporations (PBCs) for ultimate distribution to private entities for economic development projects. They argue, in part, that this funding violates article VII, § 8(1) of the State Constitution, which prohibits gifts or loans of state money or credit to private entities. The challenged appropriations and grants included funding through Ag & Markets for promotional activities by the New York Apple Growers Association and the Long Island Wine Council to encourage consumption of New York agricultural products, and funding through PBCs for semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Saratoga, Albany and Dutchess Counties and renovation of a hotel in downtown Buffalo. The plaintiffs sued the State, its Urban Development Corp. (UDC) and Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., and six private companies, including International Business Machines Corp., West Genesee Hotel Associates, and GlobalFoundries U.S., Inc.

Supreme Court dismissed the suit, ruling there was no violation of the gift or loan provision. It said, “The State is authorized to provide funding to a public benefit corporation, including [UDC]…. The very purpose of the [UDC] is to promote the State’s policy of enhancing job opportunities, urban renewal and economic development…. A review of the [UDC] projects at issue here shows that each speaks to a viable public, economic development purpose….” It said Ag & Markets “is expressly authorized to aid in the promotion and marketing of New York’s wine and grape products” and its appropriations to fund promotional contracts with non-profit agricultural organizations are not barred under Article VII, § 8.

The Appellate Division, Third Department modified by reinstating the claim that the appropriations “indirectly gave state funds to private entities in violation of … article VII, § 8(1) by passing the funds through [Ag & Markets] and the PBCs before disbursement.” It said, “Giving the funds to private entities by channeling them through authorized public entities will not shield these appropriations from challenge, for the State may not do “‘indirectly that which cannot be done directly”‘….” It said the constitutionality of the appropriations does not depend on whether they served a public purpose, but “whether their public benefits constitute sufficient consideration while the private benefits are merely incidental.” The question was not resolved as a matter of law by the defendants’ submissions “showing their public purposes,” it said, and remitted the matter to Supreme Court for further proceedings.

The defendants argue that “appropriations for the public purpose of promoting economic development” do not violate article VII, § 8. “Recent precedents establish that an appropriation is valid … so long as it has a predominant public purpose and any private benefit is purely incidental,” the State says, claiming the challenged appropriations meet this standard. It also argues the appropriations “were not gifts at all because the recipients agreed to create jobs or provided other valuable consideration to the State in exchange for the funds.”

For appellant State: Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood (518) 474-1394
For appellant IBM: Teena-Ann V. Sankoorikal, Manhattan (212) 474-1000
For appellant West Genesee Hotel: Kevin J. Cross, Buffalo (716) 853-5100
For appellant GlobalFoundries: Harold Iselin, Albany (518) 689-1400
For respondents Bordeleau et al: James Ostrowski, Buffalo (716) 435-8918

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Windmills blow into Orangeville

Love them or hate them, wind farms continue to stir up a storm of controversy in Western New York.

The most recent project, Stony Creek Wind Farm in the tiny town of Orangeville, calls for as many as 59 wind turbines to be built in that rural community.

And with more than 200 turbines already turning in Sheldon, Wethersfield and Eagle, it seems like Wyoming County will retain its claim as the wind capital of Western New York.

With New York State's goal of having 30 percent of the state's energy needs supplied by clean, renewable energy sources, the landscape is changing throughout the state. The Long Island Power Authority and Consolidated Edison recently applied for permits to build a massive wind farm off Long Island with a capacity of 350 to 700 megawatts.

Although the Stony Creek project has been approved by the Town Board and is slated to begin in the spring, many residents have raised concerns, including noise levels and the effect of the project on wildlife, and two lawsuits have been filed to try to stop the project.

Town Supervisor Susan Mays said those issues have been addressed by the town from the beginning.

"We have looked at everything they've submitted, and all of their material was included in each of the studies that was done," she said. "The Town Board looked at everything thoroughly, and that's how we came to our conclusion."

"You're always going to have opposition to projects like these," she said.

Eric Miller, director of business development for Invenergy, the company erecting the windmills, said the Stony Creek project "will create more than 100 jobs and provide millions of dollars in new revenue to local businesses and contractors during construction."

"Once operational, it will employ four to six full-time staff," Miller said. "The town will benefit from 7.5 miles of town roads that will be rebuilt by Stony Creek at the completion of construction."

Mays also said payments from the project developer to the town would amount to about $667,000 a year for the first 20 years of the project, which would eliminate town taxes for residents.

"The Stony Creek Wind Farm is far and away the largest economic development project in our town's history," Mays said. "It not only provides significant and direct economic development benefits to the town and its taxpayers, but it will result in hundreds of construction jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to local businesses during these very difficult times. The amount that we will get for the 59 turbines will eliminate town taxes and there is also $750,000 for road reconstruction for the roads used for the project."

The approval for Stony Creek comes after the addition of six windmills on the former Bethlehem Steel site along Lake Erie and the approval by the Allegany Town Board in August for 29 wind turbines above Chipmunk Road. The two projects are among 17 renewable energy projects in the state to receive funding through a program aimed at reducing the state's dependence on fossil fuels.

But windmill fever will not extend into the lake. A plan to put up to 150 wind turbines in Lakes Erie and Ontario was halted after the New York Power Authority determined it would be too expensive.

In Orangeville, not everyone agrees on the Stony Creek wind farm's economic impact on the town.

"The basic question is whether the benefits outweigh the burden," said Gary Abraham, attorney for Clear Skies Over Orangeville, a coalition of town residents that has taken the town to court over the issue.

As for the potential revenue from the project, Abraham said there is no guarantee that will happen.

"It's not a great feat to eliminate town taxes," Abraham said. "It's really kind of a cruel joke. In other towns, they've just spent [the income] on other things. They're not reducing town taxes. There's no guarantee that's not going to happen in Orangeville. And the town's taxes are only 15 percent of a person's property taxes."

Although the lower courts sided with the town in the Clear Skies suit earlier this year, the group is continuing the fight, seeking a hearing from the New York State Court of Appeals.

"In 2009, the town adopted a law regulating wind farms, and we sued the town," Abraham said. "We claim that the law is not supported by any evidence. It adopts a noise standard that is outrageously high based on [state Department of Environmental Conservation] standards. We're hoping the highest court in New York will address this issue."

A second lawsuit is pending, brought by resident Robert White, who is seeking to declare the tower's area variance null and void. He maintains the tower would be within 800 feet of a cabin on his property, violating town setback requirements. His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 9. White declined to be interviewed by The Buffalo News.

Even after a project is completed, the controversy continues. Glenn Cramer, a former Sheldon town councilman, said his town is still divided over the issue.

"I wouldn't use Sheldon as an example of a successful wind farm," he told The News. "It is another example of why industrial wind farms do not belong anywhere near people. The town will be forever divided."

Cramer said that in addition to the noise, the shadow flicker -- the shadow cast when a large windmill blade sweeps in front of the sun -- can be a problem. Some people who live near windmills in other areas have complained that the effect is like a light switch being rapidly turned on and off.

"When someone from Sheldon supports the wind farm, ask him or her what he or she stands to gain financially from it. I think you will see a direct relationship. Some residents have gained from the wind farm, but it has been at the expense of their neighbors."

News Staff Reporter Barbara O'Brien contributed to this report.

Vt. orders work to stop at Lowell wind project due amid possible environmental violations

A stop-work order has been issued for construction on the Lowell Mountain wind power project because of possible environmental violations, a top Vermont official said Friday.

Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz confirmed that the order had been issued for what an inspector determined was inadequate handling of storm runoff during the early stages of work on the project, which is being developed by Green Mountain Power Corp.

Markowitz said that as crews were working on a new road that is to carry equipment and eventually the more than 400-foot-tall wind towers to the mountain ridge line, they needed gravel to prevent newly exposed soil from running off during rains.

"As they're clearing land to build the road they need to put cover on some of the exposed ground so that there isn't runoff," she said. "The place that they expected to get the gravel did not have an adequate amount and so they moved to another location that was not contemplated in the permit."

GMP spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure said the utility reported problems with runoff early in the week to the Agency of Natural Resources — problems made worse by heavy rains last weekend. She said a state inspector came to the site, confirmed the problems and issued the stop-work order Wednesday. She said road-clearing work remained halted Friday as the company awaited a final review and permission from the state to resume work.

Schnure said the result would be that the company was beginning work on storm water drainage systems it had planned to wait to install until the road was built. "With the really heavy rains it became evident we needed to work on that now," she said. "We refocused our attention on getting those done before we continue with the clearing."

GMP's $156 million, 21-turbine wind power project is due to be completed by the end of next year and is expected to provide enough power for 24,000 homes.

Some neighbors and environmental groups have vehemently opposed the project, saying it will destroy key wildlife habitat and spoil mountain views in northern Vermont with towers and turbines standing more than 400 feet in the air.

David Mears, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, which is part of the Agency of Natural Resources, said steps to slow runoff that were needed and missing were the gravel cover for newly exposed soil and stone-lined catch basins along the side of the part of the road that had been built to slow water from running downhill and carrying sediment with it.

"These were fairly serious violations of the storm water permit, particularly the storm water control (problems) and the discharge of sediment," he said.

Luke Snelling of opposition group Energize Vermont pointed to earlier environmental violations, including improper tree cutting and filing of wetlands on adjacent conservation land that caused the project to be delayed for months when they were discovered.

"This is the second time at this site something has been screwed up to the detriment of the environment," Snelling said. "How many more to we have to go before we see this is a bad project in a highly sensitive place?"

Experts say first offshore wind turbines in Great Lakes years away

MUSKEGON — Large wind turbines are still years away from being installed in the Great Lakes, the federal government’s offshore wind manager and a former industry insider say.

Yet, U.S. Department of Energy’s Christopher Hart and former Bluewater Wind offshore wind developer Mike O’Brien agreed Friday that Grand Valley State University’s offshore wind assessment and research buoy could significantly impact the potential for wind turbines in the Great Lakes.

Hart and O’Brien attended the dedication of the buoy Friday at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Lake Michigan field station. The floating, 20-by-10-foot structure is equipped with a special laser wind sensor to measure wind speeds at various heights over the lake.

When each was asked by The Chronicle to look into their “crystal balls” to predict when turbines might be installed in the Great Lakes, Hart said six to eight years and O’Brien said as early as three to five years.

Hart said he expects that the first offshore wind projects will be completed in the Northeast portion of the United States, because traditional energy costs there are higher so offshore wind’s cost competitiveness will be realized sooner.

After technology advancements are complete and financial risks of offshore wind energy minimized, Hart said he expects “best” projects to begin being installed in the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico. Among the advancements currently being pursued is improved power transmission capabilities for offshore turbines, being backed by Google, and larger turbines to access better winds farther offshore.

Hart said the goal is to reduce the costs of offshore-wind-produced electricity from 20 cents per kilowatt hour to 7 cents per kilowatt hour. He said he expects about half of the cost reduction to come in technological advancements and the other half from lower capital costs.

By building bigger wind farms with larger turbines and blades and putting them farther offshore, Hart said he expects offshore wind development to make better business sense. It also will allay concern about the turbines’ appearance from the shore.

O’Brien said the wind-assessment buoy’s data, if deemed accurate, and state changes in the permitting process are keys to making offshore wind farms more viable in the Great Lakes. He said if those two items are favorable for developers, wind turbines could be put in the Great Lakes in three to five years.

However, O’Brien said it may be five to seven years if floating turbines are deemed the better option to install farther off land in deeper water.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

BP Invests $800 Million In Kansas Wind Farm

British energy giant BP has announced plans to invest $800 million in a new onshore wind farm, set to be built in Kansas within the next three months.

The company, best known for the oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico, made the announcement early this week, according to Business Green. The wind farm will utilize 262 1.6MW turbines provided by GE, and Associated Electric Cooperative has already agreed to a long term deal that will see the company purchase 314MW of energy produced at the farm.

The Kansas wind farm, dubbed the Flat Ridge Two project, will be BP's dozenth wind farm in the United States, all of which have an energy capacity of 314MW. Four more are either in the planning stages or already under construction.

According to BP's website, the energy company has focused on building US wind farms "because the desired physical climate and public policy favor wind technology." The company has also partnered with Clipper Windpower to build the Titan Wind Project in South Dakota, which would be the largest wind farm in the world.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Electric Industry testimony on Tax Reform

Those of you who have wondered about the vagaries of accelerated depreciation and its impact on wind energy investments -- at least for investor-owned utilities -- may want to read the first part of the attached statement by Edison Electric Institute (EEI). It's one of the clearest statements I've seen on the subject.

You will want to hold your nose when you get to page 6 and see the false claim that tax breaks for renewables helps reduce energy import dependence and footnote 10 that cites an AWEA claim. I suspect that both these were inserted at the insistence of such EEI members such as NextERA (formerly FPL Group and parent of Florida Power & Light), Duke, and a few others.

You might want to groan a bit (as a taxpayer) if you work through the implications of the accelerated depreciation discussion. Specifically, consider the impact of accelerated depreciation on Exelon's late 2010 purchase of John Deere's wind business for $900+ million, That deal closed during the period (September something 2010 through December 2011) when most capital investments qualify for 100% first year accelerated depreciation deduction.

Therefore, it appears that Exelon could get the deduction for the entire $900 million spent for operating "wind farms," book it as a deferred tax liability and, in effect, benefit from a $900 million interest free loan.

As the statement explains, however, the utility could not include the $900 million in its "rate base" that is used to calculate its allowed return on its capital investments -- so its only the taxpayers (who pick up the burden escaped by Exelon) who take the hit for the depreciation deduction, not Exelon's customers.

Glenn Schleede

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Under new Pa. drilling rules, counties can charge impact fees

Unveiling a much-anticipated plan to regulate and harness Pennsylvania’s booming natural gas industry, Gov. Tom Corbett called Monday for even-handed laws that recognize the competition beyond the state’s borders for an industry that he said is boosting the economy and lowering energy bills.

Corbett’s plan would allow counties to impose fees of up to $160,000 per well over 10 years to help pay for the cost to regulate the drilling and fix the damage it causes to the environment. It also would toughen laws that protect the state’s water sources and help the industry find new outlets for its product, such as converting school bus fleets or mass transit systems to natural gas power.

“Affordable, reliable energy allows companies to grow, but how do we get there? We have to make sure that we do this right, from the very beginning,” Corbett told a crowd at a unionized carpenters training hall in Pittsburgh. “If we’re looking at this industry, it’s a little bit beyond a newborn, it’s not even crawling yet though. ... We have to get there by smart, sound, even-handed, level playing-field regulation and legislation.”

(Click to read the entire article)

Scuttled wind farm project was a billion-dollar boondoogle

It was pretty clear all along that building a wind farm in the waters of Lake Erie or Lake Ontario would be way too expensive.

What we didn’t know until last week was that it wouldn’t just be way too expensive: It would have been a boondoggle of epic proportions.

When the New York Power Authority formally pulled the plug Tuesday on the offshore wind farm project, NYPA officials said it wasn’t “fiscally prudent” because even a 150-megawatt project – on the small side of the agency’s guidelines–would require subsidies of $60 million to $100 million a year. That was two to four times the subsidy a similarly sized land-based wind farm would require to be economically feasible.

“A larger project would just yield a larger subsidy,” said Jill Anderson, the Power Authority executive who delivered the report recommending that the project be scuttled.

But the subsidy wouldn’t have just lasted for a year or two. NYPA would have paid them for 20 years. So on even a small-scale project, it would have cost $1.2 billion to $2 billion in subsidies over 20 years just to make the project work financially.

Anderson was being polite in saying it wasn’t fiscally prudent.

It would have been a huge boondoggle. And a bigger project would have been an even bigger boondoggle.

The Power Authority would have paid the subsidies through the power purchase agreement it would have signed with the company it chose to develop the wind farm. Any developer would need the power purchase agreement to get financing for the project, and the authority would subsidize the wind farm by agreeing to pay prices that were way above the market rate for the electricity generated by the offshore turbines.

Now, to be fair, no renewable energy projects, from solar panels to wind farms, can compete on cost with traditional energy sources, such as power plants that run on coal or natural gas. But those conventional sources also are a big source of pollution and rely on fossil fuels. Paying a premium for new sources of clean energy does make sense in the long term.

The question is how much more.

Power Authority officials said they tried to make the Great Lakes project work. They looked at a smaller, pilot-sized project. They considered building the project in phases. Nothing could make the numbers come close to working.

“Economics are driving this one,” said Eugene L. Nicandri, a Power Authority trustee.

Supporters of the wind farm project said it could have helped make New York—and job-starved upstate in particular—a leader in the offshore wind energy market, with local companies developing the skills and expertise to make many of the 8,000-odd components that go into each turbine.

“NYPA focused on the cost, but not the benefits,” said Chris Wissermann, the managing director at Great Lakes Wind Energy, an Ohiobased company that made one of the five proposals to build the offshore wind farm.

“It’s a lost opportunity for New York,” said Wissermann, whose company had proposed a project of less than 100 megawatts. “These projects, at this point, are really closer to economic development projects than energy projects.”

Of course, we heard the same argument five years ago, when the state was looking at a$1.5 billion project to build a cutting-edge coal-fired power plant that would vastly reduce its harmful emissions at the Huntley Station conventional coal-burning plant in the Town of Tonawanda. The idea then was the project would make New York—and Western New York in particular—a leader in clean coal technology, potentially spawning a whole new industry here.

Then, as with the offshore wind farm today, the clean coal dreams came to naught because it came up short on the most crucial question of them all: power and jobs vs. price and the environment.

“The value of that estimated economic activity has to be weighed against the cost borne by customers,” NYPA’s Anderson said.

Power Authority trustees, wanting to put a positive spin on the demise of the Great Lakes venture, took pains to note that, as the upstate project dies, it is launching a new push for a big wind farm off the Long Island shore, where the demand for electricity is greater. Anderson said the subsidies for that project could be less because the market price for electricity is higher downstate.

But Brian P. Smith, the communications and program director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment in Buffalo, said that downstate project will take years—maybe even a decade— to come together. By then, other states will have gained the first foothold in the offshore wind energy industry that he had hoped would get a start here.

“This does nothing to appease the supporters of a clean energy future in New York.” Smith said. “It’s a huge step backward for upstate and a tiny step forward downstate.”

Even then, you still have to wonder if the costs still won’t outweigh the benefits.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Now, you can sue Big Wind! Maybe has long recommended against suing the wind developers and town boards, urging instead civil disobedience. But times are changing, and the chances of a big lawsuit being successful are looking more promising, indeed.

One of our readers put us on to this article in today’s Wall Street Journal. This may be the route to take. A truly large lawsuit. It seems to us that with a high-powered law firm, and several million dollars invested in the lawsuit (invested by the law firm), there’s a better than even chance of winning against Big Wind and against town boards—like the Falmouth, Mass., town board.

The problem with lawsuits heretofore has been that people couldn’t afford them. According to this article, below, they’re now affordable—if you can persuade the law firm to seize the opportunity. Up till now, lawsuits have involved small-time attorneys on a shoestring budget. Big mistake! If you’re going to take the legal route, you’re going to need a big ass law firm with a budget in the several millions, at least. In part to hire expert witnesses, both to testify in person and to write the lengthy reports and rebuttals that will be required of them (which takes them hundreds of hours to write). The law firms will also want to subpoena all sorts of documents, including email, from the wind companies and town boards. This is time and money. can say this with assurance. Dr. Nina Pierpont, who is often asked to be an expert witness and yet routinely declines, would likely agree to be an expert witness in a big-ass suit—a suit that’s well funded and being handled by a major firm that’s prepared to “go the distance” with evidence, and whose attorneys have the training and brains to do a first-class job.

Think about it. If you need persuading, read this article recently posted on our site. Focus on the bald-faced lies by the wind industry. Does that make your blood boil? Especially if you’re one of the victims interviewed in the article? Read the rejoinder (Comment #1) by Chicago-based real estate appraiser, Mike McCann. Why couldn’t a serious law firm, with a well bankrolled lawsuit, prevail against this industry sleaze? Lying and deceit so fundamentally stupid, blatant, and frankly corny, one would expect it of an 8-year-old, not an adult, for God’s sake!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Hounsfield still hopes for Galloo Island Wind Farm

Local taxing jurisdictions haven’t yet given up hope that the proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm will come to fruition.

“The Town Council that’s in office currently is 100 percent behind the windmill project,” Hounsfield Supervisor Timothy W. Scee Sr. said. “We’re still hoping for it and the potential revenue.”

Town residents and officials alike still support the 246-megawatt project, he said. A $54 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement was approved in 2010, which would have included about $8.2 million for the town.

“The community leaders have been talking to our state representatives, in hopes that we could persuade some of the officials on Galloo Island,” Mr. Scee said. “We’ve got our fingers crossed to hope they can see a way to provide the project with a” power purchase agreement.

Read the entire article