Friday, July 31, 2015


NYISO official: Transmission network must be upgraded to handle renewable energy output.



WATERTOWN — Upstate New York continues to develop more wind, hydroelectric and solar power, but upgrades to transmission lines and load centers are needed to deliver that electricity to high-demand areas downstate. Continue reading via this link to the Watertown Daily Times

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Galloo Island wind power project should not advance for many reasons



By John Gaus
7/30/2015


The Galloo Island wind power project should not advance for many reasons which include: environmental and socioeconomic injustice; misuse of taxpayer dollars and NYS resources; potential violation of Federal land grant deeds; the project does maximum harm for minimal gain, and the project is not needed in its location.

The project is sited in an environmentally sensitive area with expansive scenic, waterfront vistas. The pristine nature of the project impact area is a historical component of the geography and culture of the region. Thousands of people live in and travel to the region to use State Parks and public boat launches to access the area for water views; sunset views; nighttime sky viewing that is unpolluted by light; and to experience the outdoors and wildlife. Hundreds of blue-collar workers have sacrificed much to buy or maintain properties on the waterfront that have passed through generations. Small contractors and those employed in seasonal tourism depend on investments and commitments of these people to this important, undisturbed, natural resource. And it is due to these investments in waterfront properties that multiple towns in the impact zones are able to collect taxes to maintain their municipal operations.

The project does permanent and irreparable harm to the view shed and its wildlife including Bald Eagles, protected species, and innumerable migratory waterfowl. As a result many people will loose property value, towns will loose tax revenue, and tourism businesses will loose revenue and jobs. The people that are harmed by the project are at an economic and educational disadvantage to those that will benefit. Certainly, there are many people in the region that do not even know this process is underway or that they have any means to influence it. At the same time, the North Country produces the overwhelming amount of renewable energy in NYS for downstate energy consumers ¿ and downstate industrial wind projects have been stopped by people possessing the education, money, and influence to do so. The few people from one small town that do support the project are also poor and uneducated in comparison to the developer. They are lured to support the project with the promise of PILOT payments that pale in comparison to the profits that the Harvard-educated developer will extract from them. It is an environmental and socioeconomic injustice that a wealthy and privileged developer that makes substantial political contributions can be further enriched by the environmental destruction of Galloo Island to the detriment of thousands in an impoverished region.

The project misuses taxpayer dollars and natural resources. The nominal 104MW project is in a region that already produces excess power and is located at the reaches of transmission and distribution infrastructure. After capacity factors, intermittence, and transmission losses, the project might produce a useable 11MW for downstate power consumers. There are better and higher uses of money than this project, including for other more economic renewable energy efforts with better access to existing and planned transmission.

The NYSDEC controls land on the island granted by the federal government for wildlife preservation. The land is deeded for this specific environmental purpose and should not be used for industrial development. It may be a violation of law or deed restrictions to do so.

There is no location in Northern New York that could impose more harm on more towns or landowners. Galloo Island is the equivalent of center stage in 50 miles of waterfront amphitheater. The project will do permanent harm to towns and property owners that will gain no benefit from the devaluation of their properties.  

The region is which the project is located already operates at excess power capacity. There is no need for power generation in this remote location.

This project fails under any logical analysis or honest scrutiny and should not be approved.

~~~



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why is NYSDEC Participating in an Industrial Wind Project in the Middle of a Wildlife Refuge?

Dear Secretary Burgess:

I have a number of concerns about the involvement of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in the Article 10 application of Hudson North Country Wind 1 for Galloo Island.

In Hudson’s Exhibit #5 of their PIP it identifies NYSDEC as a “Host Landowner.” It also defines a host landowner as “...landowners with whom the Applicant has entered into a lease, easement or purchase option agreement.” This tells me that NYSDEC is an integral part of the project.

The land owned by NYSDEC on Galloo Island was conveyed to them in 1990 in three separate parcels by the U.S. Federal Government after it declared the land surplus. The deed specifically outlines how the land is to be used:
The premises described herein are conveyed as a reserve for the conservation of wildlife other than migratory birds and the benefits of which shall accrue to the United States from the continued use of such property for such purposes and by these presents are conveyed subject to the reservations, conditions, limitations, and covenants herinafter contained, for the use and benefit of the Grantee, its successors and assigns, having the management for the conservation of wildlife other than migratory birds.”

If the use of this land by NYSDEC is not compatible with conservation of wildlife then the deed also specifies the land would revert back to the federal government:
“...in the event the land they for any purpose which is not compatible with the use and maintenance of the property as and for the conservation of wildlife, the title thereto shall automatically and immediately revert to the United States , and upon which reversion the title of the State of New York thereto shall cease and determine and the United States shall have the immediate right of possession thereof.”

In my search of resources I have yet to find any wildlife refuge operated by any conservation organization or governmental agency that has promoted large scale industrial development within the refuge. Cooperating, endorsing and promoting the Galloo project by Hudson is beyond comprehension. I believe NYSDEC’s cooperation with Hudson nullifies any role the agency might normally have in the review and decision-making for this Article 10 application.

Furthermore, a number of questions need to be answered by NYSDEC:

Has the NYSDEC actually signed an agreement with Hudson? If so, then it should be filed with the Jefferson County Clerk’s office, but it hasn’t?  Why not?  What are the specific terms of the agreement? When will these details be made public?

Has the NYSDEC lost title to the Galloo Island lands included in Hudson’s project? What does the term “automatically and immediately” mean in the deed? When NYSDEC signed the agreement with Hudson to develop an industrial wind project on lands conveyed for the purposes of wildlife conservation, did that agreement violate the terms of deed conveyance between State and the United States?

Why is NYSDEC participating in an industrial wind project in the middle of a wildlife refuge?  How does an industrial development project align with conservation of natural resources?  How can NYSDEC possibly justify their actions?

When Article 10 was established Governor Cuomo acknowledged there would be controversy associated with siting issues, but that both sides in any siting controversy would be heard in a “fair process.”

In the interest of maintaining public trust and confidence in the Article 10 process and to maintain the intentions set forth by Governor Cuomo NYSDEC should be removed from any involvement in the process, as well as its commissioner on the board, and all environmental assessments should be undertaken by the Unites States Fish and Wildlife Service or other qualified agency.

Sincerely yours,
Kathryn Muschell

Link to DEC/Galloo deed

If you have an issue with the DEC's involvement in this project please make a comment where it counts.

Link here to the Public service Commission to make a comment

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

a retired Regional Director with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is strongly opposed to the Galloo Industrial Wind project


​Please be advised that I am strongly opposed to the wind farm project being proposed for Galloo Island, PSC Case 15-F-0327 by Hudson Energy Development.

I am a year round resident of Jefferson County, Town of Cape Vincent and a retired Regional Director with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). In that former position I participated in the initial State-wide Open Space Planning Process and the listing of Galloo Island in the State-wide Open Space Plan. It was listed and is still listed because of its outstanding environmental and scenic value. At the time the State came near to acquiring the Island given its very special state-wide open space value consideration.

The placement of wind towers on this undeveloped island would certainly represent a serious visual intrusion.

In addition to Galloo islands scenic importance, special protection consideration needs to be given its abundant resident and migratory avian resource as well as recognition of the scarcity of Lake Ontario Islands in the first instance.

I further believe to site a wind farm on Galloo Island would be in violation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determination that wind farms should not be sited within three miles of Great Lakes shorelines. Because of it's off-shore juxtaposition it would be hard to identify a more Great Lakes environmentally sensitive shoreline.

There has to be other sites better suited to wind farms to insure protection of this highly valued State-wide Open Space Island Resource.

Thomas E. Brown


The DEC is a host landowner in the Galloo Island Wind Project

Below is a screenshot taken from Bill Moore's  
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT PROGRAM PLAN
Galloo Island Industrial Wind Complex
Hounsfield,NY
June 2015

Will this play out to be a conflict of interest?



Henderson plans nearly $20,000 study to have ‘guns loaded’ against Galloo Island wind project


 Henderson NY

HENDERSON HARBOR — Henderson is preparing to fight a proposed wind farm that calls for nearly 600-foot-tall turbines on Galloo Island, about 6 miles away from the town’s shoreline. Continue reading 

via this link to the Watertown Daily Times


Monday, July 27, 2015

Galloo Island Industrial Wind

How Important is a Sunset?


July 27, 2015


Honorable Kathleen H. Burgess
Secretary of the Commission
New York State Public Service Commission
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY


RE: Hudson North Country Wind 1: 15-F-0327


Dear Secretary Burgess:


I was closely involved with the industrial wind issue since 2006 when I first served as a Cape Vincent Town Councilman. I served again during the Article 10 application of BP Alternative Energy's Cape Vincent Wind Farm proposal. That experience left me with a few perspectives that may be helpful to those examining the Galloo Island application submitted by Hudson Energy.


Although Galloo Island is far enough offshore to minimize some of the impacts from turbine operation on the health and safety of the public, it is not without substantial impacts on the neighboring public's general welfare and quality of life. One of these is visual impacts. I want to inform commissioners about one particular aspect of wind turbine visual impacts that I observed during my 2011 campaign for town councilman.


During the summer of 2011 I met with nearly 100 waterfront residents along the St. Lawrence River in the Town of Cape Vincent. During these visits residents had a number of complaints about the visual impact from the Wolfe Island Wind Farm. Their complaints were quite specific about those impacts. Number one complaint was their enjoyment of sunsets - it was ruined by Wolfe Island turbines which lie directly west of these resident's summer homes. I recall one comment about how this development affected their quality of life, "We changed the orientation of the chairs on our deck, away from viewing the sunset and turbines, and toward downriver." After this comment I asked others about how they oriented chairs on their patios and decks and got identical responses.


It is important to understand that people who own waterfront properties in the Town of Cape Vincent are no different than those in the Towns of Henderson, Houndsfield, Brownville and Lyme. They all appreciate the visual advantages that make these properties the most valued in Jefferson County. These residents not only paid a premium when they purchased these properties, but they pay a premium for these views each year when they pay their property taxes. These property owners are particularly sensitive to visual impacts and it is important that policy-makers understand this distinction.


Commissioners should know that 600 ft turbines spinning on Galloo Island will have a profound impact on those property owners that lie easterly of Galloo Island. Settling down to watch the sunset over the lake and river are the highlights of the day for most of these property owners. It is one of the major reasons they own these properties.


To suggest, as some have noted, that Galloo's turbines will hardly be noticed is an insensitive and ignorant assessment. If the project is approved and completed, Galloo's turbines will not only be noticed, but they will be reviled as well. The visual assets of Lake Ontario shoreline and the Thousand Islands region are the backbone of our local tourism-based economy. Considering a project that would tamper with those visual assets and their potential impacts should be done very carefully.


The Galloo Island project is questionable from the standpoint of what it will accomplish in New York's energy future, but its impacts on shoreline property owners is much less questionable - it would be at least unfortunate and at most, disastrous. Please require a very detailed and comprehensive visual assessment of the Galloo Island project, one that also includes a survey questionnaire of waterfront property owners' habits, preferences and how they enjoy their properties.


Sincerely yours,

Clifford P. Schneider

Wellesley Island, NY

~~~
View all public comments concerning the Galloo Industrial wind complex at this link


Related ~

Newyork Upstate.com~ 11 best places to watch stunning sunsets in Upstate NY (photos)


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Unexpected costs likely to delay Dominion’s Wind Complex Off VA Coast


A bid for the test project came in nearly double the original $230 million estimate. Dominion was planning to install two turbines about 24 miles off...Continue via this link to NBC29.com


Deepwater wind "Breaks Water" ,poised to deliver first offshore wind complex in the US.

Deepwater Wind expects delivery this week of foundations that will support five wind turbines off Block Island, a small tourist destination 12 miles from Rhode Island’s shore. Continue reading via this link to USA Today