Local NYSEG project gets tax breaks

New York State Electric and Gas’ $50 million plan to boost electrical availability to Corning area industries took a step forward Thursday with the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency approving tax breaks for the utility’s Corning Valley Transmission Project.

Board members approved sales tax exemptions and a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) for the project.
PILOTs provide reduced property taxes in return for scheduled annual payments that increase over a set period of time.

The Corning Valley Transmission Project received SCIDA’s standard 20-year PILOT, which calls for a first-year payment of 50 percent of property taxes, followed by a 2.5 percent increase every year.

SCIDA consultant Jack Benjamin, who is also president of Three Rivers Development Corp., told the board the electrical upgrade will provide the Corning area with the power needed for development during the next 20 years.

(Click to read the entire article)

NYSEG backs off revenue hikes by 40%

New York State Electric & Gas Corp. has agreed to lower its requested increase in revenues by 40 percent, said David L. Prestemon, an administrative law judge for the state Public Service Commission, which has the final say on the utility company's rate increase request.

Originally, NYSEG asked to increase revenue by about $169.7 million for electricity delivery service and by $63.4 million for natural gas delivery service to its 1.7 million customers. The increases represented a 32.2 percent in revenue for electricity delivery and a 39.5 percent increase in revenue for gas delivery. Under the proposed rate increase, the typical NYSEG customer would pay a total $37.73 more each month.

The PSC can adopt, reject or amend any part of the requested changes. The increases, if approved, would become effective Sept. 25.

(Click to read the entire article)

Members of New York's Public Service Commission (PSC) were in town to get feedback about rate increases that could amount, on average, to $11 dollars a month for electric, to $21 dollars a month for gas.

Many people, like Trudy Harper, spoke out against the hike on the behalf of the Monroe County Workers Benefit Council. That organization represents low-income service workers, the unemployed and the disabled.

"Low-paid and under-employed people are the ones who must make the deadly choice every winter between heating and eating, or face death because of heat stroke and heart failure, because we cannot afford to run a fan or the air conditioning because of the cost. I'm here to say that it is unconscionable for the PSC to grant any additional increase in utility rates."

RG&E and NYSEG were both recently purchased by Iberdrola, a Spanish company. As a condition of that purchase, the utilities were barred from asking for rate hikes for one year after the sale, but last year requested an increase regardless, citing the economic crisis.

The PSC denied that increase, and the utilities again asked for a rate hike after the year-long ban had passed.

(Click to read the entire article)

Rochester, N.Y.- People in Rochester will get the chance Tuesday to let the State Public Service Commission know how they feel about proposals by Rochester Gas and Electric and New York State Electric & Gas Corporation to raise utility rates.

State regulators are holding four public hearings on the matter.

NYSEG has proposed increasing rates by $169.7 million for electric service delivery and by $63.4 million for natural gas delivery service.

RG&E proposed increasing rates by $87.4 million for electric service delivery and $62.9 million for natural gas delivery.

If approved by the PSC, the rate hikes would become effective September 25, 2010.

Tuesday’s hearing will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Rochester City Hall on Church Street.

The New York State Public Service Commission will hold a public statement hearing, and otherwise invites public comments, on a proposal by the Hudson Transmission Partners to construct a transmission line connecting an existing substation in Ridgefield, New Jersey to the West 49th Street substation owned by Consolidated Edison. The 345 kV line will enter the Hudson River at Edgewater, New Jersey and will be buried beneath the riverbed and proceed south to a point adjacent to Piers 92 and 94 opposite West 52nd Street where it will enter Manhattan.

The proposed transmission facility, if built, would provide the New York Power Authority with transmission access to sources of power in the PJM electric system, a regional transmission operator in Pennsylvania that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Interested members of the public may provide their comments regarding this matter at a public statement hearing to be held as follows:

APRIL 27, 1 p.m.
NYS Department of Public Service
4th Floor Board Room
90 Church Street
Manhattan, NYC

(Click to read the entire article)

Gas drill plan still offers peril

There's been an unexpected great leap over what to do about the high-volume natural gas drilling proposed for New York's Southern Tier and into the Catskills.

Many who are skeptical of drilling are going to love it and rejoice. But wait, there may still be a snake or two in the woodpile for those who want to see a wider ban. In truth, it just got harder to stop the gas industry from more or less getting its way.

What's happened is this: The state in effect has taken the New York City watershed in the Catskills out of consideration for hydrofrack gas drilling. The Department of Environmental Conservation is developing a generic environmental impact statement from which a set of rules, procedures and regulations will be crafted to govern hydrofrack gas drilling. We learned this past week that the DEC should have that statement done by late fall. Pending drilling permits could begin a review process shortly after. It's coming soon, near you. Maybe.

(Click to read the entire article)

Syracuse, NY -- State regulators are inching closer to a decision on double-digit rate hikes proposed by two Upstate electric and gas utilities that serve portions of Central New York. Now it’s time for consumers to weigh in.

New York State Electric & Gas Corp. and Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. are looking to boost their delivery revenues in September by increasing customer bills for electricity and natural gas by roughly 15 percent to 19 percent.

Go to the PSC website, www.dps.state.ny.us, and fill in the electronic “comment form.”

• Write to Jaclyn Brilling, secretary, NYS Public Service Commission, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, 12223.

• Call the PSC opinion line at 1-800-335-2120.

Your comments should refer to the appropriate case numbers. For NYSEG, the case numbers are 09-E-0715 (electric) and 09-G-0716 (gas); for RG&E, the numbers are 09-E-0717 (electric) and 09-G-0718 (gas).

ALBANY - The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today announced it would hold public statement hearings on proposals by New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E) to increase rates.

NYSEG has proposed to increase rates by approximately $169.7 million for electric delivery service and by $63.4 million for natural gas delivery service. The proposed increases represent approximately 32.2 percent of NYSEG's electric delivery revenue and 39.5 percent of its gas delivery revenue.

RG&E has proposed to increase rates by approximately $87.4 million for electric delivery service and by $62.9 million for natural gas delivery service. The proposed increases represent approximately 27.1 percent of RG&E's electric delivery revenue and 47.1 percent of its gas delivery revenue.

The increases for both NYSEG and RG&E would become effective on September 25, 2010. Under New York State Law, the Commission must consider utility rate proposals and may adopt, reject, or amend any part of the requested changes in rates and services.

Four separate public statement hearings will be held at the following locations:

Tuesday, April 27 -- Rochester
City Hall Common Council Chambers
30 Church Street, 3rd floor
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 27 -- Geneva
Geneva Community Center Black Box Theater
160 Carter Road
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 28 -- Binghamton
Broome County Public Library Decker Room
185 Court Street
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 29 -- Lancaster
Lancaster Village Municipal Building Auditorium
5423 Broadway
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Public hearings, including one in Rochester, have been scheduled by the state Public Service Commission related to proposed rate increases by Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. and New York State Electric & Gas Corp.

The Rochester hearing is on Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, the commission said. Also on that day, a hearing is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Geneva Community Center in Ontario County.

Other hearings are scheduled for next Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Broome County Public Library in Binghamton, and next Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Lancaster Village Municipal Building in Erie County.

The public can comment at the hearings before an administrative law judge assigned by the commission to these cases, PSC officials said. Verbatim transcripts of the hearings will be made for inclusion in the record of the proceeding, officials said.

(Click to read the entire report)

Financial scandals are not new. Schemes to leverage risk and cheat the public are mainstays of the mad “Cap and Trade” stratagem, in the ongoing war, against genuine free enterprise. The latest ploy is the industrial wind swindle.

In the essay, Wall Street Reaps Big Bucks from the Wind, the strategy to defraud the public is explored. “The latest rage out of the boiler room sharks that hawk new equity issues touts alternative energy. The hype that is coming out of Wall Street resembles the internet band wagon before the bust . . . Goldman Sachs rushes to finance the offers with their expertise – using other peoples’ money . . . Understand from the outset, that producing useful energy is not the prime objective of wind projects.”

To illustrate this point the pending First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S-1 and S-1A application for an IPO readily admits that producing electricity it is not necessary to be profitable.

Understanding the complexity of industrial wind can be a challenge. The derogative knock NIMBY, is meant to deceive and distract from the reality that an ill “Wall Street” wind blows behind the heretical doctrine of global warming.

(Click to read the entire essay)

On April 2, 2010, NYS Assembly bill 10490 was referred to the New York Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee (EnCon). The Bill will establish a moratorium on gas drilling in New York State until 120 days after the Environmental Protection Agency releases its study of the gas industry and its impacts.

On April, 13, 2010, NYS Assembly Bill 10633 was referred to the Assembly’s EnCon Committee. The “home rule” bill will give local governments zoning control over where gas drilling can occur in their jurisdictions.

Two days later, April 15th, was a busy, busy day in New York gas news:

* New York’s gas extraction lobby, the Independent Oil & Gas Association (IOGA-NY) proposed to rescue “New York State’s environmental and parks budgets“ by drilling in New York’s protected park lands. IOGA-NY’s press release asserted, “New York State could raise more than $200 million in fiscal year 2010-11…” and urged, “expediting the auction of state land leases and the application approval process.” (According to Governor Patterson’s Budget Briefing Book, the current budget deficit is $3.2 billion and is expected to reach $6.8 billion in 2010-11, $14.3 billion in 2011-12 and by 2013, $20.7 billion.)

(Click to read the entire article)

N.Y. review of Marcellus hits snags

The review of a draft plan for natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale is being slowed by a staff shortage and may not be finished until late summer or early fall, the state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner said Thursday.

Speaking after giving the opening remarks at an environmental conference hosted by the state Business Council, Commissioner Alexander "Pete" Grannis said workers in his agency were in the process of reviewing and responding to 13,500 comments from the general public on the draft, which must be finalized before permits to drill are granted.

Pennsylvania environmental regulators on Thursday banned an energy company from drilling in the state until it plugs three natural gas wells believed to have contaminated the drinking water supplies of 14 homes.

The Department of Environmental Protection said Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. has failed to abide by the terms of a November 2009 agreement to clean up the contamination in Dimock Township in northeastern Pennsylvania's Susquehanna County, where residents say their wells have been polluted by methane gas and other contaminants.

DEP said Cabot has already paid a $240,000 fine and must pay $30,000 per month beginning in May until the company meets its obligations.

"We're very upset with Cabot," state Environmental Secretary John Hanger told The Associated Press. "The conduct, whether it's willful or unintentional, is completely unacceptable."

(Click to read the entire article)

New York utility regulators on Thursday approved AES Corp's (AES.N) proposal to build a $22.3 million battery project capable of storing 20 megawatts of energy in Union in Broome County.

"This facility's state-of-the-art batteries will store energy and deliver it back to the grid when needed. This project - the first of its type in New York - will help improve the ability to store energy, a critical component needed to help us further strengthen and expand our use of renewable energy," New York Public Service Commission Chairman Garry Brown said in a release.

AES will build the battery project at the Westover coal-fired power plant about 175 miles (281 km) northwest of New York City.

(Click to read the entire report)

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in conjunction with the Public Service Commission (PSC), has awarded $204 million of funding to eight large-scale electric generating projects to produce and deliver renewable electricity to New York consumers.

The projects will be funded through the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which finances the development of renewable energy resources that will help reduce harmful emissions, increase energy security, and build a clean energy economy.

The funding will support wind power initiatives at the Hardscrabble (Herkimer County), Steel Winds II (Erie County), and Marble River (Clinton County) wind projects; hydroelectric projects including upgrades to the Wappingers Falls (Dutchess County) and Taylorville (Lewis County) power projects; and biofuel projects including co-firing operations at the NRG Dunkirk (Chautauqua County) facility, landfill gas-to-electricity at the Albany Energy (Albany County) project, and a new 100% biomass Black River Generation project (Jefferson County).

Once operational, the eight projects will add more than 318 megawatts (MW) of renewable capacity and produce nearly 1,100,00 megawatt hours per year of clean renewable energy, enough clean energy to supply approximately 180,000 homes. The weighted average price of the selected projects is $21.17 per megawatt hour of production.

(Click to read the entire article)

Steuben County is in the process of developing a task force to address issues surrounding future drilling of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation.

The Steuben County Legislature’s Agriculture, Industry and Planning Committee last week laid the foundation for a task force in preparation of an expansion of the drilling industry.

The county Planning Department is assisting in establishing the scope of the task force which includes the possible effects drilling would have on communities, local economies, land use and the demand for government services, said county Planning Department representative Amy Dlugos.

Dlugos said the task force would include a steering committee and sub-committees.

“We’ve looked at other counties,” Dlugos said. “And more and more things come up.”

(Click to read the entire article)

While few people are questioning the enormous economic impact of developing the natural gas resources in the Marcellus Shale, the gas industry's potential impact on the environment is generating a lively debate.

That debate came to Lycoming College Tuesday during a public hearing by the state House Democratic Policy Committee.

The event, which mostly focused on environmental issues related to gas exploration, and to a lesser extent, the Chesapeake Bay, was co-chaired by state Reps. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, and Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

Also sitting on the panel was state Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven. Hanna said he supports a moratorium on leasing state land until the full impact of the gas industry is known.

A diverse group of speakers provided testimony regarding the Marcellus Shale during the near four-hour session.

(Click to read the entire article)

City to accept fracking waste

Despite a push from Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham and Councilwoman Roxanne M. Burns, the City Council votedMonday night to continue accepting wastewater produced by a natural gas company using the controversial hydro-fracking process.

The decision comes after the council learned late last week that Gastem Inc. is asking the city to treat another 80,000 gallons of flowback fluid. The city accepted and treated 35,000 from the Quebec-based company in January after spending little more than a year obtaining a permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to do so.

Ms. Burns's motion for the council to issue a formal declaration stating it will not accept the wastewater was defeated 3-2 Monday night, with councilmen Jeffrey M. Smith and Joseph M. Butler Jr. and Councilwoman Teresa R. Macaluso voting against the resolution.

Ms. Burns picked up support from the mayor, who has said that disposing of the fluid should be an issue the state and municipalities of the Southern Tier should be concerned with and not the city of Watertown.

(Click to read the entire article)

The wind farm proposal has created a stir in communities along the Erie and Ontario shorelines — except in the Rochester area, where it's been largely a nonissue. But the MCC event still drew some skeptics, some of whom made their way north from Steuben County.

James Hall of Cohocton, of Citizen Power Alliance, said the wind turbines produce only a fraction of their capacity. "If you don't have the wind, you shouldn't do it, especially with public monies," said Hall.

Kessel, who has seen some county legislatures express skepticism and even adopt resolutions against having the project in nearby waters, said counties that don't want a wind farm won't have to worry about it.

The wind project won't go near their county, but legislators will have to explain why the job creation also left with the wind turbines, he said.

(Click to read the entire article)

Horizon Wind Energy, owned by EDP Renewables (the third largest wind operator in the world), has just been awarded a contract by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in conjunction with the Public Service Commission (PSC) to sell renewable energy credits, the clean environmental attributes of wind power, for a volume equivalent to 171 MW of capacity for ten years from its Marble River Wind Farm currently under development and located in Clinton County, New York. The contract award is from NYSERDA's fifth competitive solicitation and will be funded through the New York Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which supports and finances the development of renewable energy resources that will help reduce harmful emissions, increase energy security, and build a clean energy economy.

"Horizon Wind Energy is pleased to be able to continue its relationship with NYSERDA with this contract award and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to provide clean renewable energy to the State of New York and its consumers," said Gabriel Alonso, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Wind Energy.

In 2004, New York established a Renewable Portfolio Standard as a policy to increase the amount of renewable energy used by New York consumers to 25 percent by the year 2013. Last year, the New York Public Service Commission, acting on a goal set by Governor David Paterson, expanded the RPS goal to increase the proportion of renewable electricity sold in New York from 25 percent to 30 percent by 2015. To meet this goal, NYSERDA conducts competitive solicitations to award contracts for projects that deliver renewable energy to the New York wholesale power market.

Horizon Wind Energy has over 950 MW in development in New York State and through a 50/50 joint venture owns and operates the 322 MW Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County. The clean, renewable electricity produced by Maple Ridge Wind Farm flows directly into the New York state energy grid. The Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from Maple Ridge have been contracted to NYSERDA and to the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and various third parties since January 2006.

Chemung County officials over the weekend released results of a study that shows radiation levels in soil pulled from the ground during natural gas exploration are well below Environmental Protection Agency standards.

But residents who oppose dumping that soil, called drill cuttings, into the Chemung County Landfill remain unconvinced about its safety.

The report was prepared by Theodore E. Rahon, a certified health physicist and president of the CoPhysics Corp., a Monroe, N.Y.-based company that provides radiation protection services.

The gist of the report is that the soil that the county landfill would accept from Marcellus Shale drilling poses no health threat from radiation, said County Executive Tom Santulli.

"These people are experts. They made it very clear that this material is less radioactive than the countertops in our houses and soil in our gardens," Santulli said. "My message is simple -- this stuff is not toxic. It's no more radioactive than the soil in your garden and bricks on your house. All this testing verifies that. This is way below any EPA levels.

(Click to read the entire article)

Local and state environmental groups joined together Friday to protest the Marcellus Shale waste that is being disposed of at the Chemung County Landfill.

The groups conducted a press conference armed with studies warning about the hazards of disposing the potentially radioactive drill cuttings and backed by regional environmentalists concerned about the shale's contaminants finding their way into local drinking water supplies.

The Residents for the Preservation of Lowman and Chemung and People for a Healthy Environment released a study by Radioactive Waste Management Associates that said "the disposal of drill cuttings from horizontal wells into the Marcellus Shale at the Chemung County Landfill are likely to result in significant risks to human health."

The two groups, in its presentation at Riverside Cemetery in the Town of Chemung, also presented a letter sent by the Residents Vice President Earl Robinson to New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo asking for a halt to dumping of Marcellus Shale waste at the local landfill.

(Click to read the entire article)

The Great American Stimulus Heist

During the first round of stimulus projects organized by the U.S. Treasury Department last year, the Spanish energy company Iberdrola Renovables won a $294 million contract to develop clean energy. The money—accounting for 60 percent of the $502 million awarded for the first phase of clean energy spending—will be used to finance the construction of five wind farms

Obama’s stimulus plan has $60 billion reserved for the renewable energy sector (wind, bio-mass and solar), designed to double the nation’s installed green energy capacity within three years, while also meeting a target of 10 percent power generation from renewable sources by 2012, rising to 25 percent by 2025.

The financing system is by a direct Investment Tax Credit instead of the usual Production Tax Credits. That is “good news for the sector,” Iberdrola says, noting that the Investment Tax Credit assumes direct aid for 30 percent of the investment, to be paid within 60 days of contract signing.

Among Iberdrola’s principal competitors is another Spanish firm, Acciona, which is already responsible for a thermal-solar plant in Nevada, the largest facility in the world with the capacity of 64 Megawatts (MW).

(Click to read the entire article)

Ambit Energy, one of the fastest growing Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) in the state, launched electricity and natural gas services in the New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) territory today.

“When energy markets deregulate, the consumer wins. We are proud to say that we can now offer almost every customer in the state a lower cost option compared to the incumbent provider.”

“Expanding our presence in New York allows people looking to save on energy costs another valuable option,” said Ambit Energy CEO and co-founder Jere W. Thompson, Jr. “When energy markets deregulate, the consumer wins. We are proud to say that we can now offer almost every customer in the state a lower cost option compared to the incumbent provider.”

With this launch, Ambit Energy will now offer its competitive rates to a market of more than 871,000 electric and 256,000 gas customers – more than 40 percent of upstate New York.

As they have done in other New York market areas such as Con Edison and National Grid, Ambit Energy’s team and independent Consultants will work with customers interested in switching providers, as well as those interested in the business opportunity offered through Ambit Energy.

“Now that we have expanded our presence in New York, our independent Consultants are able to serve even more people looking to save on energy costs,” said Ambit Energy CMO and co-founder Chris Chambless. “As the warmer months approach, we believe this launch is timely and will help New York consumers in the NYSEG territory switch and save.”

As in other New York markets, Ambit Energy will offer a competitive monthly rate and annual savings guarantee.

For information on Ambit Energy’s rates, services or launch into the NYSEG Territory, visit AmbitEnergy.com or call (877) 28-AMBIT

Cusack appointment an inside job

Richie Kessel has worked hard to try and change the image of the New York Power Authority, but his appointment of former board member Elise Cusack to a $77,500 part-time job is a stark reminder that this leopard has yet to change its spots.

This is the same NYPA that has a boat load of employees making over $100,000 a year, that thinks nothing of paying security guards and laborers $60,000 a pop.

I'll give Kessel credit for cutting the bonus program a year ago and holding the line in contract talks since he came on board as president and CEO.

But creating a job for Cusack - no one else was considered for the post - and attaching a $77,500 salary for part-time work it is going to prompt a lot of folks to shake their heads and say "Same old NYPA."

As George Maziarz, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, put it: "Seventy-seven-thousand, five-hundred dollars a year? Part-time? It's outrageous."

(Click to read the entire article)

SCHENECTADY -- Union College in Schenectady is hosting a three-day symposium on "smart grid" technologies that will help boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the electrical grid.

The event, which will take place on campus from Friday through Sunday, will feature executives from IBM Corp., General Electric, National Grid and the state Department of Public Service.

U.S. Rep Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, will be the keynote speaker at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Nott Memorial. The speech is open to the public.

White Plains, NY - New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel announced this week that Rochester will be the site for the second Get Listed! business-to-business conference, to help support and grow New York State's clean energy economy through development of the wind power industry. Get Listed! is being held, in collaboration with the Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), on April 12 from 1 to 3pm at Monroe Community College. This follows the successful initial Get Listed!, which took place in Buffalo in February and had close to 200 business representatives in attendance.

NYPA issued a request for proposals (RFP) last December for what could be the nation's first fresh water wind project, the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project (GLOW), to help increase the use of renewable energy and spur economic development opportunities.

"Rochester and the surrounding region, with its outstanding business community, are a natural fit for another Get Listed! conference as it gives the Power Authority the opportunity to inform even more New York businesses on the match-making resource, the GLOW Business Registry, available on NYPA's Web site. By attending Get Listed!, businesses will become aware of the many and varied types of industries needed by the wind power industry especially for the Power Authority's Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project," said Richard M. Kessel, president and chief executive officer, NYPA.

(Click to read the entire article)

The state's assertion that natural gas production is a clean, well-regulated industry has been called into question by memos from a health official working in drilling communities in western New York.

William T. Boria, a water resources specialist at the Chautauqua County Health Department, reported his agency has received more than 140 complaints related to water pollution or gas migration associated with nearby drilling operations. The cases correspond to a time when the industry took root in western New York decades ago, according to Boria, and continue through the last few years.

"Those complaints that were recorded are probably just a fraction of the actual problems that occurred," Boria stated in a 2004 memo summarizing the issue. County health officials tabulated information on 53 of the cases from 1983 to 2008 on a spreadsheet, including one where a home was evacuated after the water well exploded.

A separate case filed with the health department in Allegheny County found a residential well contaminated with oil last year during natural gas drilling operations nearby. The drilling company, U.S. Energy Development Corp., installed a water filtration system at the home, put the residents up in a motel and offered compensation, according to a memo from the company to the DEC.

(Click to read the entire article)

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) has issued its annual update on the challenges facing New York State’s electricity supply and delivery system, “Power Trends 2010: New York’s Emerging Energy Crossroads.”

“A series of energy crossroads are emerging,” NYISO President & CEO Stephen G. Whitley said. “To build a smarter, greener and more reliable grid, our state will need to work through an array of key issues.”

The report identifies the major factors expected to influence the future outlook for electricity in the Empire State. These issues include the pace of economic recovery, the impact of energy efficiency initiatives, the advent of smart grid technology and the continued development of renewable power resources.

In addition to detailing the challenges, the report enumerates the various efforts currently underway to improve the electric system. These include collaborative efforts between New York and its neighboring systems, as well as a larger effort among grid operators in the Eastern Interconnection.

(Click to read the entire article)

Rochester Institute of Technology will host a "Sustainability Mobility Fair" on Saturday, May 8.

The event, free and open to the public, will feature a display of more than 20 alternative vehicles such as electric cars and motorcycles and a compressed natural gas vehicle.

Put on by the Center for Environmental Information and RIT's Center for Student Innovation, the fair is intended to highlight options for short trips other than using traditional transportation such as petroleum-powered cars.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.rochesterenvironment.com/SMF.html.

Summary of the CPA 2010 Wind Conference from a single url address.

Please bookmark:
CPA Summary Link

Shale Producers Turning to Oil

We've previously noted that some major oil producers are looking to the shale basins for natural gas production. See here, e.g. Well, it seems that turn-about is fair play - the Star-Telegram is reporting that some independent natural gas producers with large positions in the shale basins are turning to oil. For example: "Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake has derived more than 90 percent of its production from natural gas. But McClendon, speaking at Hart Energy's annual Developing Unconventional Gas conference at the Fort Worth Convention Center, said today's economics 'just compel you to look for oil.'"

Chemung County officials see tons of solid waste pulled from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania as an asset, although some residents disagree.

The waste includes cuttings and mud produced by energy companies boring through the Marcellus south of the Chemung County border. Because it's regulated as solid waste, drill operators pay to get rid of it, and officials managing the Chemung County Landfill welcome it as a revenue source.

The relationship raises more questions of how Marcellus waste -- which tends to contain radioactive particles and heavy metals -- will be regulated and handled as multinational energy companies begin full-scale development of the massive natural gas reserve stretching throughout Appalachia and parts of New York.

While the state Department of Environmental Conservation has approved Chemung's acceptance of the drilling waste, opponents question whether it belongs in a municipal landfill.

(Click to read the entire article)

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