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Bait and switch in Orangeville II

In the past couple years there have been several articles and letters as to the Stony Creek wind project in Orangeville. One subject that was repeated over and over were statements made by the lead agency, wind proponents and Invenergy as to their being competitive in the energy industry. When any mention was brought up about the need for government financial assistance, both the Lead Agency and Invenergy said this was untrue. Below is some information that was advertised and I would like to share with the readers of the Batavia Daily.

On June 14, 2011, Stony Creek submitted an application for financial assistance to the Wyoming County IDA. The reasons given were:

1) Sales tax abatement reduces the project cost, thus the project can produce energy at a competitive price.

2) Property tax abatement effectively reduces the annual operating costs of the project, allowing the sale of energy at a competitive price, and creating sufficient cash flows for:

A. Debt service

B. Operation and maintenance materials, consumables and payroll

C. Landowner lease payments

D. Pilot payments and town host agreement fees

On July 5, Stony Creek LLC submitted an application to the PSC for lightened regulation and debt financing. One day before the FEIS was adopted by the Town Board of Orangeville.

The Town Board of Orangeville as lead agency on July 6, 2011, approved the Final Environmental Impact Study. The lead agency certified it was complete and accurate. Just 22 days after submitting the application for financial assistance the FEIS contained this statement:

“Stony Creek has indicated that the project is a competitive project that can meet the demands generated by the NYS RPS, that it is financially viable with current federal laws in place through at least the end of 2012, and that private financial markets are interested in investing in projects such as Stony Creek.

“Stony Creek will pay all Special District taxes (no tax breaks) and also make PILOT and HCA payments.”

The IDA will most likely approve the financial assistance request as they rarely turn any request down and why should they, it’s our tax money they are spending. For two years Invenergy was a multi-million dollar financially viable company. As shown by the dates above they have flipped flopped back and forth starting on June 14. Which is it?

Invenergy has already applied for a variance for turbine location due to poor site plan layout and safety issues. They now need financial aid. What other surprises are in store? Without the government grant crutch this company would be long gone.

Stony Creek LLC, should withdraw their applications for financial assistance as it is clear it is not needed. It appears that Stony Creek LLC, itself doesn’t even know if it is actually needed. The money we would get from Invenergy is our tax money to begin with. Where is the benefit? To grant financial assistance now would be a disservice to the tax payers of New York.

Paul Jensen

Orangeville