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Corfu farm to celebrate wind power, energy savings with 'Open Turbine Day'

By Maria Pericozzi


(Submitted photo)

Northern Power Systems, a Vermont-based wind energy company, will host an “Open Turbine Day” at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on July 21, at Miller Sonshine Acres Farm in Corfu.

Attendees will celebrate the successful operation of two wind turbines on the farm, highlighting significant energy cost savings, as well as getting an up-close look at the turbines.

“This is a great opportunity for those who don’t have it and don’t know how they work,” said Maureen McCracken from Northern Power Systems.

The family-friendly event will be held in conjunction with Buffalo Renewables and the Miller Sonshine Acres Farm, located at 10021 Simonds Road in Corfu.

At the event, attendees will learn about the benefits of wind power and talk to representatives from the companies.

Miller Sonshine Acres Farm has two wind turbines. McCracken said the farm has had one of them for two years and recently installed the other at the end of last year.

McCracken said they will be opening the door to the turbine, for attendees to see how it works.

The turbines that will be shown at the farm are not for home use, but companies do sell smaller wind turbines. At the event, people can learn about financing options. Wind turbines allow people to use wind energy to cut costs, McCracken said.

“In New York, there are good incentives through NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) and the costs for the turbines have decreased,” McCracken said. “Now more than ever, it is easy for people to own a wind turbine.”

Residents can register for the event by July 17 by emailing: or by calling 877-906-6784, ext. 6070.

Hawley: 'NYC liberals vote to keep energy bills high for New Yorkers'

By Billie Owens

Press release:

 Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today denounced Downstate members of the Assembly’s Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions who blocked legislation Hawley authored to eliminate an expensive surcharge on electricity bills in New York State.

Hawley has championed an initiative to eliminate the 18-A energy surcharge placed on utility companies and passed down to consumers since 2010.

“It is very troubling that Downstate politicians once again blocked an initiative that would have saved New Yorkers millions of dollars on their electricity bills,” Hawley said.

“In a state where property and income taxes are through the roof and Upstate jobs are disappearing, the middle class deserves a break. This is another example of the ongoing war to oppressively tax successful businesses, seniors and all New Yorkers.”

Free energy-efficiency workshop in Batavia to help prepare homes for winter

By Billie Owens

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has announced that an energy-efficiency workshop will be coming to Batavia in an effort to help residents prepare their homes for winter. The workshop, presented by PathStone, is free and offers homeowners information on reducing energy costs, income-qualified grants and low-interest loans to lower energy costs during colder months.

The free workshop will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7 Batavia City Center, Batavia.

Event Date and Time

Photos: Windmill raising on Partridge Farm, Batavia

By Howard B. Owens

A third windmill went up on the Partridge Farm on Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, today.

Don and Pat Partridge, who acquired the farm from the White family in 1980, installed their first two windmills four years ago.

Those power plants have supplied about 50 percent of the farm's electricity and with the new windmill, Don hopes to reach 100 percent, or close to it.

"The new windmill is about 30 percent more productive," Partridge said.

The list price on the windmill is close to $75,000, but Partridge received a state grant and won a competitive USDA grant.

He expects to break even on his investment within 12 years (as he will with the first two windmills).

The windmills have an expected useful life of 25 years.

"It's the last half of their life where I'll enjoy them the most," Partridge said.

Partridge, who now works at Cummings & Bricker on Lehigh Street, quit full-time farming in 1999 for "a paying job," but he still raises some corn and hay and has a few head of cattle. The rest of the acreage is run by another dairy farmer.

"We're in a very wind-productive area," Partridge said. "It's Class C wind, which is productive wind. I think we have more wind power than solar."

With all that wind, Partridge said he doesn't understand the resistance to wind power.

"We would like to see more people get involved in solar and wind," Partridge said. "I just don’t understand all of the resistance to the big ones. I wish I had some big-wind ones up here. If the town put four big ones up here, the town residents could get credit for their electric bills. I would think that would be worth doing."

Free breakfast workshop on reducing energy bills for small businesses, nonprofits

By Billie Owens

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will host a free business energy breakfast workshop from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Friday, March 9, at the MedTech Centre across from the college.

The purpose is to help small businesses and not-for-profits learn about free energy audits, incentives for energy efficiency improvements and low-cost financing opportunities to help them reduce their energy bills.

Saving energy is an excellent way for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to reduce overhead costs. It’s also an opportunity to set a powerful example of good environmental stewardship.

A qualified energy auditor can help companies and organizations understand their current energy usage and identify energy efficiency improvements for their buildings. Organizations that get energy audits may also take advantage of Green Jobs – Green NY financing, which offers access to low-interest rate loans to finance energy efficiency improvements. And many energy improvement projects are eligible for cash-back incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), National Fuel, National Grid and NYSEG.

The workshop will feature opening remarks by GCEDC Vice President of Business Development Chris Suozzi and Genesee County Chamber of Commerce President Lynn Freeman. Expert presentations will be made by: Lee Loomis of the New York Energy $mart Communities Program on behalf of NYSERDA to discuss energy audits, low-cost financing and incentives for energy improvements; Andy Szajta of National Fuel regarding small business rebates/incentives for high-efficiency gas equipment; and Bob Trembath of Lime Energy on behalf of National Grid’s Small Business program.

Organizations that provide program support and business financing, such as the Small Business Development Center and Pathstone Corporation, will also be available to answer questions.

All local and regional small businesses and not-for-profits are encouraged to attend. The first 50 participants to pre-register and attend will receive a free Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulb from NYSERDA and an energy kit from National Fuel.

Pre-register for the workshop at or call toll free at 1-866-495-2959. Walk-ins are welcome.

The Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate MedTech Centre is located at 99 MedTech Drive (across from the main Genesee Community College campus [1 College Drive] in Batavia). The workshop will be on the second floor, inside the School of Nursing Lecture Hall.

Wind Tamers starting to sprout in Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

Wind Tamers -- the bright white and blue, jet-engine looking wind energy devices -- are catching on in Genesee County.

There's already one installed in Le Roy (the picture on this post is of the one we mentioned in March), and Thursday evening, the Genesee County Planning Board recommended approval of two more and a company representative said a fourth unit was recently sold in Pavilion.

In all, Wind Tamer, Inc., has sold 40 of the turbine wind machines in New York, Ontario, Canada, and Pennsylvania since the company started selling them last year, according to Glenn Steed, installation coordinator.

"We’re trying to bring wind energy to people, to areas that might not be able to support large towers or open rotor designs or anything with noise and really bring a kinder energy to wind," said Steed following Thursday's meeting.

Approved were applications from Wayne and Jane Smith at 10744 South Street Road, Pavilion, and Joseph Falcone at 10213 Perry Road, Le Roy.

The Wind Tamer was designed by Jerry Brock and it achieves greater efficiency and produces more energy than traditional windmills because of its jet-engine like design.

The design is also quieter and can be mounted at lower heights for less visibility.

These advantages, Steed said, are proving very attractive for small businesses, agricultural uses and rural residents.

"Thre’s no noise at all," Steed said. "We just had a noise study done and the results are on our Web site. They’re just really quite. There’s really no increase in the ambient noise from the surrounding area."

Prices start in the $15,000 range, but Steed said the return on investment, because of the greater energy production, is much faster than traditional windmills.

Wind Tamer is based in Geneseo and Steed said most of the materials and all of the labor so far comes from New York.

“It’s a lot of good dollars in New York State," Steed Said. "It’s a good, growing business in New York.”

County planning to hire energy efficiency consultants

By Howard B. Owens

County officials are at looking ways to save taxpayer money by eliminating energy waste.

When the Genesee County Legislature meets at 7 tonight in the Old Courthouse, it will vote on a pair of resolutions aimed at greater energy efficiency.

The county has an opportunity to apply for up to $500,000 in federal stimulus funds to upgrade energy infrastructure. The county must also identify what changes can be made in its facilities to achieve the greatest energy savings.

To get help in applying for stimulus funds and to study the county's energy needs, the legislature will vote on whether to approve a pair of contracts with Wendel Energy Services, which has offices in Buffalo, Long Island and Washington, D.C..

"From past experience, I can say we might spend $100,000 to $1 million, but we'll get back more than $1 million over the course of 10 years in savings," said Assistant County Manager Frank Ciaccia.

He said it's impossible right now to put a precise figure on possible savings. "That's what the study will tell us," he said, but it's clear the potential is there.

The study will cost $58,800, but half of that will be paid by a New York energy agency. Applying for the stimulus grants will cost $2,500.

Every building the county owns -- from the fairly new courts facility and the Sheriff's Park Road office, to the Holland Land Office Museum and the Old Courthouse -- would be evaluated by Wendel Energy Services.

The firm has already identified several areas of concern in Genesee County, from inefficient lighting (perhaps too much lighting for a particular room, or a lack of timers and motion detectors to automatically turn off lights) to outdated heating/air-conditioning units. The jail, for example, had its boiler installed in 1984. The county is interested in investigating the cost and return-on-investment of installing a modern boiler.

A key part of the study would be determining which energy projects to fund. Obviously, one consideration is whether the county plans to keep the building. For example, if the county decided it would need a new jail facility within 20 years, replacing the boiler may not be a priority.

"One of our goals is to look at the payback over 10 years and how long we expect to stay in a building," Ciaccia said. "If we decide we won't be in those buildings, that will influence our decision not to select those projects."

The Genesee County Nursing Home is not included in the study package since the county's continued ownership of that facility is currently in doubt. The nursing home could be re-included at some point, Ciaccia said, if a decision is made to keep it.

Conversations with Calliope- The Arts Business

By Joseph Langen



(Winter Tree)

Why do you try to understand art? Do you try to understand the song of a bird? ~Pablo Picasso

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I missed you.
JOE: I'm beginning to realize that I have limited energy.
CALLIOPE: So what's your point?
JOE: I need to start setting some priorities and making choices.
CALLIOPE: You're not going to talk with me any more?
JOE: I didn't say that. I think I might just have to do it less often, say Monday and Friday.
CALLIOPE: I guess I can live with that. Is your new job keeping you that busy?
JOE: Quite a bit goes on in the background of the art scene. The challenges of working at GO ART have demanded all the energy I have left after my morning visit to the gym.
CALLIOPE: So you need some balance in your life?
JOE: I do.
CALLIOPE: What about your writing?
JOE: So far I am keeping up with my columns and newsletters.
CALLIOPE: What about Marital Property?
JOE: Sadly I have neglected it. I don't have that much left to review and plan to finish it this weekend. Talk with you on Monday.



Conversations with Calliope- The Old Gray Mare

By Joseph Langen


 (New Orleans Moss)


It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.~ Mark Twain

JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. Out of bed a bit late aren't we?
JOE: I've been up but not functioning on all cylinders.
CALLIOPE: Are you ailing?
JOE: I don't think so. Perhaps it is the change in my routine. I got back to the gym on a regular basis this week and worked three days in a row.
CALLIOPE: So you are still adjusting to being back in the real world?
JOE: I suppose I am. I didn't think it would be that much of a change.
CALLIOPE: You're not getting any younger.
JOE: The old gray mare and all that.
CALLIOPE: Well said.
JOE: I also have my column, blogs and a new writing project to fit in. Maybe it's time to consolidate.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps so.
JOE: Talk with you tomorrow.


Conversations with Calliope- The Old Gray Mare

By Joseph Langen


 (New Orleans Moss)


It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.~ Mark Twain

JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. Out of bed a bit late aren't we?
JOE: I've been up but not functioning on all cylinders.
CALLIOPE: Are you ailing?
JOE: I don't think so. Perhaps it is the change in my routine. I got back to the gym on a regular basis this week and worked three days in a row.
CALLIOPE: So you are still adjusting to being back in the real world?
JOE: I suppose I am. I didn't think it would be that much of a change.
CALLIOPE: You're not getting any younger.
JOE: The old gray mare and all that.
CALLIOPE: Well said.
JOE: I also have my column, blogs and a new writing project to fit in. Maybe it's time to consolidate.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps so.
JOE: Talk with you tomorrow.


Higher energy costs expected to make winter more expensive

By Howard B. Owens

Are you ready for higher heating bills this winter?

The D&C reports that natural gas heating is expected to be 18 percent higher this season.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projected this week that Americans who heat with natural gas will pay an average of 18 percent more this winter than last.

In the Rochester region, where natural gas is the most common fuel for heating, this would mean the average consumer would pay $274 a month for a total of $1,370 from November through March, up more than $200 for the season.

Do you have conservation tips to share?

I think we'll be burning more wood.

Is There a Better Way????

By Patrick D. Burk

 Was wondering what everyone thought of the current situation with big oil and gas companies.  I don't need to remind  you that the price is going up every day.  No stablization of price in sight.  I LOVE the way everyone plays politics with the issue....gas tax caps, price caps...even Chrysler is willing to pay for the difference between the price of a gallon of gas and $2.99.  That plan is flawed because it is based on a credit card offer and you bet Chrysler will make just as much off of charged interest to the consumer as they do in the discount...just another catch.  Make hay when the sun shines and doesn't shine in this case......

It seems to me that the really simple way to deal with this is to allow discounts for new purchases and trades if a consumer goes to a higher gas mileage automobile.  Energy savings in the form of tax breaks and incentives and grants have long been available for the home owner....why not the automobile owner.  If you as a consumer trade in a vehicle that gets 15 miles per gallon for a vehicle that gets 30 miles per gallon you should get a tax break or something.  Isn't that simple....with the reduction of demand you would find a stablization of prices.... I guess...or maybe I am just being political.  Usage and demand are the biggest problems.  I bought a 38  mile per gallon car..... My problem is much smaller than the BIG SUV owner....who has no kids, but needs a BIG vehicle for some reason.

Then there is the all familiar forgiving public..... Where is our outrage?  We have a President and Vice President that rake in more and more cash for when they are out of office each and every time the price goes up..... I bet Cindy McCain has a ton of money in oil and gas as well...why not...  THOSE companies are posting HUGE profits while we make our way to our local Big Box or Discount Grocery Store to purchase what we can with what is left of our money.   IT used to be prescription drugs that I worried about eating up my money during my I wonder if it will be the price of gas for my car or home. 

In talking with a young man the other day I found out that he pays approximately $20 a day in gas to work at a job where he is making $75 a day.   After taxes and a $5 lunch....if he is lucky...he ends up netting $36.50 a day....Yikes and with that he has to pay rent, buy food, pay off extortionate Student Loans and maybe...just maybe go to a movie once in a while.  His love life must be wonderful....when a romantic dinner is 11PM at Wendy's from the $1 Menu.

It just goes to show.  Americans will adapt to anything.  What I would like to see at least is that government take some responsible position instead of a political one....Maybe encourage smaller vehicles, maybe push for sensible alternative fuels and maybe just maybe solve the Middle East Problem.  Isn't it amazing that Venezuelans pay the least for gas because thier consumers use thier product?  We have the brightest minds to figure this out.....Why can't we learn to use our own resources??? Do we have to continue to consume the world's costly energy?  Is there a better way???




Some Perry residents oppose wind farm, but we don't know why

By Howard B. Owens

Wind power seems like a good thing -- clean, natural, a renewable energy source.

These days, who can be opposed to such benefits?

So why are people in Perry blocking -- and have been blocking for three years -- the construction of a wind farm in their town? Matt Suretl's story in today's Daily News doesn't tell us.

Surtell writes:"It often appears there's little middle ground between the most adamant supporters and opponents," yet he never gives much information on the pros and cons, as Perry residents see them.

This leave the impression that the opponents are nothing more than unapologetic NIMBYs.

My only experience with wind turbines comes from often driving past the majestic, earth-saving machines in Tehachapi. From everything I heard while a resident of nearby Bakersfield, the people of Tehachapi consider the wind farm an asset -- but then it's a bit of a tourist attraction. There's no guarantee the people of Perry would be as fortunate.

Here's some related links:

What do you think? Should there be a wind farm in Perry?  Why or why not?

Note: Today's Daily News is available on new stands now. If you're not a subscriber, you can subscribe at


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