Energy

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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4:21pm

Tue August 13, 2013
Energy

Debate over Cayuga Power Plant intensifies the fight on fracking

Opponents of hydrofracking are lining up against plans to convert a Tompkins County power plant from coal to natural gas, making it the newest front line in the fight against gas drilling in New York.The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is considering a proposal to convert the Cayuga Power Plant or shut it down, while the proposal’s opponents are calling the process too secretive.

At a press conference in Ithaca on Monday, Dryden resident Joe Wilson held up the version of the repowering proposal that was made public.

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8:17am

Mon July 22, 2013
Energy

Gas storage contoversy continues to simmer

David Chanatry/NY Reporting Project

It’s something few people think about, but all that natural gas --and other fossil fuels -- produced by hydrofracking has to be stored somewhere before it gets to the consumer. Often used for the job: underground salt caverns like the ones near Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes. Now an out-of-state company wants to expand storage there, a plan some local residents call risky. 

About 100 environmental activists welcomed three of their own with singing that sounded like it was straight out of the civil rights movement last April, after they spent a week in jail.

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8:49am

Mon July 8, 2013
Energy

Debate over coal plant shows challenges of energy transition

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

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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8:34am

Sat June 29, 2013
Energy

Fuel efficiency record set with new technology and better driving habits

Wayne Gerdes set a new world record for fuel efficiency.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

There's a new Guinness World Record when it comes to fuel efficiency.  A mid-size Volkswagen model set a record for the best fuel efficiency for a non-hybrid car this week.  The recent trip reaps lessons ranging from rethinking an old energy source to breaking some bad habits.

Wayne Gerdes and his driving companion, Bob Winger, took a trip that essentially took them more than 8,100 miles -- or just under 108 gallons of diesel fuel. The last leg of that journey brought them to central New York.

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2:38pm

Fri June 21, 2013
Energy

Nine Mile nuclear plant passes federal emergency drill

Federal officials gave Oswego County's nuclear power complex a good grade after an emergency preparedness drill conducted this week.

Plant workers and emergency officials had to respond to a simulated equipment malfunction and radiation leak, where the wind then shifted.

"They have to react and they have to react quickly and that’s one of the things we’re looking for; to make sure that they understand what the change means, what it implies, and what to do about it," says FEMA's Rebecca Thomson.

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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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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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8:46am

Wed May 15, 2013
Energy

Seven years of spinning turbines have brought windfall to Lewis County communities

The Maple Ridge Wind Farm has brought millions of dollars to local governments in Lewis County - and a big change of scenery for residents.
Credit Iberdrola Renewables

Wind farms are a touchy subject in the North Country. As the town of Cape Vincent wrestles with a potential project, in neighboring Lewis County another wind farm has been operating for seven years. The Maple Ridge Wind Farm has brought some big changes to its community.   

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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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5:47am

Tue April 30, 2013
Energy

Elmira faces ups and downs of gas business

Schlumberger's gasfield services facility in Horseheads, just outside of Elmira.
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

The City of Elmira is just seven miles from the Pennsylvania border. And for four years, the natural gas boom in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier crossed over the border and boosted Elmira’s economy. But that boom has slowed down.

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9:52am

Mon April 29, 2013
Fracking

A loose collection of groups makes up state's fracking opposition

New York's anti-fracking movement has been done largely at the grassroots level.
Matt Richmond WSKG

When philosophy professor Mike Gorr and his wife were looking for a place to retire, they took a trip from Illinois to the Finger Lakes region.

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4:03pm

Thu April 25, 2013
Energy

Home rule fracking decision challenged in Avon

Some rights reserved by SalFalko

Gas and Oil producer Lenape Resources has filed a note of appeal as part of an attempt to overturn a court decision made in March that allowed the town of Avon to maintain its moratorium on fracking. This is the third case of this kind in upstate New York.

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4:06pm

Wed April 24, 2013
Energy

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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10:45am

Tue April 23, 2013
Energy

Planning for a Net Zero Energy Footprint

Nearly 400 attended the 9th annual Energy in the 21st Century symposium.
Credit Klineberg Photography/Syracuse

Ninth Annual Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century
Friday, April 12, 2013
The Links at Erie Village, East Syracuse, N.Y.

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3:30pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Energy

Champlain Hudson Power Express project moves a step forward with state approval

chpexpress.com

The Champlain Hudson Power Express, or CHPE, is the name of a proposed underground transmission line that would bring hydropower generated in Canada under both Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, and into New York City. Now, the project is one step closer to becoming a reality, following approval by the New York State Public Service Commission Thursday.

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5:18am

Thu April 18, 2013
Energy

BP to push forward with Cape Vincent wind project, pending possible sale of renewables division

Richard Chandler, director of business development for BP Wind Energy North America, gives a presentation on the proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm project at a firehouse in Three Mile Bay.
Credit Joanna Richards

Earlier this month, energy company BP announced its entire renewables division was up for sale. At a recent public meeting on the proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm, a BP official confirmed the company will push ahead with the development anyway, and local leaders vowed to hire experts to help them fight the project.  

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8:38am

Wed April 10, 2013
Energy

Report says state’s energy could be almost 100% renewable by 2030

Wind turbines in Wyoming County
WBFO file photo

A recent study outlines a scenario that would see New York state’s energy infrastructure based on close to 100 percent renewable sources by the year 2030.

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9:21am

Fri March 29, 2013
Energy

Vermont, New York weigh in on proposed natural gas pipeline

People line up to testify before the Vermont Public Service Board.
Credit Sarah Harris/Innovation Trail

People packed into the high school auditorium in Hinesburg, Vt. last week, to voice their opinions on a proposed natural gas pipeline before the Vermont Public Service Board.

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9:04am

Fri March 22, 2013
Energy

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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9:32am

Thu March 21, 2013
Energy

Will hydropower from Quebec supply New York City?

Power generation at Beauharnois
Credit Courtesy Hydro-Québec

In Québec, electricity is cheap. Hydro-Québec, a state-owned utility, has over 60 generating stations that use the province’s rivers to produce power. One of them is Beauharnois, southwest of Montreal on the St. Lawrence River.

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7:51am

Wed March 20, 2013
Energy

New York's coal-fired power plants: repower or take offline?

NRG's power plant in Dunkirk, N.Y. is one of many coal-fired plants facing an uncertain future.
Kate O'Connell Innovation Trail

It's a tough environment for coal-plants in New York state. The state is home to some of the oldest power facilities in the country, which operate under stricter emissions regulations introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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4:13pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Energy

Protesters arrested at gas storage site in Finger Lakes

A number of protestors were arrested for blockading the entrance to a natural gas storage facility in the Finger Lakes region early Monday.

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