Library from Connecticut
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.
The opponents of a wind power project in town are feeling optimistic that the Connecticut Siting Council will not approve its construction, after a similar project proposed by the same company in the New Haven County town of Prospect was rejected.
The findings do not reflect the final result of the Connecticut Siting Council's vote. Positive findings in the Prospect proposal did not lead to an approval, as the council voted 6-2 to reject the plan.
In a whistleblower complaint filed with the attorney general's office, the group said BNE was ineligible for the $500,000 grant because the Prospect property did not meet the requirement of having the capacity to produce at least 5 megawatts of power.
"The siting council's decision confirms the belief that wind projects need to be developed carefully - if not we could serve as the poster child against wind projects," said Nardello, co-chair of the energy and technology committee.
Michael Bahtiarian of Noise Control Engineering and Glenn Chalder of Planimetrics were questioned heavily about their input. Bahtiarian testified, in pre-filed material, that the turbines will exceed the legally-allowed noise levels as set by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.
In a surprise straw vote on Monday, six out of seven members of the state Siting Council indicated they will vote against a wind turbine project in Prospect. Council members expressing concern of the size of the turbines and the fact that they will be located close to homes.
Save Prospect tackled each of the council's findings. Among the comments were that it disputes the facts or characterization, no final plans or "competent evidence" support the findings or the facts are irrelevant. The group in general wants the council to include its pre-filed testimony and evidence in the findings.
The Joint Appropriations Committee voted 40-10 to approve House Bill 6249. Six committee members did not vote - they abstained or were absent. The vote makes the Appropriations Committee the third to approve of the bill.
Mr. Corey was one of several parties to appear before the Connecticut Siting Council for cross-examination on the two parts of a proposed six-turbine wind farm. The projects are expected to generate four times the amount of energy consumed in Colebrook, but have been controversial because of their location in residential areas.
BNE Energy, the West Hartford-based company seeking to build the turbines, submitted the application for the Prospect plan first. Consequently, the proceedings in Prospect are approximately one month ahead of the progress in Colebrook's hearings.
Even if there were no issues such as health concerns and property value, it should matter when a person wants their life respected and their dreams honored. This is America. The people of Prospect (saveprospect.com) who are trying to preserve their neighborhood are only asking for the respect that all of us deserve.
A decision by the Connecticut Siting Council on a proposed wind turbine project in Prospect is not expected until May 12, but findings on the project all but guarantee approval.
Lawmakers who want stricter regulations - including both leaders of the legislature's energy and technology committee - on Wednesday offered a compromise that would allow the developer to skirt the regulations as long as it adhered to a new set of overall guidelines.
Rep. Vickie Nardello's controversial bill to regulate the siting of wind turbines squeaked through the legislature's Planning and Development Committee Monday by just one vote. ...If passed in its present form the legislation will ultimately kill a proposal for a wind farm in Prospect, where Nardello lives, and Colebrook.
Rep. Vickie Nardello, the House chairwoman of the legislature's Energy and Technology Committee, said she doesn't necessarily oppose the project in Prospect, but worries the turbines would be too close to homes. "If we're going to do wind, we're going to do it well," Nardello said.
The experts have offered their opinion, the advisors have advised, questions have been asked, and each side has made its case. Now all that’s left for those on both sides of debate over the site of two commercial wind turbines in Prospect is to wait for the Connecticut Siting Council to render a decision.
Commercial-scale wind generation is far more complex than anyone imagines at first glance. These are not our grandfather's faithful 30-foot tall windmills ...These are towering 300-to-515- foot tall behemoths-some approaching the height of the Washington Monument, often placed atop scenic ridgelines, creating serious obstacles to anything that flies, including airplanes.
People in Connecticut support wind power as long as noisy, unsightly turbines are put in other people's backyards. Even if BNE's fondest wishes came true, Connecticut's wind would produce only 100 megawatts, or barely 1 percent of the demand on an average summer day. Consequently, minuscule overstates wind power's niche.