Library from Connecticut
The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority reversed itself today and tentatively decided the merger needs the agency's approval after all. The decision means the deal, which Massachusetts regulators have already been scrutinizing for a year, will face a separate review by Connecticut officials.
The approval of two wind farms in the primarily residential town — one of which will be across the street from the Truss household — spurred Truss into action. According to Truss, “The whiole thing was completed behind the scenes,” pointing towards the lack of any discussion of the turbines in Board of Selectmen minutes.
The standard calls for 20 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable resources such as solar and wind by 2020. The cost of meeting this standard could climb as high as $2.9 billion over the next nine years - as much as $100 annually for ratepayers - but that price tag could be sharply reduced if low-cost hydropower is included.
The commission noted that currently a permanent structure can't be greater than 35 feet tall in town, except for a cell tower. Each member listed reasons for denial. They overall agreed with Pomeroy's comments and added that the regulations as proposed would stop any windmill being built in Prospect and that they could lead to a legal battle.
One suit is from FairWindCT and the other was filed by Stella and Michael Somers, the owners of Rock Hall Luxe Lodging, a bed- and-breakfast near one turbine site. They claim the turbines’ impact will hurt their business. Additionally, the litigation claims that that the project is incompatible with Connecticut’s noise statutes.
FairwindCt, a Colebrook citizens group, filed a lawsuit Thursday at Superior Court in New Britain challenging the Connecticut Siting Council's approval of the Colebrook North commercial wind farm project.
FairwindCT, a grass-roots organization that has rallied the community and provided funds to fight the wind power projects proposed by BNE Energy of West Hartford, announced Saturday they are ready to continue their fight.
A local woman is seeking approval of a zoning amendment that would allow property owners to erect small wind power systems on their lots. Julia Roberts of School Street has submitted a regulation text amendment to the Planning and Zoning Commission, which will now schedule a public hearing.
The company faces a more detailed review of their plans and possible appeals before any construction can begin. Too long of a delay could jeopardize federal funding that BNE hopes will cover up to 30 percent of the project.
The Connecticut Siting Council officially approved Connecticut second commercial wind farm, joining a project greenlighted last week in Colebrook. ...Before the 2011 Connecticut General Assembly legislative ended on Wednesday, the legislature approved a bill putting a moratorium on wind projects until wind-specific regulations can be written.
This amendment would have halted construction on BNE Energy's turbines in Colebrook until suitable regulations could be drafted. As passed, the bill simply stops the Connecticut Siting Council from acting on any petitions for wind turbines before regulations could be drafted.
Under the stony glare of a dozen protesters, the Connecticut Siting Council voted 6-1 to approve the second half of a controversial Colebrook commercial wind farm.
One of the reasons that Colebrook South was approved and a similar plan in Prospect was rejected was due to the higher population density in Prospect. The draft findings of fact for Colebrook North reinforce this, as a chart lists the population densities of Connecticut (723 people per square mile), Litchfield County (204) and Colebrook (48).
But Joyce Hemingson, president of FairWindCt, a grassroots opposition group, said the council is ignoring the plight of the 47 Colebrook residents whose homes are located within 2,000 feet of the two Colebrook projects, almost equal to the 53 homes in Prospect.
"I don't understand how this council," Ashton said, "or anybody, could approve trespass on another person's property without explicit permission." While Ashton voted in favor of the draft findings of fact, the council member voted against the draft opinion, which stated that the Connecticut Siting Council favored the turbines. ...Ashton compared the turbines to overhanging trees, asking if neighbors could cut branches that drape over property lines.
The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism submitted letters to the council saying turbines at the second site on Rock Hall Road would threaten the nearby Rock Hall Luxe Lodging.
"We are disappointed with the council's vote and hope they reconsider all the facts before the final vote," said Joyce Hemingson of FairwindCT, a group opposed to the turbines. ...The council rejected a similar proposal in Prospect by a 5-2 vote, much along the lines of a previous straw poll.
Rigby added that there will be three public hearings on the bill for the purpose of soliciting input, "which will be very important." While the process of drafting regulations could take a year, Rigby said he was hopeful that the regulatory process could be completed sooner.
The state House of Representatives Tuesday voted 132-6 to approve a bill requiring the state to require state agencies to develop specific regulations for the approval of wind turbine electricity-generation projects, after two recent wind-power proposals have sparked major controversies.
Since BNE is the first company seeking to put commercial wind farms in Connecticut, it will be setting the legal standard if the projects are approved, Corey said. "In essence, their decision sets the regulations for future projects," Corey said.