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Resource Documents: New York (97 items)

RSSNew York

Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.


Date added:  December 31, 2022
Economics, Environment, Grid, New York, Property values, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

New York State Great Lakes Wind Energy Feasibility Study

Author:  New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

[from Summary:]

Based on the totality of this analysis, this concludes that Great Lakes Wind currently does not offer a unique, critical, or cost-effective contribution toward the achievement of New York State’s Climate Act goals beyond what existing, more cost-competitive programs are currently expected to deliver. This conclusion is based on a fulsome analysis of the resource development costs, ratepayer impacts, expected State benefits, transmission and interconnection limitations, infrastructure and supply chain constraints, visual impacts, and potential environmental impacts of Great Lakes Wind, as discussed below and throughout the Feasibility Study.

The Feasibility Study analyzed the physical characteristics of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario to determine that they would require a combination of fixed offshore wind foundations in Lake Erie and floating offshore wind foundations in Lake Ontario. The Feasibility Study further notes that the potential theoretical buildout of the New York areas of each lake could result in a generation capacity of up to 1,600 megawatts (MW) in Lake Erie and up to 15,000 MW in Lake Ontario. But this theoretical and technical potential faces numerous practical considerations that would need to be addressed before such projects can be successfully commercialized and benefit the State. These practical considerations include higher relative costs compared to alternative renewable energy generation, risks associated with new technologies (e.g., floating wind platforms and ice loading), lack of an existing supply chain, lack of adequate port facilities and specialized vessels, limited Points of Interconnection (POIs) and associated transmission headroom, and challenges related to visual impacts, wildlife impacts, and uncertainties with regards to environmental risks as well as conflicts with other lake uses including commercial and recreational fishing, shipping, and navigation.

The Feasibility Study estimates costs associated with Great Lakes Wind that at first appear comparable to costs under the Offshore Wind Standard. However, when comparing the costs and benefits of Great Lakes Wind to other renewable energy options in the State’s portfolio, the appropriate comparison is to land-based renewables and not offshore wind projects.

Great Lakes Wind does not provide the same electric and reliability benefits that offshore wind offers New York State. The PSC adopted the Offshore Wind Standard “… because of its proximity and direct access to load centers, offshore wind would provide substantial reliability and diversity benefits to the electric system […] It may also produce significant public health benefits by displacing fossil-fired generation in the downstate area.”4 Great Lakes Wind projects would not have the same proximity and direct access to load centers (Zones J and K) or displace downstate fossil-fired generation. Therefore, at the interconnection points of Great Lakes Wind projects in Central and Western New York, the more appropriate cost comparison is with more cost-effective technologies typically sited in that region such as land-based wind and solar.

This white paper finds that Great Lakes Wind projects would be significantly more costly for ratepayers to support than projects currently advanced under Tier 1 of the Clean Energy Standard (CES), such as land-based wind and solar. For example, the 2021 Tier 1 solicitation resulted in Index REC Strike Prices between $42 and $63/MWh, which is 55 to 230 percent cheaper than the $98 to $138/MWh range estimated for Great Lakes Wind projects. Moreover, that cost differential could increase further as the Feasibility Study cost estimates of Great Lakes Wind do not fully account for additional costs associated with interconnection, infrastructure, and labor, which would require site-specific evaluations and more detailed modeling.

The potential grid Points of Interconnection (POIs) identified for Great Lakes Wind in the Feasibility Study are in areas with limited hosting capacity, with competition from other less expensive land-based renewable generation projects which are also advancing in this region. As a result, Great Lakes Wind projects would incur high interconnection costs to advance and would displace lower-cost alternatives.

From an infrastructure perspective, ports around the Great Lakes would need, in some cases, significant upgrades to support the development of these projects, and in-lakes vessels or purpose-built vessels would need to be used for construction and operation. The required ports, vessel infrastructure, and supply chain investments needed to execute Great Lakes Wind were not quantified in the Feasibility Study and would add to the overall cost of Great Lakes Wind.

Substantial public and regulatory concerns have also challenged wind energy projects in and around the Great Lakes, primarily due to anticipated viewshed impacts and implications of the projects on wildlife. Through the public feedback events and webinars, the public expressed a wide range of interest, both in support of and expressing concerns about Great Lakes Wind. Viewshed, environmental, and public health issues are the primary concerns, and job creation and economic development opportunities are the primary arguments supporting Great Lakes Wind. The Feasibility Study demonstrates that the visual impacts of Great Lakes Wind, at least in Lake Erie, would be considerable given the need for a relatively limited distance from shore necessary to support a project at scale in that lake. For example, in Lake Erie, limiting the viewshed impact by siting turbines beyond 12 miles from shore would reduce the potential hosting capacity from 1,600 MW to less than 200 MW and further diminish the economic viability of these projects.

With regards to the impact of Great Lakes Wind on wildlife species and the environment, this issue is exacerbated by the lack of data relating to the temporal and spatial distributions of wildlife both at specific locations and across the Great Lakes as a whole, including data on aerial fauna, fish habitats, benthic communities, and human uses. Further, sediment contamination is widespread but not well mapped to support least impact site identification. And the extent and duration to which Great Lakes Wind development could resuspend or redistribute these contaminants are uncertain. Each of these issues imparts development risks and uncertainties to potential projects. These issues are not necessarily insurmountable, but additional research, data collection, and analysis are warranted to identify areas of lowest risk and support project development certainty.

While the Feasibility Study identifies job and other economic benefits that could arise from Great Lakes Wind development, without the strategic case for Great Lakes Wind as a critical contributor to the Climate Act goals, these benefits alone do not justify the high level of ratepayer cost given the renewable energy alternatives that have already demonstrated their ability to contribute in more beneficial ways. NYSERDA has not identified unique characteristics of Great Lakes Wind that reflect a component otherwise missing in the State’s efforts to achieve the Climate Act goals. The response rate to Tier 1 solicitations indicates an adequate development pipeline in the geographies where Great Lakes Wind could interconnect to and already maximize the contribution from those areas to at least the 70 percent renewables by 2030 target. Without unique characteristics that would set Great Lakes Wind apart from more cost-effective contributors towards the Climate Act goals, the high additional cost is challenging to justify, at least with a view to the 2030 target.

After completing the Feasibility Study and considering these various dimensions collectively, NYSERDA recommends that now is not the right time to prioritize Great Lakes Wind projects in Lake Erie or Lake Ontario.

New York State Great Lakes Wind Energy Feasibility Study

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Date added:  November 20, 2018
New York, OrdinancesPrint storyE-mail story

Wind Energy Facilities Law, Town of Richland, New York

Author:  Town Board, Richland, N.Y.

The Town Board of the Town of Richland finds and declares that:

5-1 The New York State Constitution’s “Bill of Rights for Local Governments” (Article IX, §2-10) obligates local legislators to protect the health, safety and well-being of their community.

5-2 While wind energy is a semi-renewable energy resource of electricity generation, and under some circumstances it may reduce the use of nonrenewable energy sources, the possible benefits must be balanced against potential negative impacts to local citizens, local economy, local ecosystems and regional military facilities.

5-3 Regulation of the siting and installation of wind turbines is necessary for protecting the health, safety and well-being of neighboring property owners, the general public, the local economy and local ecosystems.

5-4 Several independent legal and economic experts have concluded that there can be serious legal and economic detriments for landowners entering into the secretive, complicated and one-sided lease/easement contracts written by industrial wind energy developers.

5-5 Large-scale multiple-turbine industrial wind energy facilities present significant potential negative aesthetic impacts because of their enormous size, lighting, dissimilarity from the natural environment, and possible shadow flicker effects.

5-6 Installation of large-scale multiple-turbine industrial wind energy facilities can create and/or exacerbate drainage problems through erosion and lack of sediment control of facility and access road sites, and harm farmlands and agriculture through construction methods utilized and arable land conversion to industrial purposes.

5-7 Construction of industrial wind energy facilities can create traffic problems, dangerous road conditions for local and other travelers and damage local roads

5-8 There is significant evidence from independent appraisers that industrial wind energy facilities will likely reduce property values of nearby property owners. Said property value reductions will reduce the Town’s tax base, resulting in a tax rate increase on all Town property owners.

5-9 A large-scale industrial wind energy facility may be a significant source of noise and vibration, These can have negative health impacts on residents in neighboring properties, particularly in areas with low ambient noise levels. According to various medical experts (by way of limited example, the World Health Organization), the infrasound component of such noise can be the most problematic.

5-10 In certain circumstances, industrial wind energy facilities can cause electromagnetic interference with some types of communications.

5-11 Independent experts have concluded that bats killed by industrial wind energy turbines can result in an appreciable reduction in regional agricultural yields. Estimates have been done for every county in the United States, and these experts have projected that this could adversely affect our local community’s economy.

5-12 Independent experts have concluded that turbines kill large quantities of birds. Especially troublesome are the raptors that are destroyed. The Town of Richland is located on a major migration route for many species of birds, and is habitat for many species, both year-round and seasonal.

5-13 Independent experts have concluded that industrial turbines can have a variety of adverse health effects on other wildlife, livestock and domestic animals.

5-14 Independent experts have also concluded that industrial turbines can have a variety of adverse effects on hunting and fishing.

5-15 The Town of Richland has many scenic viewsheds, and some of these would be negatively affected by industrial wind energy facilities.

5-16 The Town of Richland is considering adopting a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan which will include the establishment of a Scenic Overlay District in recognition of the importance of the scenic assets of the community.

5-17 Public and private dollars have been invested in infrastructure within the Town to enhance and promote tourism, an important regional industry. Several studies by independent experts have concluded that nearby industrial wind energy facilities can have a major negative economic impact on tourism-sensitive communities.

5-18 The Town and its citizens desire to maintain the pastoral, rural nature of this region. An industrial wind energy facility is in conflict with the culture and character of this community.

5-19 Due to the unusually broad array of potentially problematic findings (and lack of scientifically proven net benefits), the precautionary principle dictates that the Town be particularly conservative and cautionary in its regulation of industrial wind energy.

5-20 In formulation of this Local Law, many studies have been reviewed – and those written by independent experts were given the greatest consideration. (See WiseEnergy.org for good examples of such reports.) Many wind energy ordinances through the United States have been analyzed. Experiences of other communities with industrial wind energy have been studied. An ad hoc Committee was appointed to make recommendations regarding industrial wind energy regulation. Some of the Committee’s conclusions were incorporated into this Local Law.

Noise Impacts:

Applicant will provide a post-construction noise monitoring plan which shall, at a minimum, provide verification from a qualified party that at the WEF [Wind Energy Facility] boundaries and at proximate residences, WEF noise does not exceed 35 dBA for more than five (5) consecutive minutes during a representative range of operating and atmospheric conditions. Instrumentation to verify this shall meet ANSI or IEC Type 1 standards, and measurement procedures shall comply with relevant portions of ANSI 812.9, Part 3. Each report will include the SCADA/Power output data at the time of the testing.

WEF Dimensional Requirements:

To provide for at least minimal operational safety for persons and property located outside of a WEF, all WEFs shall comply with the minimums and maximums contained in the following table:

Type of Wind Energy Facility

Minimum Wind Turbine Setback* from any Property Line, Public or Private Right of Way, and/or Access Easement

Maximum Wind Turbine Height†

Small (≤100 kW)

1.5 feet for each foot of height from any property line and any vacant or occupied dwelling unit on the same property

75 feet

Large (>100 kW)

One (1( mile from facility property lines

500 feet

* Such minimum setbacks for a WEF shall be measured from its outermost extension (whether blade tip, nacelle/turbine housing, or tower/pole edge) that is nearest the WEF property line, public or private right-of- way, and access easement.

† Height is measured from the lowest adjacent grade to the highest point of the structure, including any attachments (such as a lightening protection device or a turbine rotor or tip of the turbine blade when it reaches its highest elevation). No portion of any wind turbine blade shall be closer than 25 feet to any portion of the ground that surrounds any WEF. No LWEF wind turbine shall be permitted to be within five (5) miles of any operating or proposed radar facility (NEXRAD, military, commercial etc.).

Download original document: “Wind Energy Facilities Law, Town of Richland, New York

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Date added:  June 13, 2018
Environment, New YorkPrint storyE-mail story

Mad River Wind Farm Impact Assessment Study in the Tug Hill Region of New York State

Author:  Newman, David; and Fisher, Brian

Abstract: Atlantic Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of the renewable energy company Avangrid Renewables of Portland Oregon, is proposing to construct a state-of-the-art large-scale wind turbine energy farm (LSWF) of approximately 88 Gamesa G-132 wind turbines in the heart of the rural Tug Hill region at the intersection of Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties in upstate New York. The proposal, entitled the “Mad River Wind Farm,” would have a nameplate capacity generate [electricity at a rate of] up to 350 MW (megawatts, or million watts), enough to provide power for 60,000 typical households over the course of the 20-30 year life span of the project (however, the actual power produced may be substantially less). The project is to be sited under a new, unified review and approval process for electrical facilities generating in excess of 25 MW, according to provisions of Art. 10 of the NYS Public Service Law. Traditionally, forested landscapes were considered as “no-go” locations for siting LSWFs, [owing] to their inaccessibility and problems with airflow turbulence in potentially uneven forested canopies. However, as technology has improved and turbines have increased in height (400 to 600+ feet), forests are receiving new attention as large-scale landscapes to site wind farms. Only a handful of LSWFs have been constructed in forested landscapes in the US. While wind farms are often considered as beneficial, renewable forms of “green energy” and are increasingly favored by the environmental community for their important contributions to sustainable energy development and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, they may not always have benign impacts to the environment where they are sited. This white paper, prepared for the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, examines the potential ecological and environmental impacts from the proposed Mad River project, and focuses on direct and indirect impacts from both the construction and operational phases of the project.

The bio-physical ecological impacts addressed include:

among others.

Prepared for Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust by Dr. David H. Newman (Principal Investigator), and Prof. Brian L. Fisher, M.S. (PhD Student; Primary Author), Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse, April 2018

Download original document: “Mad River Wind Farm Impact Assessment Study in the Tug Hill Region of New York State

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Date added:  May 4, 2018
New YorkPrint storyE-mail story

KTYX Wind Farm Impacts

Author:  National Weather Service

There are 4 National Weather Service (NWS) offices that use the Fort Drum KTYX radar to accomplish their mission of protection of life and property in the nearby counties. These offices are: NWS Albany, NWS Buffalo, NWS Binghamton, NWS Burlington.

NWS Albany Impacts:

NWS Buffalo Impacts:

NWS Binghamton Impacts:

NWS Burlington Impacts:

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