energy

8:03am

Tue July 1, 2014
Environment

Offshore wind energy faces setbacks in Great Lakes

Martin Abegglen Flickr

The United States is not yet generating a watt of energy from commercial offshore wind. A couple of years ago, it looked like the Great Lakes might lead the nation. Pennsylvania was among a handful of states working with federal agencies to speed up the process.  As recently as a couple of months ago, construction of a wind farm in Lake Erie, off the Ohio shoreline near Cleveland, looked promising. But now some are sounding the death knell for any wind development in the Great Lakes.

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5:15pm

Thu May 22, 2014
Energy

Obama's visit brings protesters on both sides of fracking

President Barack Obama and the national press descended on the village of Cooperstown Thursday afternoon. His presence also brought out protesters both for and against the controversial process of drilling for natural gas, known as hydrofracking.

Victor Furman says it’s unfair that New York is beholden to what he calls an unfair moratorium, with such a resource at it’s feet.

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6:32am

Fri May 16, 2014
Energy

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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6:09am

Mon April 21, 2014
Energy

Some billing relief for National Grid customers after bitter winter

The Niagara Mohawk buidling in downtown Syracuse, now the regional headquarters of National Grid.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

National Grid customers should get some relief from their next energy bill after prices skyrocketed during a frigid winter, thanks to supply costs for electricity ticking down slightly.

National Grid says customers can expect their next electric bills to be 40 percent cheaper than the month before. A bill for 600 kWh of energy used will drop from $130 in March to $75 in April.

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6:43am

Fri March 7, 2014
Energy

Draft energy plan draws criticism from environmental activists

Ellen Abbott WRVO

Environmental activists said there needs to be more emphasis on renewable energy and less on fossil fuels at a hearing on the New York Draft Energy Plan in Syracuse Thursday.  

The New York State Energy plan is a comprehensive economy-wide, multi-year plan put together by the state energy planning board. It’s meant to showcase Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s energy policy.  

Keith Schue, an engineer from Otsego County, said the plan doesn’t have the pieces in place to reach the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions a full 80 percent by the year 2050.

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8:19am

Wed February 19, 2014
Energy

Potential flood risk causes citation at upstate nuclear plant

United States Government Work

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a citation to the owners of the Ginna nuclear power plant in upstate New York. Preliminary inspection findings released Tuesday cited the plant for failure to address a long-standing flood risk. The issue is considered a low-to-moderate level safety concern.

It all comes down to an improperly sealed manhole at the plant, which could have allowed flood waters to breach the rooms housing emergency batteries.

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7:46pm

Wed January 22, 2014
Energy

Downed trees from ice storm will be turned into energy

Kids play amid downed tree limbs in Watertown after last month's ice storm.
Joanna Richards WRVO

All the power lines have been fixed after last month’s ice storm, and the crystal coatings have melted off the trees, but there’s still a persistent sign of the damage: lots of downed limbs.

Yards in the northern half of Jefferson County are full of tangled branches, sunk in the snow. Extricating them is going to be a long process, but there’s a plan in the works to give them a new life as fuel.

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8:28am

Thu January 16, 2014
Energy

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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8:17am

Fri December 27, 2013
Energy

Low natural gas prices impact other energy companies' production decisions

The plummeting cost of natural gas is affecting energy companies' decisions on whether to start new production facilities, and that goes for nuclear energy, too.

Earlier this month, UniStar Nuclear Energy pulled its application to build its third nuclear power plant at Nine Mile Point in Scriba, citing a lack of federal funding as the main problem.

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12:37pm

Fri December 20, 2013
Energy

Public Service Commission to be sued over withheld information

The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is coming under fire yet again with claims that the body’s proceedings lack transparency.

A group of elected officials, ratepayers, and environmental groups announced Thursday that they’re filing a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the PSC in an attempt to gain access to documents relating to the future of two power plants in upstate New York.

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8:28am

Fri December 20, 2013
Energy

Dunkirk power plant to switch to natural gas

File photo
Kate O'Connell Innovation Trail

Many of New York’s power stations are reaching the end of their operating lives, with coal-fired plants becoming less viable from both a business and environmental standpoint.

This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $150 million deal that will see the coal-fired power plant in Dunkirk converted to burn natural gas.

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7:58am

Thu December 19, 2013
Health

Fracking chemicals can disrupt hormones

File photo
Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

Chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing can disrupt the body’s normal hormone function according to new research published recently in the Journal of Endocrinology.

The study looked at Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) involved in drilling. Results showed that hormone disrupting activity was higher in water samples taken from drill sites where spills had occurred, compared to sites where little or no drilling had occurred.  

At certain levels of exposure, EDCs have been associated with cancer and infertility in adults.

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2:29pm

Wed December 18, 2013
Energy

Plan for Binghamton to Syracuse pipeline cut in half

The original proposed Upstate natural gas line, but the northern portion has been scrapped.
Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC.

A proposal to build a new natural gas pipeline from Binghamton to Syracuse has been scaled back due to a lack of interest from natural gas providers.

Millennium Pipeline Company wanted to construct the line from the Southern Tier to the town of Onondaga, just south of Syracuse, along Interstate 81, connecting three existing east-west lines. But now they’re considering just going from Binghamton to Cortland and connecting two lines.

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7:11pm

Tue December 10, 2013
Regional Coverage

Cape Vincent tells state: we want decision on wind farm

Cape Vincent Town Councilman Brooks Bragdon addresses state officials about BP's proposed wind farm at a meeting Monday night at Cape Vincent Elementary School. He's flanked by other town officials.
Joanna Richards

The town of Cape Vincent, in Jefferson County, has been divided over a proposed wind farm for a decade. The latest company to pursue the project is BP. But now, with a potential sale in the works, residents told the state power project siting board they’re getting impatient with the uncertainty. 

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6:47am

Mon December 9, 2013
Regional Coverage

Meeting in Cape Vincent could shed light on wind farm's future

There could be a lot more if BP's proposed project moves forward under a new owner.
napaneegal via Flickr

A proposed wind farm in Cape Vincent, in Jefferson County, has been in limbo since energy company BP said earlier this year that it's planning to sell off its entire wind power division.

Town officials have been anxious for news about the wind farm's fate since then. The review process that produced one tense public meeting after another came to an abrupt halt earlier this year.

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7:41am

Mon November 4, 2013
Business

Whose fault was Norse Energy's bankruptcy?

http://norseenergycorp.no/index.php?name=About_Norse_Energy_Corp

New York’s hold on high-volume hydrofracking has entered its sixth year. Norse Energy first tried to stay afloat until fracking was approved, but then gave up and converted to Chapter 7, a complete shutdown of operations. The company and fracking supporters cited the state’s de facto moratorium as the obvious culprit.

Norse’s former chief legal officer Dennis Holbrook says drillers just can’t compete anymore using the drilling methods still allowed in New York.

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9:09am

Thu October 17, 2013
Energy

Natural gas storage regulations get wrapped up in fracking fight

Craig Stevens speaks at a public information session on natural gas storage. Attendees gave lengthy and heated comments, despite requests for questions only.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Anti-fracking activists are also fighting New York’s efforts to lift a ban on small natural gas storage and fueling facilities. A public information session on the matter held in Syracuse on Wednesday became about the larger natural gas industry.

New York is the only state to ban small-scale natural gas storage. That came after a 1970s facility accident in New York City. Now, under efforts from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, new fueling stations for trucks could be built as early as next year.

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6:45am

Fri October 11, 2013
Fracking

Cuomo says no "do-over" needed on fracking health review

File photo
Zack Seward WXXI

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state’s health study of hydrofracking doesn’t need a “do-over” as a member of his administration’s review panel charged Wednesday.

Cuomo appeared unfamiliar with Binghamton Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo’s call for a new health review when asked about it in Utica on Thursday.

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2:13pm

Mon September 23, 2013
Energy

Opposition forms to proposed Binghamton to Syracuse pipeline

The route of the proposed Upstate Pipeline.
Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC.

A group opposed to the construction of a new north-south natural gas pipeline that would run from Binghamton to Syracuse is hoping to get its message to landowners along the route before the gas company does.

Millennium Pipeline Company this May proposed building the Upstate Pipeline which would connect three east-west pipelines already in operation.

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4:09pm

Wed June 12, 2013
Energy

Copper ink could cut cost of solar energy systems

Conductive copper printed onto flexible plastic sheets
Kate O'Connell

The commercialization of a new industrial process in upstate New York could lead to cheaper, greener solar energy systems.

Nanotech company Intrinsiq Materials has been awarded $887,000 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to take their idea forward.

Solar cells are currently made with circuits that use connections made from silver; an efficient but expensive conducting material.

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6:27am

Mon June 10, 2013
Energy

Bill aims to increase number of 'green' homes built in state

A bill passed in the State Senate aims to increase the number of green homes built in New York state. 

The legislation would give municipalities the power to grant tax exemptions for green home construction in their district.

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8:41am

Fri June 7, 2013
Energy

Competing solutions Dunkirk coal plant's future

There are proposals to turn the Dunkirk coal plant into one running on natural gas.
Kate O'Connell WXXI

The changing face of New York’s energy landscape has brought uncertainty about the future of the state’s coal plants. The future of one particular plant in western New York has become a hot topic.

Plummeting natural gas prices and tightening emissions restrictions have made the NRG Energy plant in Dunkirk unviable from a business standpoint.

But, the plant is too important to the reliability of western New York’s electricity grid to simply shut it down.

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1:11pm

Thu June 6, 2013
Energy

Underwater power line could bring N.Y. power to New England

A Massachusetts company wants to build an underwater transmission line from Plattsburgh to Burlington, Vt. that could give New York energy producers access to a new market.

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1:02pm

Wed June 5, 2013
Energy

New York's top court asked to hear fracking home rule cases

New York’s top court has been asked to decide whether local governments can ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing.

Last month a mid-level appeals court ruled unanimously in favor of upholding local bans in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield, meaning there’s no requirement for the case to be taken up by the top court.

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8:46am

Wed June 5, 2013
Regional Coverage

Old coal plant on Fort Drum reopens as biomass facility

ReEnergy Chief Executive Officer Larry Richardson speaks during the grand opening of the company's new biomass plant on Fort Drum.
Joanna Richards WRVO

A once-idled coal plant on Fort Drum has been given new life. ReEnergy Black River is creating dozens of new jobs in the North Country – while maintaining a focus on the environment.

State and local officials gathered recently at the facility to celebrate its grand opening.

Over the past year and a half, New York-based company ReEnergy Holdings has retrofitted the plant on Fort Drum to burn biomass instead of coal. Its primary fuel will be wood chips, created from the waste of the nearby logging industry on the Tug Hill Plateau and southwestern Adirondacks.

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6:24am

Tue May 21, 2013
Energy

Proposed line would move natural gas from Binghamton to Syracuse

Credit Screenshot / Millennium Pipeline Company

An energy company is looking into building a natural gas pipeline from near Binghamton to the Syracuse area. Millennium Pipeline Company is currently soliciting feedback from natural gas suppliers about their proposal to connect three supply lines running east-west across upstate New York, with a north-south line.

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7:11am

Thu May 9, 2013
The Upstate Economy

National Grid power upgrade grant helps Jefferson County dairy farm expand

John Ferry, co-owner of Milk Street Dairy in Tylerville, in Jefferson County, shows off his new dairy barn.
Credit Joanna Richards

A Tylerville dairy farm, in Jefferson County, is growing, in part thanks to help from National Grid. The company awarded the farm a grant of $50,000 to increase its access to electricity.  

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12:08pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Environment

Court decision no deterrent for gas companies

Some rights reserved by SalFalko

New York’s second highest court upheld the right for two municipalities to ban gas drilling last week. But, that decision won’t deter gas and oil producer Lenape Resources from appealing a similar ban in the upstate community of Avon.

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1:48pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Energy

Court upholds 'home rule' over drilling laws

Marie Cusick Innovation Trail/WMHT

In two separate rulings Thursday, New York's appellate court, the state's second highest court, ruled that the state's Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (OGSML) does not preempt municipal land use laws.

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7:39am

Thu May 2, 2013
Energy

Solar program has success in small upstate New York county

Solar panels cover the roof of Jimmy Golub's barn in Madison County.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The thing that strikes you when you walk up to Jimmy Golub's farm on the western edge of Madison County are the giant solar panels covering the part of the roof on his barn that faces west. The 45 panels are part of a 10 kilowatt solar system, that provides all the electricity the farm needs.

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