NY using foreign co. for renewable/wind energy
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  1. #1
    Registered User cottageliving's Avatar
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    Default NY using foreign co. for renewable/wind energy

    All,

    If I could have your feedback on this, it would be appreciated. I am FURIOUS and am wondering if I'm overreacting to this issue since I am not a Protectionist.

    I live in NY State- Niagara Falls to be precise. NY has a mandate that by 2015 (or close to it), 25% of the state's energy needs to be from alternative renewable sources (solar, wind, biofuel, water, etc). I'm all for that. The Falls generates a HUGE amount of energy for NY as you can imagine. I pay extra for the wind/solar alternatives to help out in my small way.

    Here's the issue: Read an article on CNN.com yesterday discussing the pros and cons of building small wind farms on rural land in NY and paying the farmers a set fee per year over a 15 year land lease for the turbines. How it's pitting family member against family member. Still sounds ok to me... for the greater good and all that... The punchline buried near the end of the article?? The two companies running at least one of the largest wind operations in NY are owned by a partnership between a Spanish corporation and a Portugese corporation. Nothing against foreign companies, but can it be that NY STATE CANNOT find a US Energy Company to contract this out to???????? Really???

    I'm furious !!

    What are your thoughts? I'll find the article and post the link.
    Thanks for your feedback.

  2. #2
    Registered User cottageliving's Avatar
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    Here is the link to the article.

    Jen

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayof....ap/index.html

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    Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Heading to bed so I'll read the article tomorrow just want to jump in and mention that there is a lot of Not in my back yard mentality going on as far as building these things goes.




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    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    Nothing against foreign companies, but can it be that NY STATE CANNOT find a US Energy Company to contract this out to???????? Really???
    Given the fact that the US has sorely lagged behind Europe in terms of renewable energy, I think it's entirely possible that they can't find a US Energy Company to contract. Or at least not as cost effectively.

    I see wind turbines all over Skandinavia when I'm there for work and I'm yet to see a single one in the US.

  6. #5
    Registered User cottageliving's Avatar
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    You bring up a valid point, Muse. We have some wind turbines here in WNY, but no 'farms' on the scale of the one referenced in the article.
    My primary concern is that since it is state mandated and taxpayer subsidized then US companies should get preference. Perhaps they did initially, but I will look into it further.

    Darlene, you are correct -- the attitude you mention is the focus of the article. This is affecting many families, and most likely in other states as well.

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    I don't really understand the "not in my back yard" thing... I live near a nuclear power plant and would much rather be looking at wind turbines than worrying about the safety of that reactor.

    As for your question... without all of the facts of the decision I'm not really able to answer the question fully. However, if foriegn companies are going to save significant amounts of money... millions or more, and bring the experience to get the job done correctly then it is in the taxpayers best interest to pursue these avenues. I would not be happy to learn that my tax dollars were subsidizing sub par contractors who were overcharging and becoming wealthy on my dime. I don't know if that is the case here, w/o all the facts, but I do think the issue is probably not so clear cut.

    I DO think that the money saved (if that is the case) by outsourcing the project would be well spent by investing in research for American companies to pursue future projects of the same magnitude.

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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    Well, my response should be predictable. A free market, a free economy, means free to shop anywhere, including outside the US, if you can get what you're looking for at the best price.

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    Registered User Holly's Avatar
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    We have around 50 to 60 turbines down the road from us.
    There is one place with 7 and then 2 or 3 places make up the rest of them.
    They are a magnificent sight to see on the horizon.
    I also don't get the not in my back yard mentality.

  10. #9
    Registered User YankeeMom's Avatar
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    This article is set in my neck of the woods. It's got small communities in a HUGE uproar. I don't understand it. To me, it's a no-brainer. Wind power is cleaner and safer for the environment than fossil fuels or nuclear power so what is the issue? I'd bet my last dollar that if the choice had been available 150 yrs ago before we became addicted to fossil fuels and the pros and cons of fossil fuel vs wind/solar energy, the choice would have been simple. We would all have wind turbines in our backyards and be driving solar powered cars.

    As for who gets to build them, I agree with Muse. The wind farms that have been built here already (and are beautiful, by the way, up on the Tug Hill and visible for miles & miles) were built by a company from Norway, I believe. I'd much rather see these on the horizon than a bunch of dirty, oily, smelly derricks!



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    Quote Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
    Well, my response should be predictable. A free market, a free economy, means free to shop anywhere, including outside the US, if you can get what you're looking for at the best price.
    Agreed 100%.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Muse View Post
    Given the fact that the US has sorely lagged behind Europe in terms of renewable energy, I think it's entirely possible that they can't find a US Energy Company to contract. Or at least not as cost effectively.

    I see wind turbines all over Skandinavia when I'm there for work and I'm yet to see a single one in the US.
    However, this is likely the case. A company from NORWAY has actually built a facilty in the US to begin producing wind turbine blades.

    Another company from Germany is building a plant in Montana.


    Great pictures Yankeemom
    Last edited by Russ; 08-19-2008 at 11:18 AM.

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    The United States is extremely far behind other countries in many ways, including finding new and renewable ways to generate electricity. There is such an overabundance of dependency on foreign resources now because the US has fought for so long to keep being dependent on oil. A vast majority of manufacturing in the United States has been designed around oil and now that that source of energy is diminishing, there isn't enough new technology to keep up with other countries.

    People have such a problem with bringing in technology that isn't dependent on oil that of course, they're going to be in an uproar about it. I mean even the heartland of the United States is in an outrage because now a good majority of products are being used in the creation of ethanol. Canada seems to be adjusting just fine to converting to a new and renewable natural resource that an entire province is devoting most of its farmland to helping this conversion out. Saskatchewan is in the midst of a housing crisis right now because the cost of many houses is rising. Why? Because they're putting in new pipelines and growing crops primarily for the production of ethanol. They've seen how good ethanol can be, both for the present and for the future. It's creating jobs that are going to be around for a long time now.

    I think people have to realize that everything and anything is for sale, no matter where the buyer and/or seller is from. What they also don't realize is that all of the large purchases and changes in the landscape are going to bring about long lasting positive economical changes.

    It's a good thing. I know people are proud of their country and all. However, they also have to realize that the US is in such an economic downturn and companies have to do what they have to do in order to protect what they've owned for so long. People are going to have to swallow their pride and get with the present times.

  13. #12
    Registered User cottageliving's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody for your input. I suppose I was overreacting a bit, but have been discouraged that we, as a country, seem to have lost our edge is seemingly every area. Not that I want to rule the world, nothing like that... simply that I feel our country has wasted so many important opportunities and that the country is one big yard sale at this point. Silly, I know.

    Anyway, I just learned that the electric co I use, National Grid (who bought out Niagara Mohawk and many others and who also deals in natural gas) is a British company. They are the 5th largest energy supplier in the U.S.

    Oh well. It is what it is, and as Greebo reminded me, this is about generally free trade/fair trade which I have always believed in..... still not a protectionist, but still sad to see what I see as an end to an era.... strange.

    thanks for reading my ramblings. It means a lot.

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    I agree that the US has wasted a great deal of opportunities regarding energy policy. We'll be paying for those choices for years to come.

    You reap what you sow. Get those frugal energy saving techniques ready! They'll be needed.

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    I agree that the US has wasted a great deal of opportunities regarding energy policy. We'll be paying for those choices for years to come.

    You reap what you sow. Get those frugal energy saving techniques ready! They'll be needed.

  16. #15
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    I agree that the US has wasted a great number of opportunities, especially with regards to energy. We'll all be paying the price for that for years to come, regardless of our personal choices.

    You reap what you sow. Get those energy saving techniques ready. They'll be needed.

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