energy

10:54am

Thu January 23, 2014
Polar Vortex

Downed trees from ice storm will be turned into energy

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 8:18 am

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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6:30am

Fri January 17, 2014
Renewable Energy

Cuomo wants to increase biomass fuel use in N.Y.

Sarah Cody via Flickr

A less-heralded aspect of Governor Cuomo’s 2014 agenda is a plan to increase the number of homes and businesses burning biomass for heat. It has industry advocates excited, even if they have moderate expectations for growth.

It didn’t make his State of the State speech to the legislature, but in the longer, written, version of his agenda, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to cut down the number of homes that use heating oil.

To do that, Cuomo wants to launch a biomass heating program called Renewable Heat N.Y.

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5:09pm

Wed January 15, 2014
Upstate Solar Testing

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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1:10pm

Thu December 19, 2013
Energy

Dunkirk power plant to switch to natural gas

Kate O'Connell

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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3:14pm

Wed October 30, 2013
Energy

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. So Norse Energy first tried to stay afloat until fracking’s approval, then gave up and converted to Chapter 7, a complete shutdown of operations. The company and fracking supporters cited the state’s de factor 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.

“The easiest analogy I could give you, if you had a Model T and you were racing other Model T’s and you were doing fine and the next generation of vehicles comes out and you were still being told that all you can do is use your Model T.”

But the company was still drilling vertical wells in New York. In 2010, Norse approached Buffalo-based Bradford Drilling Associates about a 30-well project in the Herkimer sandstone formation.

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