Touro Law’s Institute of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law has signed a contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to complete a wind energy inventory and model ordinance project, Touro Law Dean Patricia Salkin announced in late May 20, 2014.
“This project will provide our students with the opportunity to engage in hands-on work that will have a real impact within the community and gives our Institute of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law a leadership role in wind development in the state. It’s a great partnership and we look forward to working with NYSERDA on this important project,” said Dean Salkin.
The purpose of this project is to educate local and county governments faced with wind turbine applications. By helping governments write consistent and standardized rules regarding the installation of small- and medium-sized wind turbines, the Institute can act as a trusted source of information. This will help to create appropriate zoning rules and approval standards dealing with such issues as setbacks, sound requirements, height restrictions, public safety and the preferences of the community.
NYSERDA has helped fund more than 200 small- and medium-size wind turbines around New York, most in upstate, rural areas. An additional 37 turbines, funded by LIPA, were installed on Long Island. Turbines have been installed at farms, houses, businesses, municipalities, schools and other sites.
“Governor Cuomo has called for improving energy delivery in New York State by creating a more resilient and flexible power grid, giving ratepayers greater control over their energy use and making energy more affordable. By helping local lawmakers create a more consistent approach to wind power development, this joint project between NYSERDA and Touro Law will continue to promote the Governor’s vision while spurring the development of clean energy in communities across New York State,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA.
Sarah Adams-Schoen, Director of the Institute for Land Use and Sustainable Development Law at Touro Law Center stated:
“Wind energy is becoming increasingly more viable as an alternative energy option on Long Island and throughout New York State and is an important component of the State’s renewable energy plan. I am glad that we are able to work with NYSERDA to help inform decision makers about this energy source.”
The project team includes Professor Adams-Schoen, law students and law graduates with an interest in land use and sustainable development law, who are working closely with NYSERDA Wind Innovation and Technology Project Manager Mark Mayhew. The team is researching existing New York alternative energy ordinances, identifying and reaching out to a wide range of stakeholder partners, identifying potential roadblocks, compiling an inventory of wind energy ordinances and articles of interest, and developing a project website that will become a resource for decision makers, developers, and residents. Once that work is complete, the team will be responsible for drafting a model ordinance for small- and medium-scale wind energy projects and educating planners and other stakeholders about the model ordinance.
“I am so glad to be a part of this important work. I am confident it will provide a valuable, practical resource in the field,” said Professor Adams-Schoen.