Energy Policy and Vermont
It would be too bad if a project had local support but a moratorium quashed it. It would also be too bad if a project were universally despised in its host communities but a town's lack of standing in the process did not allow the PSB to take into account local views. ...Even boosters such as Shumlin say they don't want to cram any projects down townspeople's throats. The Legislature ought to be looking for ways that towns can be empowered to prevent that from happening.
Vermont utility companies may both sell their renewable energy credits (REC) and count them toward their state-required renewable energy quotas.
According to some authorities, Vermont's renewable energy projects aren't renewable. "If a marketer generates renewable electricity but sells renewable energy certificates for all of that electricity, it would be deceptive for the marketer to represent, directly or by implication, that it uses renewable energy," said the Federal Trade Commission in a report cited by Vermont's Public Service Board.
Instead of acknowledging that renewable energy development (in particular big wind, but also biomass and large solar) has issues that should be discussed, the efforts of the opponents of S.30 are to shut down the conversation before it has barely started. The fear-mongering and outright lies about the content of the legislation coming from opponents of S.30 is consistent with the behavior of renewable energy developers in our communities.
S.30 being considered by the Vermont Senate is a wise and moderate approach and also supports the work of the Siting Commission. ...it is prudent to pass S.30 now - it reflects many years of the positive interaction of development with appropriate review.
We haven't seen yet a convincing case that large-scale wind energy can play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions in Vermont, which would be the only rational basis for sacrificing a landscape that plays such an important role in the state's economy and self-identity. And the ability of towns to exert some control over their destiny when it comes to development is not something that should be lightly overridden.
What is needed is a new process that works toward our goal of a fossil fuel free future; determines the best way to achieve that goal taking into consideration human health, the environment, and other factors; and respects the right of local Vermonters to control their future in their own homes.
There is one reason that the Energize Vermont plan does not rely on ridgeline wind: uncertainty.
We are uncertain about the impacts of industrial ridgeline wind on health, wildlife and wildlife habitat. We are uncertain about its impacts on the economy, tourism and property values. We are uncertain about the amount of electricity that industrial wind produces, its cost, and its effect on grid stability. Finally, we are uncertain that industrial wind turbines produce a meaningful reduction in Vermont's greenhouse gas emissions.
But what is most concerning to me is that Bernie's comment on this issue has shown me a different side of Bernie. That is, his total disregard for well-documented facts; his digging his heels in and using his influence to blindly push this agenda forward; and his inability to consider the benefits of taking a reasonable pause to allow time to learn the truth. This leads me to ask: Is this the way Bernie approaches all the decisions he makes in Washington?
Unfortunately, both Sen. Sanders and climate activist Bill McKibben have greatly exaggerated the national policy and global environmental harm that a three-year Vermont ridgeline wind moratorium could have. Additionally, in attacking the moratorium they have unwittingly embraced a decade of failed Vermont renewable energy policy.
The townspeople of Sheffield are conducting meetings to decide what to do with the $500,000 annual windfall that First Wind will pay their town from revenues derived from the newly opened wind farm. That was the bribe from First Wind to kill opposition to 16 of their heavily subsidized, 400-foot-tall wind towers.
"The governor is free to make deals," said Wright. "But his appointees also have an oath to protect the natural resources of the state."
Wright said Vermont is destroying tens of thousands of years of geological history to make room for one short-term power project ...Where are the environmental groups, Wright asks. "Why aren't they acting with outrage that these mountains are being blasted away into rubble?"
If the governor were being ingenuous, he might advocate a moratorium on any proposed wind project until his secretary had completed her charge. ...We know why Shumlin and Powell cannot wait: Federal money available for this, otherwise, "never never" plan evaporates at midnight at the end of this year if the Certificate of Public Good is not in hand.
The public deserves an energy debate based in fact, not hyperbole. There are very well financed interests that, for personal financial gain, oppose Vermont Yankee. The actions of Mr. Blittersdorf are perhaps the most visible example of this taking place. He is part of a group of folks who have contributed heavily to political campaigns in order to have legislation passed that directly benefit them. These projects cost captive ratepayers as much as six times the current market price.
Rather than inspire a new industry willing to take a risk and invest private capital in hopes of a return, the green-energy incentives simply perpetuate a dependence upon government largess. In an effort to put a thumb on the scales and pick their own winners and losers, the Legislature's proposals more closely resemble some fly-by-night, get-rich scheme than a thoughtful economic development plan.
Utility scale wind projects are proposed or approved in no fewer than eight locations across Vermont: Lowell, Londonderry, Ira, West Rutland, Waitsfield, Georgia, Sheffield and Deerfield. Each of these projects would extend across miles of ridgeline. These multi-mile, multi-tower facilities would fundamentally alter ridgelines.
Whether they're called wind farms or industrial wind generating plants, these industrial developments have caused divisiveness and controversy in every community in Vermont where they have been proposed.
Because electricity generation has special legal status for land use regulations, industrial wind projects are being sited in areas where other industrial developments would never be allowed.
Whether you call them wind farms or industrial wind generating plants, these industrial developments have caused divisiveness and controversy in almost every community in Vermont where they have been proposed.
Because electricity generation has special legal status for land use regulations, industrial wind projects are being sited in areas where other industrial developments ...might never be allowed.
Petitioned language involving Ira's future approach to renewable energy was amended on the floor to add "in accordance with the town plan." ...In the end, people knew exactly what they came for, and exactly on what they were voting. There were no further questions or discussion. The vote was a resounding 89-20 in support of an Ira renewable energy policy that leaves industrial wind turbines off Ira ridgelines.
Some say that Ka Le is haunted -- and it is. But it's haunted not by Hawaii's legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are "Na leo o Kamaoa"-- the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm.
The voices of Kamaoa cry out their warning as a new batch of colonists.
Today, we are confronted by the crisis of climate change. Descriptions are so fearful, confusing, and occasionally contradictory that it's hard to know what to think. We each try to do what we can to reduce our personal impact on the earth, and ponder how to preserve the planet from a catastrophic fate that could be imminent and irreversible.
For many people, renewable energy has become the panacea: producing power from wind, trees, grasses, and the sun.