Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is in the midst of an investigation of two companies developing and operating wind farms across New York State. This is amid allegations of improper dealings with public officials and anti-competitive practices.
Wind farms are clusters of large electricity-generating turbines powered by wind and connected to the electric grid, which have caused much controversy, especially in this region.
Subpoenas have been served on Newton, Mass.-based First Wind (formerly known as UPC Wind) and Essex, Conn.-based Noble Environmental Power, LLC.
They are part of an investigation into whether companies developing wind farms improperly sought or obtained land-use agreements with citizens and public officials, whether improper benefits were given to public officials to influence their actions, and whether they entered into anti-competitive agreements or practices.
In recent months, Cuomo’s office has received numerous complaints regarding the two companies from citizens, groups and public officials in eight counties alleging improper relations between the companies and local officials and other improper practices.
Cuomo’s subpoenas seek, among other things:
• All documents concerning any benefits conferred on any individual or entity in connection with wind farm activity.
• All agreements, easements or contracts with individuals regarding placement of wind turbines.
• Agreements between wind companies that may indicate anti-competitive practices.
• All documents pertaining to any payments or benefits received from local, state or federal agencies.
First Wind has three operational wind farms and 48 others in development across the country, according to its Web site. First Wind has developed numerous wind farms in western New York.
Noble Environmental Power, LLC has three active wind farms and five in development in various regions of the state.
“The use of wind power, like all renewable energy sources, should be encouraged to help clean our air and end our reliance on fossil fuels,” Cuomo said. “However, public integrity remains a top priority of my office and if dirty tricks are used to facilitate even clean-energy projects, my office will put a stop to it.”
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