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Energy

No guarantees for Galloo Island wind project

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via Flickr
This is not a picture of Lake Ontario's Galloo Island. But it's February, and you needed to see this.

Following up on her piece yesterday, Nancy Madsen at the Watertown Daily Times reports that the head of New York's Power Authority (NYPA) won't be giving Galloo Island's wind project any power purchase guarantees (PPA):

"We're not talking with Galloo Island about any PPA," said [NYPA CEO Richard Kessel]. The developer of the wind farm, Upstate NY Power, told participants in a Public Service Commission conference call Jan. 26 that it was seeking an agreement with NYPA. That would allow the project to gain necessary financing to proceed and, depending on the terms, possibly allow an underwater transmission line from the island to Scriba. "I have not directly heard from anyone at Galloo Island in over a year," Mr. Kessel said.

Green advocacy
Christopher Head at Americans for Energy Leadership (a project of Scientists & Engineers for America) has a profile up of Texas' road to becoming a leader in wind energy:

There are multiple reasons why Texas is winning the wind race in the US. True, the state is home to some of the best wind resources in the world. But as the stalled Cape Wind project has shown, strong winds do not necessarily translate to grid-sale renewable energy projects. Political, technical, and regulatory barriers all must be overcome for any significant grid scale renewable electricity rollout. Texas has managed to create a favorable policy environment by streamlining regulatory processes, tapping into rural development concerns, and supporting transmission and distribution projects, all of which allow investors to confidently sink money into utility-scale electricity generation projects.

The piece highlights the importance of having a renewable portfolio standard, to ensure that wind producers can sell their power even when fossil fuel prices drop.

Sustainable private equity funder Shawn Lesser, and venture capitalist Joe Daniel have an opinion piece on the Clean Techies blog arguing that "New York State is a cleantech leader."  Among their ammunition:

  • More than a billion dollars in cleantech investments by the state, and $250 million in investment by GE at its Albany facility
  • Green efforts by the Metropolitan Transit Authority
  • New York's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a "market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program"

Cornell adds sustainability minor
Cornell University is now offering a six-course minor in sustainability, according to Tajwar Mazhar at the Cornell Daily Sun:

A large amount of the work for developing the minor was done by students. Edwin Salazar ’10, M.Eng. ’11 and a group of his fellow students analyzed the University’s lack of sustainable energy systems courses for an engineering communications class project. After the project was completed, they approached Clancy’s department with a proposal for a new minor. The group researched similar courses in other colleges to determine the best way to implement the minor, Salazar said. “The faculty’s idea of what was important in understanding energy systems and the undergraduate ideas were very much in sync,” Clancy said.

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