Wind Energy Meeting Notes 8/10/08
Attending: Karin Busch, John Elberfeld, Sue Hawkes-Teeter, John Jeanneney, Jolanta Jeanneney, Nelson Kent, Gerry Lenseth,
Todd Mathes, Jane McLean, John Peters, Amy Pokorny, Russ Pokorny, Bob Price, Loren Pruskowski, Duane Quinn, Jim
Quinn, Earl Wagoner, Anne Waltz, Pat Waltz, Carol Willsey, Warren Willsey
NYSERDA Study Deliverables:
Loren plans to deliver the summary package with energy yield analysis and financial analysis at the meeting on
September 21, 2008. These results of the study of community owned wind energy potential in the Helderberg
Hilltowns will be available to the public (via FOIL procedures from NYSERDA).
Attorneys Todd Mathes and Jim Quinn provided legal advice:
As an unincorporated association, we need to elect officers and then incorporate as an LLC, then apply for 501(c )3
exemption. The same people could be components of both groups. Membership in the LLC is open to anyone who
wants to be a member.
Todd will look at our zoning ordinance to determine how our project would be treated; how does the Town of Knox
treat public utilities and essential services: by right or by special use permit? How does the town permit and control
them? Amy will get the zoning ordinance to Todd.
Expenses to set up an LLC will be about $600. It was suggested that members of the LLC might be able to share that
Todd represents municipalities for financing, permitting and has PTC experience. He set up wind energy projects in
Beekmantown in Clinton County and Cape Vincent in Jefferson County.
We need to decide on a name for the group/project.
We need to develop a corporate purpose and mission statement, as well as a plan for how we will spend money that is
generated; whom any money will benefit:
The main benefit should be to the community. We need to articulate a function that the IRS recognizes as a charitable
A disproportionate amount of the profit can’t go to landowners.
What would the benefit be to the Town of Knox?
We should organize soon as an LLC.
The following officers were elected:
A motion was made by Carol Willsey to nominate Russ Pokorny for President, seconded by Jane McLean and the
A motion was made by Karin Busch to nominate Nelson Kent for Treasurer, seconded by Jane McLean and the
A motion was made by Carol Willsey to nominate Amy Pokorny for Secretary, seconded by Jane McLean and the
A Vice President will be elected at a later meeting.
Articles of organization and bylaws need to be developed in order for us to do business in NY State. Gerry Lenseth can get
boilerplate versions for the group to consider. Carol will Google prototype bylaws.
The governance structure needs to be considered: Equal voting rights? Majority rule? Consensus? Give authority to board?
To officers? Liability issues? We need to agree on these questions.
SED uses a Consensus model, where all decisions are agreed to by 100% of the members. As a Community wind project, it
will be important to listen to everyone who wants to be heard.
At some point in the future the LLC will need a ($1million?) liability insurance policy to do work with NYSERDA and after
we have attracted investments and public interest. The LLC members will have some liability in case of a lawsuit, although the
LLC will limit personal liability. The LLC will have contracts with landowners (which it will transfer/sell to the ownership
entity). Karin will inquire about liability insurance.
Loren outlined the following tasks for LLC group:
1. Define community wind, our strategy, and how to evaluate it. (Members of the organization and the LLC are from all areas
of and surrounding the Hilltowns. Nine potentially viable sites that could be considered for wind projects were identified
around the Hilltowns and are listed in the Helderbergwind.org website.)
2. Continue stakeholder education for landowners, citizens, officials
3. Define land leases – reach agreements with host landowners; define how to pay landowners, whether/how to sell land
leases, wind rights, etc. to owner
5. Civil and electrical design, geotechnical study, electrical work
6. Secure all the permits per zoning, setbacks, constraints
7. Reach electrical interconnection agreement
8. Secure SEQR signoff from the Town of Knox; some of this work is done in the NYSERDA study.
9. Determine an ownership structure, financial structure and secure funding: group of citizens? College or school (RPI?,
HVCC?), Town? Meet with them and identify issues, financing options…
10. Develop a budget for each task, prioritize tasks, make a strategy/project plan; estimate is about $250,000 to get to
11. Write a business plan.
12. Per Bob Price, we would need funds ($100,000?) to evaluate the transmission lines on SR 143, would also need to
build/repave access road to support large cranes to erect towers, etc.
Report from Bob Price:
The Town of Knox is not in a position to finance this project at this time because they have plans to erect two cell towers and
expand the town hall in the near future. The Town Board is not opposed to the project.
Capital District Regional Planning Commission has funding available for Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady and
Columbia (?) counties. Contact is Debra Shannon 453-0850 and her offices are on Wolf Road behind the old DEC building
near the Northway. She can introduce us to GIPA who could fund us; they are the only power authority in Albany County.
The Planning Board will write the ordinance for industrial wind turbines soon.
We should contact the following:
Greg Starheim from Delaware County Rural Electric Cooperative may want an ownership stake and could partner
with us for financing.
NYSERDA to apply for funding. NYSERDA funding takes time to realize. Loren applied for 787 funds in January
2005 and started work in August 2005.
GIPA wants to see our prospectus from the NYSERDA study. They would be eligible to use CREBs to finance this
project but may not be interested.
GE and other large corporate equity players. They are PTC driven and would want assurance of 8% return on their
RPI, HVCC, Cobleskill, other colleges and/or BKW school for CREBS; could include the project in curriculum.
Gerry Lenseth will contact the SBA to see if they can provide any resources for us.
Lally group – Loren has a contact with them.
David Watson is a possible contact for the Council of Community Services regarding application for 501(c)3 status.
We might be able to attract venture capital investors.
SED are developers and consultants. They don’t own the data. The data will belong to the LLC. We need to decide what to
do with the data. We should consider carefully how to share the data; it is a valuable asset. Second generation wind
developers will be interested in it. There are raw data and reports. We should share the data with neighboring communities
that are interested in wind development for correlation to their data. More met towers could be erected in other towns.
Members of the group could be trained in how to erect and disassemble met towers.
We only need about $250,000 development money now. The other money will emerge later. Federal PTCs are modeled on
production. Since the wind resources in Knox are not highly productive, the CREB model, which is not based on production,
and which provides 0% interest loans would probably be more profitable.
Karin made a motion to adjourn, Warren seconded and the motion carried.
Next meetings: September 7, 7 PM Octagon Barn. We will name the group and brainstorm mission and purpose statements.
This will be a teleconference with Loren. September 21, 7 PM, Octagon Barn. Loren will present the NYSERDA prospectus.