alternative energy


Sat May 31, 2014

One farmer weighs pros and cons of wind turbines

Matt Martin/WSKG

Wind turbine company NextEra Energy is considering whether to build a $200 million wind energy project in the town of Catlin in Chemung County. The town board is finalizing the details of a new zoning law that will allow the project to move forward. So local farmers are weighing whether or not to allow the turbines on their property.

It’s a windy day as Dan Teed makes his way up the side of a gravel road. Tall, twirling turbines stand like sentinels on the crest of the hill.

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Fri May 16, 2014

SUNY Cortland flips the switch on 3,600 solar panels

SUNY Cortland president Dr. Erik Bitterbaum, Linda Smith and state Sen. James Seward pull the switch to activate the school's new solar field.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

SUNY Cortland has flipped the switch on a solar panel field that will supply six percent of the college’s electricity needs.

The 3,600 solar panels are tucked off to the side of the college’s athletic fields. It was a two year project from start to finish and cost $3 million. SUNY Cortland was the first public college in the state to install such a project.

The panels produce 1.5 million kilowatt hours of power. The college has set a goal of getting 10 percent of its power from solar by 2050.

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Wed February 26, 2014
Regional Coverage

BP killing Cape Vincent Wind Farm

Turbines at the Marble River wind farm in Clinton, NY.
Credit Sarah Harris

After battling local residents for years, energy company BP says it’s killing its proposal for the Cape Vincent Wind Farm. Some of the project’s most vocal critics are dancing on its grave.

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Thu January 16, 2014

New test lab puts solar panels through our diverse weather

Rick Lewandowski, executive director of CECET, loads a solar panel in a testing lab in Cortland, N.Y.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

There’s a handful of machines in this corner of the massive Intertek testing facility in Cortland. They’re all designed to make sure solar energy panels can withstand being outside for decades, enduring rain, snow and even hail.

Rick Lewandowski, the executive director of the Center for Clean Energy Technology, shows an older solar panel that didn’t pass their test.

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Fri November 22, 2013

Buffalo’s RiverBend to be site of two new clean-energy research companies

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces the creation of new campus center of clean-energy at former brownfeild site.
Chris Caya WBFO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced a $225 million state investment to create a new campus center of clean-energy on a former brownfield site in Buffalo.

The RiverBend project will create 850 new jobs at the former Republic Steel and Donner Hanna Coke site in south Buffalo along the city’s waterfront as part of the governor's "Buffalo Billion" promise.

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Mon November 11, 2013

Oswego County legislators visit Wyoming County to discuss wind energy

Oswego County legislators James Karasek, District 22 and Amy Tresidder, District 16 stop at a wind farm in the town of Eagle, Wyoming County to check noise and vibration levels from a turbine.
Oswego County

Two Oswego County legislators traveled to Wyoming County on a fact-finding mission to learn more about wind energy and its impact on one western New York county. Amy Tresidder, who represents Oswego, and James Karasek, who represents Granby and Fulton, visited two wind farms and were able to get close enough to touch the massive structures.

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Mon July 8, 2013

Debate over coal plant shows challenges of energy transition

Coal-fired turbines at Cayuga power plant in Lansing, N.Y.

Once every week, a freight train loaded with coal makes its way through Ithaca to the coal-fired power plant north of town in Lansing, on the shore of Cayuga Lake. Those shipments may stop soon.

The state’s Public Service Commission is considering the future of the Lansing plant. The pending decision has sparked a local debate that says a lot about the challenges New York will face if it’s serious about switching to new sources of power.

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Wed April 24, 2013

Army bases' land is resource for generating energy

Fort Drum sits on more that 107,000 acres in northern New York.
U.S. Army

The U.S. military is the largest consumer of energy in the federal government. But it also has a tremendous resource for generating its own energy: all the land bases sit on.

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Fri March 22, 2013

Installations up, but solar can't deliver a renewable future alone

Solar Liberty crew installing solar panels
Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

In mid-2012, the NY-Sun initiative was launched to make solar power in the state more affordable. But much still needs to be done make solar technology truly competitive.

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Fri January 4, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Extension of wind energy production tax credit likely to trigger rush on components

Wind turbines at Marble River in Clinton, NY
Sarah Harris NCPR

The last-minute fiscal cliff deal brought good news for the wind industry. Congress agreed to extend production tax credits for wind energy producers until the end of 2013.

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Fri December 21, 2012
Regional Coverage

Eastman Business Park power plant sold, will get makeover

Kodak is set to sell its coal-fired power plant at Eastman Business Park to a company that will convert it to a cleaner, natural gas facility.

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Sat December 1, 2012

Expiring tax credits for renewables blow an ill wind

70 new turbines dot the horizon in Clinton, NY.
Sarah Harris NCPR

Over the last decade, new wind farms have changed America’s landscapes – and its power sources. The growth has been spurred by a production tax credit wind companies get in exchange for producing energy. But the credit is due to expire at the end of the year if Congress doesn’t renew it.

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Thu November 22, 2012

IBM grant recognizes Clarkson smart grid researcher

Professor Lei Wu works in his office at Clarkson University.
Joanna Richards/WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced New York would invest $250 million to develop smart grid technologies to modernize the state's energy grid. At Clarkson University, the highly regarded science and engineering school in St. Lawrence County, a professor working on smart energy grid systems was just awarded a grant by IBM. The $10,000 prize will help him continue his research, and develop coursework for students to train the next generation to use this hot technology.

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Fri July 6, 2012
Regional Coverage

Cow manure helps keep the lights on in western New York

The largest on-farm biogas facility in New York summer processes 425 tons of animal and food waste a day.
publicenergy Flickr

New York State is home to more than 600,000 dairy cows, which generate millions of pounds of manure.

Now, a new energy project in rural Wyoming County aims to be a model for using cow waste and by-products from food processing to generate electricity.

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