Since October, 105 complaints about the big three wind projects have been collected by the DPS division on consumer affairs and public information, not including this complaint from McGrath.
Some of those complaints are from the same people. Twenty-three different people have complained. In one case in November, 31 people joined to file a petition about wind noise about the Lowell wind project which prompted Green Mountain Power to adjust early operations.
"Overall, I can say with some confidence that we have addressed the issues we consistently heard from the public and the industry developers alike -- that our current process is too complicated, too expensive, too slow, not transparent enough and not sensitive enough to cultural and environmental considerations," he said.
Brighton recently adopted a newly amended town plan in which the town says it supports the regional planning agency's call for a moratorium on wind development until further study is done.
Four members of the Brighton Planning Commission and the three members of the town's select board, signed a letter urging the CPG not be issued for the MET towers.
There were planning issues, aesthetic issues, things that people get concerned about when one of these type of projects shows up in their backyard, their neighborhood, so we really felt, and the Commission felt, that we needed to emphasize the planning process more first and also give the public an opportunity, a much longer opportunity to respond. Right now, there's a 45-day public notice period when an applicant is going to file with the board.
"The noise monitoring plan is entirely under the control of First Wind, who chose the firm to design the plan and conduct the monitoring. This is a perfect example of 'the fox guarding the henhouse,' " Smith said Thursday. "The PSB's order further illustrates the near-impossibility of neighbors being able to participate in protecting their interests before the PSB."
On Friday, the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee agreed to the House's pared-down version of what was originally a bill regulating large wind turbine projects, including a three-year moratorium.
But although Senate bill 30 is moving forward without any controls on energy siting, some key provisions are still on the table.
Marsha Blomberg, an ISO New England spokesperson, said the grid uses an "economic dispatch" method, which often gives the most expensive power source the temporary ax. But Johnson said cheaper sources could be curtailed if it keeps the grid safe.
On Tuesday, the Vermont Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission submitted its final report and recommendations to the governor and the Vermont Legislature. The commission recommends a revision of the Section 248 permitting process.
Senate Bill 30 might have gotten the wind knocked out of it this session, but a revised bill - far from its original call for a moratorium on big wind projects - sailed through a second reading on the House floor Friday by a vote of 140-3.
That does not mean, however, that some senators have ceased trying to pump the legislation back up.
The four wind turbines on Georgia Mountain, stationary for a week, are expected to spin back into action in the near future while technicians run safety checks, a company official said Thursday.
A faulty electrical component at the site’s tie-in with power lines caused the turbines to shut down automatically, project manager Martha Staskus told the Burlington Free Press.
Kim Fried, chairman of the Town of Newark's Planning Commission, which amended the Town Plan last year to ban industrial wind projects, a change overwhelmingly supported by residents, said "We are very disappointed and saddened. Neither SMW, the PSB or the state of Vermont appear to care about the concerns of Newark's citizens and I think this attitude towards small towns is beginning to bother many other citizens across the state, as it should.
Although no meaningful legislation on ridgeline wind development is likely to emerge this legislative session, that's not stopping Vermont lawmakers from looking into its potential health impacts.
The Senate Health and Welfare Committee heard testimony from victims, researchers and doctors concerned about a combination of symptoms that may be caused by low infra-sound vibrations-- from headaches to sleep loss.
Advocates of the temporary ban say a compromise package being voted out of a House committee this week could at least bring more scrutiny of the regulatory process that governs ridgeline wind projects. ...Sen. Robert Hartwell, a Bennington County Democrat and lead sponsor of the original moratorium language, said he believes those summer hearings will yield legislation next year that will amplify citizens' voices in the regulatory process.
A lobbyist for an industry group supporting wind power apologized to a Vermont Senate committee on Wednesday after a witness she brought in called health concerns connected with wind power "hoo-hah," nonsense and propaganda.
Gabrielle Stebbins, executive director of Renewable Energy Vermont, called the remarks of acoustics expert Geoff Levanthall unhelpful and offered an apology to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee after Leventhall testified at the hearing by phone from England.
David Hallquist, CEO of the utility Vermont Electric Cooperative, publicly opposed any new utility-scale wind projects in the Northeast Kingdom because the ISO-New England, is ordering Vermont and New Hampshire wind projects to curtail electricity output to maintain grid stability. Hallquist said the co-op and its utility partner, Green Mountain Power, have already lost $1 million this winter on curtailment of Lowell Mountain's 21-turbine Kingdom Community Wind Project.
The latest round of draft recommendations from the Governor's Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission would not force a town like Newark or Brighton to find a place for big wind turbines, unlike a previous draft.
Instead, the draft recommendations now say that towns can reject one form of renewable technology as long as the towns promote alternative renewable energy projects instead.
The Maplefields owner and gasoline distributor has ponied up $10,000 to run a new, 30-second attack ad on WCAX-TV for a week, according to the station. In it, Vallee accuses Sanders of seeking to "industrialize our mountains with giant wind turbines."
"Once we sacrifice our mountains to big corporate interests, it will change Vermont forever," the ad's narrator says.
Senators took a bill that called for a three-year moratorium on large-scale wind developments, pared it down to legislation that would have required large energy generation projects to conform to Act 250 land-use criteria, and then stripped it to $75,000 worth of studies for the House to consider.
"The basic fact is just to make a small dent-- a few percent of the energy demand in the Northeast and virtually nothing in the Southeast-- you would have to develop thousands of miles of ridgeline. You'd be talking about devastating impacts to the mountaintops due to bulldozing and blasting," Luce said.
Two members of the public grilled the town's Selectboard on Tuesday with questions about the planning commission and a meeting between the board's chairman and a representative from an energy company constructing a test tower.