Thursday, December 31, 2009

NYPA and the Despicable Oswego 11/13/09 Offshore Wind Project Presentation

Shown here are the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project power point slides presented at the 11/13/09 meeting in Oswego, NY city hall given by the New York Power Authority. The slides are in order with the slide#1 one at the bottom of this group and the last one at the top. These slides are what the NYPA has been hiding from the general public!! Unless you were at the Oswego 11/13/09 presentation - seeing the slides here is the first opportunity the average person will have had to view early details of this offshore wind debacle - the images are NOT on the NYPA web site. Matter of fact - there is no mention whatever of the Oswego 11/13/09 meeting anywhere on the NYPA web site. Notice how beautiful the lake scene is in the (title) slide #1 of the NYPA presentation (bottom slide) - this scene is what they propose to change for the rest of our lifetime. They are planning to place hundreds (maybe thousands) of the largest wind turbines money can buy - into this scene beginning 2.3 miles from shore & in water depths less than 150 feet deep - creating an industrial offshore wind facility in Lakes Ontario and Erie. Lake Erie and Mexico Bay in eastern Lake Ontario are likely to suffer the worst due to shallower water conditions. NYPA's effort is to create electrical power for metropolitan NYC and Long Island because the folks downstate couldn't stand having this nightmare offshore facility in their neighborhoods. But don't blame just NYPA CEO and President Richie Kessel - he's just a mouthpiece for the real villain - Governor Paterson. Paterson is the mastermind behind this offshore debacle and Kessel is pushing it for him. New York's Great Lakes fresh water and land under the water is owned by the people of New York State and we shouldn't let Paterson and Kessel alter or destroy this natural resource. Few states in the USA are fortunate enough to have this fresh water resource in their backyard. For Kessel and Paterson - New York's north coast is simply an industrial repository to locate massive, ugly, noisy, property depreciating machines that will work less than 30% of the time producing volatile, intermittent, expensive electric to be shipped downstate where the need is greatest while the New York's north coast gets raped. It's no different than shipping downstate's garbage upstate or industrial power lines leading downstate. Upstate is a dumping ground for land uses NYC and Long Island refuse to tolerate. The wind profiteers will be foreigners while the abused US taxpayers foot the bill for 70% of the offshore wind facility! Lake shore municipalities that are most affected will have little or nothing to say about stopping the project.

NYS just witnessed its second major collapse of a terrestrial industrial grade wind turbine (in Fenner, Madison County on 12/27/09) - the first being at Altona, Clinton County, on March 6, 2009. The NYPA proposed offshore wind farms will have much larger turbines than the ones that have collapsed - in addition to the fact that they will be mounted on monopoles 150 feet tall "attached" to the lake floor. And no USA company has ANY experience building an offshore wind facility. NO offshore turbine has been located anywhere in the world in freshwater! Furthermore - USA made wind turbines don't have a good track record on land much less in water. Both collapsed turbines were built by G.E. and the Clipper turbines erected at the Steel Winds project in Lackawana, NY and others at Cohocton, NY have been plagued by major gearbox and fractured blade problems. How much hope would you have of success in an offshore turbine lasting in either Lake Ontario or Lake Erie? But who cares? US taxpayers will foot 70%+ of the bill to erect the wind facility that will operate maybe 30% of the time. And when we are in the dog days of summer when the temperature is near 100 degrees and there's no wind and the turbines are sitting there idle and brownouts are on the verge of happening - think about the $1.5B investment squandered on this folly! NYPA's Richie Kessel claims he's looking to build a 500Mw offshore wind facility in the lakes and that NYPA will buy ALL the power the facility produces through a power purchase agreement (PPA). Compare that with the existing Robert E. Ginna 498Mw nuclear power plant in Wayne County, NY now producing safe, dependable, reasonably priced electric 100% of the time as it has for the past 40 years - on less than 500 acres of land. The Ginna plant just sold recently to Constellation Energy for about $420M.

[Niagara County lawmakers earlier this year filed a lawsuit against the New York Power Authority that seeks to rescind the illegal transfer (sweep) of more than $544 million in surplus NYPA funds to the State of New York General Fund. No doubt both NYPA’s Kessel and Gov. Paterson knew the details of this illegal transaction and approved it. Keeping this $544M illegal sweep in mind – if NYPA had taken $420M and purchased the Robert E. Ginna nuclear power plant (Wayne County, NY) to become part of NYPAs operation to produce electricity – the output of Ginna would equal the output of the proposed offshore wind fiasco and $1.5B wouldn’t be needed to build Kessel’s offshore wind facility that would work only 30% of the time producing low quality, intermittent, volatile, expensive electricity. And the life of the offshore wind facility is only 25-30 years while Ginna is licensed until at least 2029 and has been operating since 1966 producing electric power nearly 100% of the time at a fair rate. What is NYPA thinking? What gives a better bang for the buck – wind or nuclear?]

Could you be naive enough to believe that only one wind farm would be built in the Great Lakes in NYS waters? That the whole process would stop there? Is that what Kessel's drawings show? Kessel and his downstate minions have no compassion for the Great Lakes - this is a money issue not an environmental or electrical power issue - Kessel and his political friends don't live upstate or play here or have to look at the Great Lakes. Former Gov. Spitzer has already kicked Kessel's ass and ideas for an offshore Long Island wind facility out of the picture. Kessel has already tried and failed to sell Long Island on an offshore wind plant at over $1B. You see - Kessel was fired by former Gov. Spitzer as head of the Long Island Power Authority for his mismanagement in his home area. Now, Gov. Paterson, the most unpopular governor in New York's history, a novice we didn't even elect, has resurrected Kessel - since they both wish to force their "green" idealogy on unsuspecting upstaters via the back door. Kessel failed to sell his dog & pony show on his home turf on Long Island but he's persistent and trying again except the victims this time are upstate New Yorkers - which should be more acceptable to downstaters. But the task of erecting the offshore wind facility won't be easy. Think about this for starters - there isn't a vessel right now in America that's capable of installing an offshore wind turbine anywhere in the Great Lakes. A vessel would need to be designed and built to do this job as any from Europe would not fit through the St. Lawrence Seaway!

Please have a look at these power point slides from the Oswego presentation beginning with the bottom slide #1 - most of the text and illustrations are self explanatory. Please share this information with anyone you think may be appalled by what Paterson and Kessel have in store for upstate New Yorkers. This project must be stopped! This project is illegal! Pressure must be brought upon municipalities and counties bordering the lakes to take a position strongly opposing any offshore wind project. Don't think for a moment that only the lake shore property owners and businessmen will be the victims of this development - the ripple effect from an offshore wind project will be widespread - particularly when assessments and property taxes are updated.

See the many other articles on this site referring to the NYPA offshore wind turbine debacle. Additional offshore project details on the NYPA Request For Proposal (RFP) can be seen on the NYPA web site.

Comments on these Oswego presentation slides. Slide #1 is the NYPA title slide, at the bottom of this group, with a beautiful view of a lake scene with NO wind turbines. Slide #2 shows Richie Kessel on April 22, 2009 announcing the horrible Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project plan on the shores of Lake Erie. Slide #3 begins the NYPA misrepresentations by hinting that wind energy is "clean" when its not. What's clean about a sideshow technology that kills birds and bats. What's clean about offshore wind turbines that can impact aquatic life? What's clean about disturbing the lake bed while trying to install monopoles to support turbines? What's clean about noise generated by these ugly machines that disturbs people's ability to sleep and causes other well documented health issues? NYPA touts the local development opportunities which will be limited and hardly worthy of mention. Kessel's idea of local development opportunities needs revision too. He makes a big deal trying to convince listeners that the need to make offshore turbines parts will bring thousands of well-paying jobs into NYS. This too is wishful thinking as the foreign wind developers will use well tested and proven turbines manufactured in Europe not the troublesome units like those installed in Buffalo's Steel Winds project or the Cohocton, NY disaster. NYPA also mentions the public's desire for renewable energy but let's go a couple of steps further - why not ask the public about sticking offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes and see what the response is? NYPA should stick to what they know about renewables - hydro and the fact that hydro is a renewable without the many drawbacks of wind. And Gov. Paterson's 45 x 15 proclamation - can this be taken seriously? Here's another downstater wishing to industrialize the Great Lakes - a guy we New Yorkers didn't even elect - someone who has become the most unpopular governor in the state's history - now drawing a line in the sand proclaiming what we'll be doing for energy in 2015. Nobody will remember in 2015 who Paterson was! He'll be kicked out of office in less than a year and downstater Kessel will soon follow. Slide #4 Why Offshore Wind - if there truly is a need for more energy then why opt for a means of producing it with the worst choice? If there is a growth in demand for energy why pick a means of producing it (via wind) where you pay more for it than other choices you could make? Why pick a means of producing it (via wind) when the means produces intermittent power, and volatile electricity? Why select a means of producing electric (via wind) when it may produce nothing when the need is the greatest? This slide also perpetuates the biggest lie wind supporters use to convince or sell people on the idea of wind energy - that wind energy will help reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels and middle-east oil. The NYPA should know better than to continually repeat this lie as Kessel did during the Oswego presentation. Less than 2% of all electricity produced in the USA is produced by fossil fuel generators. With that in mind - IF the middle eastern countries suddenly stopped selling oil to the USA - this action would have virtually NO IMPACT whatever on America's ability to generate electricity. The slide also says there's no water or waste generation but doesn't mention that wind turbines are BIG users of electricity and cannot operate without electricity. Without electric power to each turbine - they cannot run and are designed to shut down immediately to prevent self destruction. And the note about proven offshore technology in Europe - there's a world of difference between the few offshore wind farms built in Europe recently and what's planned for the Great Lakes. Start with the differences between freshwater and salt water, ice affects, earthquakes, and turbines sizes planned for the Great Lakes vs what's been built in Europe. Slide #9 shows a typical proposed offshore wind farm. Text that's too small to read identifies a 33KV/132KV offshore substation and another arrow identifies a transmission cable to shore. Offshore substations contain thousands of gallons of oil. Turbine nacelles also contain over 1,000 gallons of oil. Oil is also found within the electrical cable that runs between the turbines and to the shore. Lots of opportunity for spillage and contamination here! At the Oswego presentation they showed a short video that demonstrated how a cable was being buried under water using a jet plow. The video seabed is hardly what's to be expected in rocky Lake Ontario - the jet plow would never work but it sure looked neat in the video showing how easy it might be to bury a large cable in a sandy ocean bottom. Slide #11 Outreach and Education is another NYPA misrepresentation as the public has deliberately been kept from knowing what NYPA plans for the Great Lakes. The information in these slides is a great example of the lack of outreach. The only people invited to the few "public meetings" that have been held are elected officials and selected business leaders. There has been no "outreach" or open or inclusive process to date involving the general public. NYPA wants the turbine developers (foreigners maybe?) to be the ones who unload details on the general public and take the resulting flak and heat that's sure to happen. Slide #12 Permitting Agencies - notice that those shoreline municipalities affected the most - the ones who are the victims of this horrible project - won't have anything to say about their future and all the grief this project will dump upon them. The towns and counties are not among the permitting agencies as the land under water is NOT within their jurisdiction! This is what NYPA likes best about this project - taking the public and local officials right out of the picture and have virtually no voice to object. Instead you'll have the downstate gang like Kessel, Paterson, Schumer, Grannis, & Bloomberg running and supporting the show. On the other hand - there are many other agencies not listed that will need to approve this horrible plan. PILOT payments to the towns and schools - there won't be any in this scenario! But don't give up hope - this project is illegal and the NYPA knows the legal steps will be tested and this process will use up plenty of time and millions of taxpayer dollars before the whole plan is scuttled in the end. Slide #13 - NYS and Federal permitting considerations - the list is hardly complete and some of the most important considerations are missing. Slide #14 Environmental Considerations - it's always amazing how much thought is given to how a project is going to affect wildlife & the environment yet its horrible impact on humans is never considered an issue. What about property values, noise, light trespass, shuttering, viewshed loss, splitting communities, turning neighbor against neighbor, greed-driven conflicts of interest, etc.? NIMBYism - doesn't this mean Next It Might Be You? Slide #15 Site Screening - some of what this slide refers to is more visible with the map slides coming up. The wind resource note 7.5 m/s at 80 meters is referring to wind speed requirements meaning that the wind must blow at 7.5 meters per second at 80 meters above water level. The 80 meters is the approximate distance from the water to the rotor hub height. (A meter is approx. 39") Slide #17 shows Lake Erie waters offshore in NYS in mostly reds where the mean wind speed is 7.5 m/s or greater making this area good for wind farms. The blue area above the dotted line is Canadian water and the blue area to the left is off the Ohio coast. Slide #18 show the mean wind speed exclusions in dark blue off the NYS shore in Lake Erie. These areas would not be suitable for turbine locations and are close to the shore anyway. Slide #19 shows the Lake Erie Bathymetry (water depths) off NYS in four section depths. The area in deep blue toward the center of the lake is too deep for locating offshore turbines (over 150 feet deep) and would be excluded from turbine locations. Slide #20 shows the deepest area of the lake in deep blue - where turbines won't be located. Slide #21 shows other exclusions that might affect turbine locations such as shipping lanes. Turbines would not be located in known shipping lanes. One shipwreck location is also marked with a red triangle. Slide #22 shows the potential wind farm locations crosshatched blue in Lake Erie after the exclusions have been removed. The numbers indicate the possible megawatt capacity of that potential area. Slide #23 shows in reds - Lake Ontario's mean wind speed in NYS waters that is acceptable for wind turbines. Slide #24 shows mean wind speed exclusions for Lake Ontario in dark blue these are very close to the shoreline. Slide #25 shows Lake Ontario Bathymetry and you can see the water depth patterns of Lake Ontario are much different than Lake Erie making for less possible locations for offshore turbines. Slide #26 shows a dark blue area that is over 150 feet deep - too deep for turbine locations while the lighter blue areas are acceptable locations for turbines. Slide #27 shows other exclusions in Lake Ontario such as shipping lanes and several shipwreck locations. Slide #29 shows the tentative timelines that NYPA is supposedly working to on the offshore project - they've already missed badly the community outreach goal by a year. Slide #30 shows offshore mini-turbines in Denmark in saltwater. Slide #32 is of a Danish wind farm 8 to 12 miles offshore! That's hardly what's being proposed for Lakes Erie and Ontario but still unacceptable.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


(The following opinion was written by Bob Ashodian. Bob is a member of the Henderson Harbor (NY) Chamber of Commerce and head of the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee.(eastern Lake Ontario area - Jefferson County) Bob assisted in forming the Preservation of the Golden Crescent Committee ( that hopes to prevent turbines from industrializing their area in Jefferson County, NY both on and off shore. The thought of placing turbines on Galloo Isand (in eastern Lake Ontario) is especially appalling and Bob’s group is fighting that development. Galloo Island is in Lake Ontario in the town of Hounsfield and unoccupied)

Some thoughts about the Hounsfield Hearing, Monday, December 21, 2009
Some Suggestions for Letter Writing

My purpose of putting these rough notes together is to document some thoughts that I can draw on for our column in the Jefferson County Journal as well as incorporate into letters.

I would also like to provide some “talking points” or thoughts others might want to draw on to put their own letters or news releases on paper. We need to keep up on the speaking out. The more people that communicate to those we must influence, the better off we will be.

As usual when attending these meetings I am struck by how many things really upset me after the fact. If you are like me, you may find it difficult think right on the spot, to formulate just the right thoughts, then stand and deliver the appropriate hard hitting counter argument. Monday morning was no different.

The scope of the hearing was narrowly defined – Planning Board action on a site plan on an island I would suspect no board member had ever visited; they are simply looking at lines on a chart, pictures in a book. I suspect it is beyond their authority to deny or approve the project unless there is some zoning law provision that prevents the implementation of the special use Galloo Island will be put. As a member of the Henderson Town Planning Board for more than five years, we have looked at many projects that we may or may not like, but we are bound to apply the zoning laws as they exist. I do not know what the underlying zoning classification is for Galloo Island, but suspect what ever it is, building industrial towers cannot be prohibited by the current zoning laws applicable to the island.

I thought they were quite generous in allowing the discussion of many issues that were not Planning Board topics and clearly beyond the scope of the Planning Board hearing rules outlined in their introduction. There were several issues that invited direct confrontation. But, we all behaved ourselves.

Many of the points made from the audience were quite telling. Those points are worth following up on in submitting additional written documents to the Hounsfield Planning Board (even if beyond the scope of what they can deal with) and the likes of the DEC, Barry Ormsby, the JCIDA or anybody else that we can make listen.

The following points stick in my mind and I feel are worth pounding the table about to who ever can open an e-mail or letter and has a stake in the game. The issues include:

1. Class warfare – the haves and the have-nots; the concept that the rich people are protecting their view of the lake; a view from their expensive homes that the rich some how do not deserve to have. Basis for counter argument – yes, some of us have very expensive homes, properties and businesses. Yes, we have more money and our properties are worth a lot of money. That valuation is based on the view shed we have and the quality of life we are willing to pay extraordinary dollars to have, as are so many others coming to this area. Our properties are assessed higher than any other properties in the county. We can afford it because we worked for it, and WE PAY THE TAXES based on the extraordinary value of our properties. So lower the value of the property, destroy our businesses and guess who will foot the tax shortfall that results. I pay more than $11,000 a year in property taxes. You want to pick up what I won’t pay if my property value declines 30%, or you want to make up the difference if the local campground, marina, or any other business fails because we wasted the primary resource that keeps the economy afloat. Lots of meat there for an article or a letter to the editor.

2. The only reason this project is being pursued is because of the federal, state and local subsidies – billions of dollars going to a hoax – the best government plan since subsidized ethanol and where we burned food to make inefficient fuel at a premium cost. The hoax was simple – we can grow our energy. Unintended consequences – corn is the basic ingredient to thousands of basic food products. The world cost of food went up and millions of people starved because the government elite totally overlooked the basic laws of economics. Some farmers and some related industries cleaned up – they got the money. Subsidized wind energy – sounds good – wastes billions on subsidies and the big money flows to foreign countries, the investors get rich while desperate communities sell out for pennies on the dollar and the energy produced is very expensive. You want a subsidy? You want a PILOT – how about a PILOT for the tax payers? Definition of a PILOT, what they don’t pay, we pay.

3. Who cares about efficiency – 20% is good enough, cost is no object, the government pays for it. Our tax dollars are being thrown down the toilet. No matter – its green, its green. I love it. Forget that I’m saving the planet by being green while I destroy forever, the very quality of life that so many people are willing to pay a premium to have. Let’s convert the entire water front to wind towers, the closer to shore the better, cheaper to build and maintain. I don’t live there, the rich people live there.

4. Who cares about my neighbors? This thing is 12 miles out in the lake. I can’t see it, too bad if you can. This means money to ME. I need the tax benefit, we are poor, we need jobs, they promised us jobs, I believe, so sell it off, sell it off, the sooner the better. Who cares? Never been out there, never will, so who cares about a few acres of land that might be worth ten times as much in the future. Who cares that it can never be replaced? I want the money, any kind of money, now, right now.

5. This is a Hounsfield project. There are no other considerations. Cape Vincent’s wind towers, not my problem. In the water turbines, not my problem. Who cares about 2000 towers out in the lake? We are working on our town, not yours.

Here’s a couple of other issues, not so much related to the Hounsfield hearing itself, but still considerations worth giving visibility:

1. The DEC is only one of many agencies supposedly looking out for us; to protect us and others from doing harm; to protect us all from the greed of others who might otherwise see only short term profit now for themselves, to the disadvantage of the rest of us. Now, are we facing the real risk that our own DEC will have identified the harm that will be done, simply be a bystander? This is the harm you will do; now you know, so the rest of the government promoters and the developer can have a clear conscience. Of course we will have taken mitigating action – we won’t blast when the fish are spawning. But, we can’t be sure of when, but we will try. Yeah, no doubt we will kill some birds and bats and turtles, cull (slaughter) some deer, but we will try to mitigate that. ANWR (Alaska National Wildlife Reserve) is a tiny blip in a vast wildness, seen and visited by virtually no one. Can’t industrialize any of that, but we can contemplate the complete industrialization of the north eastern end of Lake Ontario; home and vacation land to hundreds of thousands of people, an international destination. This is truly madness.

2. Following the meeting, Donald Metzger, Karl Williams, Mitch Franz and I heard a very interesting story. Don’s a St. Lawrence River pilot. A very interesting guy to talk with. He gets that marvelous opportunity to chat with ship captains from around the world. In the parking lot, he relates a conversation he had with a captain who was very familiar with wind towers in the North Atlantic. In the water towers. Towers placed there by the Europeans. The captain tells Don that he has talked to the fisherman in the area. They report that for some reason, fish avoid the area for several miles around the towers. The suspected reason – the blades set up a noise, a pulse, a sound, that bothers the fish, but a sound not heard by us humans. (Dogs can hear sounds we can’t.) So why bring up this point – 84 sets of turbine blades, their metal structures anchored into the ground with poured concrete, will create all manner of sounds. Think of each structure as a gigantic tuning fork placed on a foundation of virtually solid rock surrounded by water. Who from any agency has any idea what the impact of the tuning fork effect will be on the creatures that inhabit Galloo Island or what sort of frequency vibrations will broadcast itself like a gigantic sonar device into the fisheries of the Golden Crescent. How far away will the pulse and vibration of 84 turbines be heard by the creatures of the lake? Will some creatures simply move beyond the hearing range, or will they simply perish having been deprived of their habitat. Who knows? Does anybody really care? I say no one knows, but some may suspect, many might care if they knew what might happen. This is a topic that should be raised with the DEC and other environmental groups and the fishing interests.

These are just a few thoughts while I am feeling really cranked up. I will incorporate some of the above in future Jefferson County Journal pieces.
I would encourage others to pick up on any of the above thoughts for their own letters to the editor, especially to the WDT or as news releases directly from the Coalition, the Chamber or the Heart of Henderson and as letters to the political fools that are in charge of our future.

For those with engineering backgrounds, you should be able to expand on my non scientific analogies of the tuning fork effect of wind turbines anchored into the rock of Galloo Island.

Do what you can. We are at war.

Bob Ashodian

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The New Civil War - Rural vs Urban

(This treatise was written by J.P. Michaud who is a Kansas research scientist, currently serving as an assistant professor of entomology researching new ways to protect agriculture from insect pests. He reviews manuscripts for scientific publications and sits on the editorial boards of two international journals. Although this opinion was written by the author with Kansas in mind – it surely can be applied to NYS. He is fighting wind projects in Kansas and is a thought provoking writer.)

There is a civil war arising from the land use conflicts inherent in alternative energy generation and it thrives on a certain disconnect between urban and rural elements of our society.

While rural communities possess the required land resources, large urban centers have the hunger for the power and the political influence needed to acquire it, along with little empathy for the pastoral quality of life that defines and motivates rural living.

Politicians of almost every stripe are currently stampeding over each other to masquerade as protectors of the environment by promoting and embracing “renewable energy.”

All demand that vast tracts of land be pressed into service in order to produce relatively slender yields of energy. In the rush to promote these alternative energy sources, federal and state governments have provided generous tax breaks and lucrative capital depreciation incentives to big business to encourage development.

In doing so, they have laid the foundation for a civil war that is currently ravaging dozens of rural communities nationwide.

Forget about grass-roots conservation and “bottom up” local energy reform. Developments must be large scale to qualify for any real government support.
And where to find large acreages of land that can be leased cheaply? The same place residential and commercial developers have looked in the past — farmland.

Farms have always been vulnerable to development because just about any other use will generate more income from the land than agriculture. Now it is renewable energy developers that need land, and lots of it.

Our politicians have loosed upon us a virtual army of scheming, profit-driven developers and allowed them to wrap themselves in the seemingly unimpeachable cloak of “green energy” while they aggressively exploit unsuspecting rural neighborhoods.

Local governments have neither the resources nor the expertise to make informed decisions when it comes to large-scale energy developments and cannot always be relied on to act in the best interests of their community.

They are easily coerced by developers and often end up supporting projects before they have any real grasp of their long-term implications.

Wind energy developments are typically preceded by years of covert scouting, signing of confidential leasing agreements, bribing of local politicians with payments in lieu of taxes, etc.

Developers will tout the economic benefits of their project to the community, invariably exaggerating the number of jobs they will create and the amount of money they will spend. They never talk costs — only benefits.

The impending socio-economic fallout from these conflicts is chilling to consider. Local newspaper headlines are telling: “County wind turbine debate pits neighbors, families against each other.”

People feel outraged and disenfranchised by the undemocratic nature of the development process.

We may be facing a new form of class warfare: true rural conservationists versus phony environmentalists, industrial wolves in sheep’s clothing, and the political posers that license and subsidize them.

Communities are left with broken friendships, mistrust of neighbors, political animosities, and a compromised future.

Such will be the legacy of the civil war over renewable energy, born out of leadership failures and politicians that turned a blind eye to the civil injustice created by their policies.

By J. P. Michaud

Endeavor News
20 December 2008

Fishermen Incensed Over Offshore NY Turbines

Here's what serious boaters & fishermen are saying since learning of the 11/13/09 NYPA Oswego, NY presentation:

Underwater powerlines would be strung all over restricting the use of anchors by small craft.

I have received countless Emails the past few days regarding this "project" from representatives from Oswego County. They are all aware of this proposed windfarm, and the majority appears to be opposed to this going through. Jefferson County has already started the process to adopt a resolution which will be sent to the PSC should this project be given the go-ahead. It has been suggested that Oswego County do the same.

Imagine the disruption to radar systems in the shipping lanes and all of us who use radar to navigate and watch weather with. They already show up on doppler radar over the ridges east of Buffalo and over near Lowville when you look for radar weather reports. They look like a real bad rain storm that never moves away.

Do you think we will be allowed to fish anywhere near these turbines? No way! It will be just like the 9-Mile Point nuke plant was after 9/11 - restricted zones. What about the power transmission lines? The lines will have to be run underwater. Downrigger balls often track very close to the bottom of the lake where these lines will be run. Just in Mexico Bay alone, they are proposing 560 of these turbines. That is like taking the entire Lowville farm and putting it in the water where hundreds of thousands of boats troll during the fishing season. Think about the annual fishing derbies and tournaments on the lake and how they will be affected.

If this project goes through, we may as well all sell our boats, because we will not be able to use them anymore where we use them now. You may tell us to just move to another location to fish, but when you are talking about 560 turbines in one area alone, where do you go? Another thought on these turbines. I have found out that the power generated by these turbines will NOT be used to power the area they inhabit. All power will be transferred downstate. I have an issue with that. If downstate needs more power and windfarms are the answer, there are plenty of places downstate to put windfarms.

Those electrical fields will disrupt the E-W movement of salmon & trout around the lake. Additionally, people complain about their noise – noise is amplified & travels faster through water. How will that constant rumble transmitted through the tower affect aquatic life? (Fishermen generally try to be fairly quite when out there.) Lake Trout habitat will definitely be affected. We don’t need any new navigational hazards. The quantity they’re talking about will affect nearshore currents, especially in 100-150 FOW range.

The purpose of this project is to make money for the guy that thought it up. It's not to be good to the people nor about us going green. It's an attempt to put big money in someone's pocket. The originator is not proposing this out of the goodness of his heart. He's trying to cash in on the environmental movement. If you want a windmill farm for NY City then put them on top of the buildings down there or off your own ocean beaches. Put them in your backyard, let the windmill farm affect the people that will benefit from it, which obviously won't be me.

Others fear the offshore turbines will disturb fishing and spawning grounds and endanger birds that migrate at night.
"We have to be very sensitive to the environment of the Great Lakes, whether it's the fish or the birds or bats, or the water itself," is what NYPA President Richie Kessel said on 12/1/09 at the Niagara Power Project. Gee Richie – didn’t you leave out one other segment of the environment we should be sensitive to?

More Bad News from NY Power Authority

The NYPA has just released new information (as of 12/1/09) on their proposal to trash Lakes Ontario and Erie. The main news is that the NYPA Request For Proposals (RFP) document is now public and available for all to review at: They have included maps that are easily accessible for additional disgusting information about the scheme they propose to victimize upstate New Yorkers. The RFP will tell you, among other things, that the NYPA plan is to place offshore turbines in the lakes as close as 2 nautical miles (2.3 statue miles) from shore or islands – what a horrible thought! Please check out other articles in this Beware NY Wind blog for much more info on the NYPA proposal by people we didn’t even elect including the biggest offshore turbine supporter of all – Gov. Paterson, lowest rated NYS governor in our lifetime. NYPA President Richie Kessel was FIRED by Gov. Spitzer from his job as head of the Long Island Power Authority (both are Democrats) and now he’s been adopted by Gov. Paterson and directs his efforts at destruction of the Great Lakes since being booted out of the LIPA. You can also read the NYPA news release about the offshore RFP document at their web site:

Monday, November 30, 2009

NYS Bureaucrats That Support Offshore Turbines

Here are some of the bureaucrats that would trash Lakes Ontario and Erie for the sake of low quality, volatile, unreliable, erratic, expensive electricity to be sent down state to NYC or Long Island while foreigners enjoy all the rewards. In the meantime lake shore property owners have had the value of their biggest dream/investment permanently stripped out forever and then suffer the turbine noise, loss of view shed, loss of darkness and many other turbine related nuisances through no fault of their own. How many of the charlatans listed below did you elect or can you vote out of office? How many of them would welcome turbines in their neighborhood? Do you think they believe in the golden rule?

Governor David A. Paterson said: “We have an opportunity to ensure that New York is the national leader in the growth of the clean energy economy, which will create thousands of jobs across the state. To get there, we must take full advantage of our natural resources, including hydropower, solar, and wind. I have set the goal for New York to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and renewable sources by 2015. Harnessing the power of wind is critical to achieving that goal and the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project will help us reach it.”

Reported 12/1/09 Gov. Paterson said "The development of a wind energy project in the Great Lakes off the shores of New York will bring us another step towards my goal to meet 30 percent of the State's electricity needs from renewable resources by 2015, help demonstrate the significantly untapped potential of offshore wind, and bring new clean energy jobs to Western New York," Governor Paterson said.

"I commend the New York Power Authority for helping transition New York to a clean energy economy, and for maintaining New York's leadership position in developing renewable energy resources."

“Today we reach a milestone in New York’s energy history by seeking the development of a wind energy project in the New York waters of the Great Lakes."

"We have to be very sensitive to the environment of the Great Lakes, whether it's the fish or the birds or bats, or the water itself," is what NYPA President Richie Kessel said on 12/1/09 at the Niagara Power Project. (Gee Richie – didn’t you leave out one other segment of the environment we should be sensitive to?)

‘New York City needs renewable energy sources, such as offshore wind, to meet the ambitious greenhouse gas reductions in PlaNYC, our long term vision for a greener, greater New York,’ said Mayor Michael R Bloomberg. ‘ We hope that working with the Collaborative will be the best way to implement large-scale, offshore wind, and I look forward to working with ConEd, LIPA, NYPA and the other partners to make this project a reality.’

Michael J. Townsend, chairman of NYPA’s board of trustees, said: “With over 70 percent of NYPA’s electricity generated by clean renewable hydropower, the Power Authority has always been at the forefront of the development of clean energy sources. The magnitude of the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project has the potential to not only provide power but also many green collar jobs for the construction, operation and maintenance of wind power facilities.” On 12/1/09 Townsend is quoted “Hand in hand with the development of renewable energy sources like the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, are the potential of jobs and manufacturing opportunities that could help make the Upstate economy the leader in green industry initiatives through the efforts of the region’s talented entrepreneurs and skilled workforce,”

Jonathan F. Foster, vice chairman of NYPA's board of trustees, said: “In late 2008, the United States became the world leader in wind energy production. Our state, New York, was one of the leading states in adding wind capacity last year. With the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, the Power Authority will pursue additional opportunities to give Western New York a competitive edge in developing workforce training and other assets to attract the growing wind power industry.”

Elise Cusack, NYPA trustee, said: “Through the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, Western New York should be confident that the Power Authority and its supporters will do their due diligence to ensure the right wind projects go forward, which meet the environmental and economic concerns of our communities and our region.”

D. Patrick Curley, NYPA trustee, said: “Since the New York Power Authority gleans so much of its inertia from the earth’s predominant component, water, it is fitting that the Power Authority be part of today’s Earth Day Celebration and I am personally delighted with our participation.”

Paul A. Dyster, mayor, City of Niagara Falls, said: “While the 21st Century holds challenges for us in this region, it clearly holds enormous opportunity as well. If we are successful in harnessing wind power without compromising the quality of our environment, we will become a national leader in advancing green employment. Developing this new source of renewable energy can and should deliver tangible long-term economic benefits to the region.”

State Senator Antoine M. Thompson said: “I am dedicated to making Western New York a leader for ‘green’ initiatives and the green economy. The potential for offshore wind in the Great Lakes is enormous and should be used to our environmental and economic advantage.”

State Senator William T. Stachowski said: “We believe the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project has tremendous energy potential for upstate New York. This initiative is particularly exciting because science has shown us the ways that properly harnessed wind power can cut energy costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and protect public health and the environment by reducing pollution. In addition, this growing industry has the potential to create thousands of jobs in New York. My colleagues and I will continue to make this important project a priority.”

Said Kevin Cahill, Paterson's energy advisor - "I look forward to building upon this new era by working with Governor Paterson and President Kessel to further even more policy initiatives to restore the Power Authority to its rightful place as the preeminent public utility in the nation,” said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee.

Tom King, president of National Grid in the U.S., said: “Addressing climate change and fostering a diversity of energy supply will require looking at all options to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. National Grid is pleased to join the New York Power Authority in supporting this comprehensive information gathering initiative to explore the potential of wind energy along the Great Lakes.”

Pete Grannis, commissioner, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, said: “Wind is a low-carbon, renewable fuel source that will play a significant role in New York's push for a clean energy economy. We look forward to working with the Power Authority as this initiative goes forward to ensure that any Great Lakes wind projects are carried out in an environmentally-sound way.”

Ashok Gupta, senior energy economist, Natural Resources Defense Council, said: “NRDC strongly supports increased use of wind energy and commends NYPA for its announcement today. The technology for producing electricity from wind energy has improved greatly over the past twenty years, and wind on- and offshore—now represents one of the most promising sources of emissions free electricity. Indeed, offshore wind power is probably the region’s largest untapped renewable energy resource. Developing this resource is essential to help reduce pollution that threatens public health and our climate.”

Brian Smith, WNY program director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said: “The Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project sends the critical message that large scale energy production doesn't have to come from polluting fossil fuels but rather it can be obtained from renewable, clean, homegrown sources such as wind. Our nation's wind-rich Great Lakes have the potential to generate renewable energy that will help combat climate change, drive economic development and promote energy independence. Now the Great Lakes can be great for one more reason. Congratulations to NYPA and Governor Paterson for thinking outside the barrel.”

Terry L. Yonker, current chair of the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative Steering Committee, said: “The announcement by NYPA is a clear sign that the development of wind power offshore is becoming attractive as a way to meet future green energy demands in the Great Lakes region. NYPA is positioned to strategically move such a project forward and has the capacity within its system to balance the wind power output. The Great Lakes Wind Collaborative is a U.S.-Canadian group that works to further its collective understanding to resolve environmental, capacity, transmission, and sustainability issues surrounding the development of wind power all across the Great Lakes region. The membership of the GLWC is drawn from U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, all eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces, as well as municipal, environmental, and industry sectors. The potential for wind power development in the Great Lakes is very large and could significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the entire region, the world's third largest economy. But we also need to work cooperatively to insure that wind power development on the Great Lakes is environmentally sound and economically sustainable.”

Carol E. Murphy, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, said: “Offshore wind energy would bring much-needed local jobs and economic activity to communities from Buffalo to Watertown, and it would further solidify New York's place as a clean energy leader. We commend NYPA for launching this bold initiative and look forward to working with leaders across the state to make it a reality.”

In June 2009, the NEW YORK STATE COMMISSION ON ASSET MAXIMIZATION recommended to Gov. Paterson the placing of privately owned wind turbines on offshore state property, generating clean, low cost energy while raising revenue for the state. Offshore turbine generated wind is hardly low cost - in fact - its the most expensive generated electric but who could overlook the other commission recommended motivation - revenues for NYS from this fiasco!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rogue NY Power Authority Document to Hustle Lakes Ontario & Erie

The New York Power Authority issued a fifteen-page document on April 22, 2009 that reveals their disgusting early plans to industrialize Lakes Ontario and Erie with offshore wind turbines. The document is called Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI). (See The RFEI is the beginning of the whole offshore wind farm process and the document is soliciting a response from anyone having an interest in the offshore wind project and this would include foreigners. There are no offshore wind turbines anywhere in North America yet therefore it’s likely that the foreigners would prevail as they have “some” experience in offshore wind. NYPA President and CEO Richie Kessel is pictured postulating at the 11/13/09 Oswego, NY NYPA presentation.

Page 5 says: “This initiative has the interest of wind power supporters including National Grid (“NG”), New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, local and statewide environmental organizations and the University of Buffalo.”

Id like to see proof that the National Grid supports the NYPA offshore wind project. Ditto the NYSDEC. They may have interest but I need proof they support this ludicrous idea. And what statewide environmental organizations would possibly support this outrageous project – Id love to see the organizations named if they’re not from downstate and Long Island. Typical NYPA staff hyperbole!

Page 5 also says: “While it is understood that sources of renewable energy, such as a Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, typically incur a price premium…”

If this isn’t the understatement of the whole RFEI document I don’t know what is.

Page 6 says: “it will seek to use the output of the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project to meet the needs of upstate customers”

This statement is nothing more than a carrot dangled in front of upstaters in a weak effort to gain their support. What proof is there that upstate NY lacks sufficient energy? What is really going to happen is the electricity generated from this fiasco will be sent downstate to help metropolitan NYC and Long Island while Lakes Ontario and Erie get polluted in numerous nauseating ways.

Page 6 says: “The anticipated project(s) would be located in New York State waters of Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario and would be utility scale, i.e., at least 120 MW.”

Could anyone possibly believe it would take a billion dollars to build a 120MW offshore wind farm? In 1966 Rochester Gas & Electric finished their Ginna nuclear power plant on Lake Ontario for $75M and they just sold it to Constellation Energy for $420M and it occupies less than 500 acres and produces safe, dependable electric 100% of the time with no pollution at a fair price.

Page 7 says: “NYPA’s concept of a utility scale project suggests that the largest commercially available turbine may be required. As such, this RFEI requests information concerning the largest lake-based wind turbine that is currently available (or is expected to be available) on the market as well as the prospects and timing for larger turbines.”

This text says it all – make it as big, loud, visually objectionable and obnoxious as possible.

Page 7 says: “As the project will likely be located in water depths of at least 50 feet, the design and construction of the support structure and foundation are critical to a successful project. It is NYPA’s understanding that to date there have not been many wind projects installed at these depths.”

Why not let NYS be the guinea pig for this curious experiment? Lets see what a good upstate NY winter of hard ice, high winds and industrial strength waves do to these expensive lightening rods. BTW - the Oswego NYPA presentation said that offshore turbines would not be placed in water depths of 150 feet or greater – lets not get too far from shore or people’s homes and valuable property!

Page 8 says: “…..the need for an offshore substation;”

Page 12 says: “The installation of the wind turbines will likely have impacts for local communities. Key to the success of the project is local community acceptance. Therefore, the RFP will require respondents to describe their plans for educating the affected communities on the benefits of wind energy. While NYPA intends to publicly support the project and will endeavor to arrange for meetings between the developer and key constituencies and local, state and federal officials, it will ultimately be the developer’s responsibility to address community issues.”

The first sentence is another gross understatement. Local community acceptance of an offshore wind farm is as likely as accepting a toothache. And then for NYPA to have the nerve to slough off to the wind farm developer - the responsibility to face a hostile community! But then – when there’s this amount of money in it for them – any greedy developer will make a weak attempt to satiate the community before ultimately giving up. Maybe the NYPA has experience putting lipstick on a pig?

Page 13 says: “The Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project would be expected to contribute substantial environmental benefits to the region, but could also have certain environmental impacts at the project site.”

Another understatement – Id like to see a substantial list of environmental benefits an offshore wind farm can produce. If you believe this statement you must believe in the tooth fairy. Id also like to see the NYPA list of certain environmental impacts at the project site – could they be heinous by chance?

Page 14 says: “Freedom of Information Law - Responders to this RFEI are cautioned to clearly label as “proprietary” and “confidential” any specific information or other material that responders consider to be confidential. NYPA is subject to the New York State Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) which provides, as a general rule, that NYPA records are accessible to the public, subject only to exceptions enumerated in FOIL which include, but are not limited to, an exception protecting trade secrets. After receipt of a FOIL request for information provided by a responder to this RFEI, NYPA, to the fullest extent permitted by FOIL, would seek to protect the information submitted by the RFEI responder that is marked “confidential” and “proprietary”.

This statement reeks of NYPA President Richie Kessel, his style and his apparent disdain for the NYS FOIL Law. What this statement is meant to do is to encourage developers answering the NYPA’s RFEI to label their replies "proprietary" or "confidential" specifically to trump New York’s FOIL law and prevent offshore wind skeptics & opponents from seeing who replied to the RFEI and learning their ideas and proposals that will outrage the affected public. Keeping this RFEI information “secret” and out of the hands of the general public to avoid the hue and cry of those opposed – apparently is the normal modus operandi of the NYPA. The NYPA has a known history of stonewalling FOIL requests. As a matter of fact – NYPA has its own regulations about making FOIL requests and has a section regarding FOIL on their website [NYPA regulations (21 NYCRR Part 453)]. Do NYPA FOIL regulations trump NYS FOIL regulations? Nothing transparent about how the NYPA does business – this is Richie Kessel. He’s the big boy in charge.

Well - you've had a brief review of Richie Kessel's document to peddle Lakes Ontario and Erie, probably to foreigners. If you don't take action opposing NYPA's plans then you must suffer the consequences.

Please see other blog entries on this site about the NYPA proposal to despoil the Great Lakes. Check out the 2 NYPA maps (on the 11/15/09 blog) shown at the 11/13/09 Oswego, NY presentation showing potential turbine locations of NYPA’s proposed offshore wind farms. Do you live or travel and enjoy the lakes near these locations? Savor what the lakes’ benefits have brought you as they may soon disappear forever.

Lakes Ontario and Erie - - - -GOING, GOING, .........GONE!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2,200 Offshore Turbines Planned For Lakes Ontario & Erie

Lakes Ontario and Erie to be Decimated
NYPA Proposes Over 1,000 Turbines in Lake Ontario, 1200 in Lake Erie

Nov 13, 2009 – New York Power Authority President Richie Kessel and his staff made an hour and a half presentation at Oswego, NY city hall today to reveal the New York Power Authority Great Lakes Power Project that divulges a horrible future for Lakes Ontario and Erie. Approximately 60-70 people
attended the presentation. The presentation was originally supposed to be for elected officials and community leaders until word of this covert meeting leaked out and spread rapidly. Information was mostly presented by two of Kessel’s staff (Sharon Laudisi, government and community affairs specialist for NYPA and Kathleen (?), environmental specialist) who are convinced that wind energy would be terrific for the Great Lakes and upstate NY. The information given is a regurgitation of what Kessel presented on Earth Day, April 22, 2009 in Buffalo. Luadisi said that Buffalo wanted a wind farm and people supposedly asked the NYPA that the turbines be located closer to Buffalo. At Oswego there were several people who expressed an opposing view to NYPA’s plans and made their feelings known. Several slides were shown that gave the attendees an overall idea of “the project” and how abhorrent it is for New Yorkers. I came away from the presentation convinced that “the project” is being forced upon Upstaters by a downstate Long Island Democrat appointed by a grossly unpopular NY governor we didn’t even elect. Kessel wishes to pollute Lakes Ontario and Erie with thousands of wind turbines so that volatile, low quality, unreliable, expensive power could be sent to metropolitan NYC and LI. Kessel speculated that turbines and necessary related parts could be manufactured upstate creating thousands of jobs. The presentation mentioned that the project would be reviewed by NYSDEC, US Coast Guard, US Army Corp of Engineers and US Fish & Wildlife Service and others. However – the slides shown that identified what agencies would be involved in siting “the project” - didn’t include input from local municipalities along the shorelines. In other words – towns bordering the lakes with offshore turbines – the major victims of this horrible project - wouldn’t have much, if anything, to say about the project. This project would be forced upon them. Turbines would need to be located in water depths of less than 150 feet. Whether or not tax payments to those municipalities nearest “the project” would be made are also questionable. Yes – this is what Richie has in store for upstaters.

The Lake Ontario & Erie maps illustrate what NYPA’s Kessel has been hiding from upstate New Yorkers – maps that are a “first cut” - showing the potential project sites (offshore wind farms) of this massive project that will hurt so many New Yorkers in numerous ways. The map slides were shown at Oswego this afternoon and graphically illustrate potential offshore wind farms very close to the shoreline. On the map slides please note there are two numbers shown for each offshore wind farm. The numbers indicate the electrical generating capacity of the farm. For example, let’s look at the one for Lake Ontario & Niagara County. The numbers show 90-180 meaning the megawatt capacity range being considered for the wind farm. Each turbine according to NYPA will produce about 3 megawatts therefore to determine how many turbines might be in the farm simply divide the megawatt range numbers on the map slide by 3. Therefore – offshore in Niagara County you could expect to find between 30 to 60 turbines! Up to 60 turbines near the outlet of the Niagara River into Lake Ontario off Niagara County! This should really upset the owner’s of beautiful yachts in the Niagara River marinas as well as our Canadian neighbors who will be forced to look upon these 450’ high eyesores. The next Lake Ontario area victimized is Monroe County (Rochester & 103 offshore turbines) from the town of Parma then east to Greece, then past Irondequoit and Webster to Wayne County’s town of Ontario – this comprises 3 wind farms. Another offshore wind farm (20 turbines) is shown off the town of Williamson and then east and north of Sodus Bay – this should really cause chaos for the Sodus Bay boaters & fishermen. Another large offshore wind farm (106 turbines) continues north of Sodus Bay and east past the towns of Huron and Wolcott and just reaching north of Cayuga County and the town of Sterling. The next offshore wind farm is enormous (560 turbines) and located in Mexico Bay just off of Oswego and Jefferson counties. Two more offshore wind farms (53 and 136 turbines) show in Lake Ontario just north of Galloo Island and of course this is in addition to what’s already in the controversial works on Galloo Island and the Jefferson county mainland! The last offshore wind farm (16 turbines) shows off Grenadier Island and just inside the Canadian border.

Lakes Ontario/Erie would change forever if this happens!

New Yorkers need to stop Kessel’s horrible project in its tracks.

If you do not want this tragedy to happen you must send this email to warn your neighbors, businesses, boating friends, charter captains, fellow workers, cottage owners, neighborhood associations, environmental groups, realtors, our Canadian neighbors, and especially shoreline property and business owners. You must pressure your local and state elected representatives to take immediate action opposed to Kessel’s objectives to industrialize the Great Lakes for downstate’s benefit. There is no need for offshore wind farms in Lake Ontario or Lake Erie. Don’t be fooled and allow Richie and NYPA to rape upstate NY.

Is it any wonder why New York state suffered the largest loss of residents to other states in the nation from 2000 to 2008, with more than 1.5 million people leaving, a report found. The report, commissioned by the conservative Empire Center for New York State Policy, found 8 percent of New York’s population at the start of the decade has left to other states. Efforts like Kessel’s trashing of Lakes Erie and Ontario will lead to a greater exodus of people from NYS during the next decade. Kessel has truly put a curse on lakeshore upstaters. Allowing any wind turbines anywhere in the Great Lakes will encourage more to follow in the future.
Kessel’s Great Lakes Power Project plan must be fought with a vengeance.
The New York Post said this about Kessel possibly being selected as NYPA chief:
"There couldn't be a worse choice to run the New York Power Authority than long-time Long Island gadfly and political gofer Richie Kessel -- yet Gov. Paterson seems set to tap him for just that post.
"What a huge mistake."
Paterson gave him the job.

Richard Kessel is the mastermind behind this Great Lakes Power Project fiasco and not free of controversy. You do not have to Google very long to discover what a train wreck Kessel is. He was fired from the Long Island Power Authority by former Gov. Spitzer. (both downstate Democrats) NY reports Kessel was investigated by the state inspector general for accepting dual salaries at LIPA for his twin roles as chairman and president. His plan for a 150 turbine offshore Long Island wind farm was dropped when costs ballooned to $800M and residents complained it was too near shore. He’s proposed putting a major power line under the NYS thruway (to downstate, of course). NYS Sen. George Maziarz of Niagara County testified that Kessel is a liar and a cheat. The North Country Gazette reported numerous Kessel blunders while he headed the LIPA. But the most damning Kessel commentary is described by George J. Marlin, former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Read Marlin’s extensive Kessel scorchers in several articles at and at’s-woes - you won’t believe it!

No doubt Gov. Paterson won’t be re-elected hence Kessel won’t enjoy his NYPA job too long either but he’ll continue to do damage to NYS until he’s replaced from his $240K/year patronage job.

Above information respectfully provided by Al Isselhard; email

See another Beware NY Wind blog on offshore turbines: “Say “NO” to Offshore Great Lakes Turbines”

Say "NO" to Offshore Great Lakes Turbines!!!!!!

Richard Kessel, President of the New York Power Authority is expending all his energy these days pursuing an issue that will hurt New Yorkers! He’s attempting to sell your government officials and the public an idea that planting wind turbines in the Great Lakes is good for our state. Well – he’s wrong! Kessel is touring NYS trying desperately to pedal this horrible use of the Great Lakes to whoever will listen.

“Our goal is to have an offshore wind project . . . within five years,” said Kessel, who developed plans for a controversial wind power project off Jones Beach when he served as president of the Long Island Power Authority. The plan was scuttled. But Kessel’s back with a vengeance and now he’s targeting the Great Lakes. That’s unfortunate!

Here’s why concerned New Yorkers should actively and strongly oppose offshore wind projects in Lakes Ontario and Erie:

Lakeshore property owners will not tolerate the tremendous loss of property value and marketability that are certain to occur wherever offshore turbines are located. Turbines will cause lower assessments of neighboring property and thus a higher tax rate for the rest of the community.

Lakeshore property owners pay the highest state/local property taxes because of their beautiful waterfront locations and do not wish their view shed to be forever ruined by the sight of 450 ft. high offshore wind turbines located in the lake generating small amounts of electricity to be sent downstate to metropolitan areas. The certain loss of view and quiet enjoyment by lakeshore property owners is unacceptable.

Lakeshore property owners don’t want light trespassing (both direct and reflecting) as a result of blinking red strobe lights atop the offshore turbines. There may be turbine mid-base lighting and navigation lighting too – all of which contribute to loss of darkness, reflecting lighting off the water, etc. – all of which is unacceptable. Turbine blade shuttering and reflections will also be a nuisance. Their property suddenly becomes a Turbinetown, an undesirable place to live.

Lakeshore property owners do not want the loud noise, both audible and inaudible, generated by the turbines. The noise would be far worse than that already well documented from terrestrial turbines wherever turbines are now in place since there is no foliage/hills/buildings to help absorb noise. Studies show sound travels 3 times farther over water than land. Multiple turbines increase sound intensity. This is not only a nuisance but a serious health problem called wind turbine syndrome. A new book being released November 2009 documents the many serious health problems caused by wind turbines – read: Wind Turbine Syndrome by Dr. Nina Pierpont.

Wind turbines produce low-frequency noise (LFN) and seismic vibrations—on this there is no longer any question or worthwhile debate hence there will be huge negative implications for all aquatic life wherever the offshore turbines are located. When it is discovered that offshore turbines have an enormous affect on fishing do you think they will be turned off and removed? Once installed they will be there for the rest of your life. Read Dr. Nina Pierpont’s article Fish and Wind Turbines Don’t Mix that can be found on the internet.

Recreational & commercial boaters and fishermen could not possibly welcome this appalling use of the Great Lakes that can only create a danger for them, particularly during the nighttime hours, and place restrictions on where they can use their boats. Don’t listen to Kessel tell you offshore turbines won’t have an effect on boating and fishing! These lies were doled out continuously to property owners where turbines were planned when turbine neighbors were told they made no noise and didn’t devalue homes – and look what has happened to them. There can be unknown fish impacts that aren’t discovered until the development is created.

Monopole construction of wind turbine bases can cause silt debris, contamination of potable water intakes, disruption of water intakes for nuclear power sites, fracturing the bedrock during monopole construction thus allowing sulphur into the water, and also stirring up unknown sediments from prior pollution.

Scuba diving could be affected as well as historic shipwreck sites

Marina owners & the charter fishing boat industry will lose business as a result of the offshore turbines and new rules that will affect boating in a negative way.

Tourists will avoid any area blighted by the installation of offshore turbines. How would you like to view a sunrise or sunset through spinning turbine blades? Have a look at nearby Wolfe Island on the St. Lawrence! The wind folly there can be seen from Watertown.

Bird and bat kill carnage (blade tips rotating at 200 MPH) cannot be avoided. The Atlantic flyway crosses Lake Ontario right where some offshore wind farms are proposed. Offshore turbines conflict with safe bird havens.

Winter ice conditions will damage and destroy the turbines and deter winter maintenance.

There will be certain wind turbine caused electromagnetic interference affecting microwave signals, power surges, TV reception loss, weather radar interference - causing corrupt data, false precipitation signals, doppler radar – wind turbine flutter, aircraft & boating communication interference – its already happened!

Dirty tricks played on unsuspecting property owners by the corrupt wind industry are now well known. Can you wonder why NYS Attorney General Cuomo is investigating the corrupt wind industry and asking the wind developers in NYS to adopt and sign his wind industry ethics code? What other industry or business have you ever heard of in NYS being asked to sign an ethics code? Does this speak well of the wind industry? New York cannot afford the corrupt wind industry or their bait ‘n switch tactics.

Clearly, most local governments are not equipped to deal with the aggressiveness of wind farm developers or to evaluate the technical, economic, environmental and energy implications of “wind farms” or deal with people like NYPA President Richard Kessel. This is particularly true when wind industry lobbyists have already pushed tax breaks, subsidies, and other measures favorable to “wind farm” owners through state legislatures. Elected local officials are easily coerced (or intimidated) by developers (maybe by NYPA too) and often end up supporting projects before they have any real grasp of their long-term implications. Cultivating elected officials is part of the wind developer’s operating scheme and this is where Mr. Kessel fits in nicely.

Ask the numerous upstate and northern NYS land owners that trusted wind developers to develop a wind farm on their property but were later hit with a lien (this year) because the developer failed to pay his bills to the contractors. Now the land owners can’t do anything with their property and have a huge lien to deal with that they cannot afford. Read: 47 New Liens Filed Against Nobel Environmental Power on the National Wind Watch website.

Dripping toxic wind turbine fluids will pollute the lakes – hundreds of gallons are in each nacelle.

Turbines might be abandoned after 10 years because all the tax benefits had been captured, performance has deteriorated, newer more efficient technology has replaced 400+ ft. high turbines or maintenance costs become prohibitive. And there they are in Lakes Ontario and Erie – rusting away like 400’ high junk cars.

Taxpayer money dedicated to offshore wind development is money that could otherwise be invested in worthwhile and effective electrical generating projects such as solar or nuclear. Oswego has plenty of positive experience with nuclear and gas electrical generating energy that also provides good jobs.

Unknown impacts will also develop AFTER the wind farm is constructed and these impacts may never be corrected thus hurting man and nature forever. There are NO offshore wind turbines in North America. Do we want to be a guinea pigs in Kessel’s experiment?

Today’s Kessel presentation was deliberately kept quiet – by request of course – this is how covert the wind industry normally operates. Does Mr. Kessel believe in transparent government? Does Mr. Kessel care about your property value or your health or quality of life? Does Mr. Kessel live near Turbinetown?


Above information respectfully provided by Al Isselhard; email:

Most of the above information was handed out to attendees at the 11/13/09 NYPA presentation in Oswego, NY city hall. About 70 people attended the presentation.

See Beware NY Wind blog "2,200 Offshore Turbines Planned for Lakes Ontario & Erie" for a report on the NYPA presentation at Oswego city hall on 11/13/09.

Please visit this great Canadian anti offshore turbine site dealing with Lake Erie and more in depth studies of this issue. Google CALEWT for Citizens Against Lake Erie Wind Turbines and see their video. Their website address is:

Monday, November 9, 2009

PILOT Agreements - Corporate Welfare Ad Nauseum

When you purchase a new home or build one for, let’s say $200k, the transaction must be recorded with the county clerk in the county where the property is located. The sale/build price is also part of this legal requirement and this figure is publicly available and of interest to your local assessor. As a result - the property assessment must be as close as possible to 100% of the property value – the price you paid for it. Therefore if you paid $200K then the assessment will likely be $200K – period. And your property tax will be based on this assessment.

Now consider a wind developer who comes into a rural community and builds a “wind farm”. The average cost of buying & installing a commercial wind turbine (per internet estimates) is roughly between $2M and $3M each. Then the wind developer and local IDA negotiate a PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) “deal” and the wind developer avoids paying his fare share of taxes – pays a small fraction of the project’s net worth – as a result of the IDA PILOT “deal”. Furthermore – the developer is probably based in a foreign country and never even visited the area where the wind farm is located. Because of the PILOT program the foreign wind developer can legally pay a mere fraction of the true 100% value of the wind farm while home owner’s taxes are based on 100% value of his new property. How can this be fair? This is corporate greed and manipulation at its worst combined with misdirected irresponsible government. And it’s likely the turbines are manufactured in a foreign country too. And the crew that installs the entire wind project would never be from your community – they are a transient bunch and gone a few months after construction never to return. And often the lessor is an absentee landlord and doesn’t live anywhere near where the turbines are sited, Turbinetown, and avoids the noise, loss of viewshed, shadowing, etc. much less face-to-face contact with extremely upset neighbors who have suffered physical pain and permanent loss of property value. Turbine neighbors have become prisoners in their own homes (because their homes will never sell for anywhere near what they were worth before the creation of the windfarm – if they’re sold at all) and their only escape is to abandon their life’s major investment to gain relief for health reasons. But some town board members make out well approving wind development because they are likely to have a conflict of interest and benefit financially either directly or indirectly and as a result betray their own neighbors including people that trusted them and may have actually voted for them. And think about this – the bad guys assisting the foreign wind developer with PILOTs are your county IDA reps. They would sell out their mother for a low paying job in your county and IDA staff are not even elected. The whole relationship between your IDA and your county legislative board needs constant monitoring. The IDA officials are appointed by your county legislature or board of supervisors. Like a bad cold - corrupt IDA staff are difficult to get rid of. PILOT agreements are developed by your IDA not the town board.
The office of the NYS Comptroller says the following about IDAs:
There are 20 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) in the eight county
region of western New York. Pursuant to General Municipal
Law, Section 858, these IDAs are independent public benefit
corporations created by State legislation to improve economic
conditions by encouraging and assisting businesses in maintaining,
constructing or improving facilities. In so doing, they advance job
opportunities and improve the health, general prosperity and economic
welfare of the people of the State of New York.

To accomplish this, IDAs provide project owners financial assistance
which includes, among other things, exemptions from taxation.
Without this assistance, project owners would generally pay a real
property tax based on the assessed value of land and improvements to
a site. Any real property owned or controlled by an IDA is not subject
to ad valorem real property taxes. Therefore, the IDA would take
title to, or leasehold interest in, real property and the property would
become 100 percent exempt from ad valorem real property taxes. To
accommodate the needs of affected taxing jurisdictions, many IDAs
execute written agreements requiring Payments In Lieu Of Taxes
(PILOT) by project owners to municipalities and school districts
where the projects are located. These affected tax jurisdictions (ATJ)
receive PILOT revenue that is generally equal to, or a portion of, the
amount they would have received had the IDA not been involved.
PILOT agreements must contain, among other things, the amount due
annually to each ATJ, or a formula by which the amount due can be

PILOTs are supposed to make jobs for communities but with wind farms this never happens. Only about one mediocre paying job is created for every 10 turbines installed – that’s hardly job creation. Government watchdog groups say the absence of uniform standards makes the whole PILOT program open to abuse, because each wind company gets to negotiate its own private deal with the IDA. In addition, wind companies that fail to meet their original IDA job creation promises rarely get penalized.

In addition, the presence of a wind power facility will drive down the value of surrounding properties (homes), lowering assessments and thus causing a loss of tax revenue that cuts into any possible gain by the presence of a wind farm. NYS property owners have already successfully had their assessments reduced because their properties had the unfortunate circumstance of being located near a new wind farm. This reduces the tax base for the community and must be made up by increasing the tax rate which is then paid by those property owners within the community. Once again the taxpayer is paying higher taxes to support the corrupt wind industry and people say the wind is free.

And think about this - 65% of a commercial wind farm is being paid for with your American tax dollars thanks to stimulus money, NYSERDA, PTC (Production Tax Credits), rapid depreciation schedules, PILOTs, etc. while the foreign owner enjoys the profits while raping your community.

One of the worst recent situations involving IDAs & PILOTs is in Cattaraugus County New York. In Cattaraugus County, a proposed 32-turbine Everpower wind farm in the Chipmunk area of the town of Allegany – the town’s portion of the payment in lieu of taxes (P.I.L.O.T.) negotiated by the Cattaraugus county IDA would be roughly $22,000 a year for the entire wind farm! That’s right - the town would only be getting about $22,000 in PILOT payments a year. That’s for all 32 wind turbines, not each one. Town supervisor Eaton said he did not believe there would be additional “host community fees” available outside of the PILOT agreement, which is negotiated by the IDA. “We’re not doing it for $22,000,” he stated.

Attorney Dan Spitzer said the wind-turbine issue, and its legalities, are complicated at best.

“It’s a very complicated topic and the one thing I say, whether I’m representing the community or representing the developer, is that it will change your community for a generation, at least,” Mr. Spitzer said of a wind-turbine farm.

Mr. Eaton, Allegany town supervisor, who was listening in the background, revised Mr. Spitzer’s statement by saying, “It will change it forever.” Can you imagine a more outrageous IDA than the one in Cattaraugus County? Are they taking a kickback from the wind developer? They are certainly not acting in the best interests of the community. Shame on the Cattaraugus County Legislature and the IDA for attempting to sell the Allegany residents all out, for so very little.

New Yorkers in general are beginning to become completely fed up with PILOTs, IDAs, wind farms and seeing their tax dollars squandered by politicians and bureaucrats to offshore ownership. Taxpayers are beginning to revolt against the wind developers, IDAs and local governments and the November 2009 election results underscore this attitude.

PILOTs should be completely repealed and eliminated and taxpayers should demand the full value of tax revenue from the wind project and nothing less. Industrial Development Agencies should not endorse industrial wind development in NYS, since IDAs were created to stimulate economic development by industries that create permanent jobs and financially benefit the area. Industrial wind will do neither, and is actually contrary to the IDA mission. IDAs are eroding your quality of life in collusion with an “unscrupulous” industry and this must stop. Can you wonder why NYS Attorney General Cuomo is investigating the corrupt wind industry and asking the wind developers to adopt and sign his wind industry ethics code? What other industry or business have you ever heard of in NYS being asked to sign an ethics code? Does this speak well of the wind industry? New Yorkers cannot afford the corrupt wind industry or PILOT agreements.