Articles from Vermont
There’s a far better way to defeat Big Wind in Vermont. Big Wind developers are crucially dependent on an array of federal tax subsidies. The vital one is the production tax credit that gives the wind farm owner 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of power delivered. Impose a 2.3-cents-per-kilowatt-hour environmental protection tax on every new industrial-sized wind project in Vermont. That will exactly cancel the major federal subsidy that makes Big Wind profitable. Result: Vermont will never see another Big Wind project again.
"We as non-resident taxpayers provide at least 60 percent of the revenue to keep the town running," Hartmann said. "And yet, the way things stand now we have no voice in whether this project happens or not. And we feel that is an injustice."
The Vermont Department of Public Service, for the first time, acknowledged that wind farm neighbors sometimes experience severe negative effects from turbines spinning, she says. The department’s Dec. 23 filing describes the McLanes’ complaints as “credible and serious” and states there is evidence “of a significant impairment of the quality of life for some nearby residents.” There is reason to believe, the department determined, that the McLanes potentially suffer significant adverse health effects.
If the RECs are sold separately, a Vermont solar investor is getting what the attorney general calls "null electricity," and what Bender called "residual mix" from the New England grid, which as of last year was 39.4 percent natural gas-generated and 34 percent nuclear.
The planned New England Clean Power Link is a 154-mile underwater and underground transmission line that will travel from the Canadian border to the southern portion of the state. The line will run 97 miles beneath Lake Champlain before emerging near Benson, Vt., where it will be buried along roads for 57 miles to reach its destination—a converter station in Ludlow, Vt.
Being a commercial airline pilot myself, I understood and shared my colleague’s concerns. We were not alone — the airport manager expressed grave concerns about the project and the “operational safety and the economic impact it has on the airport.” As a result of what I learned I joined with them to oppose the project. Impacts on aviation were not the only problem with the Ira project.
Kevin Jones, deputy director at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School, said most Vermonters don't understand that when a solar panel's renewable energy credits (RECs) are sold, the owner of that solar panel no longer draws renewable energy from it for their own use. Unscrupulous marketers capitalize on this ignorance, Jones said.
Brouha is asking the PSB to require permanent, continuous sound monitoring at his home by a third party. The Public Service Board has scheduled a hearing for Jan. 8 to determine if additional clarification of the sound standards is needed, and whether the commercial wind project is in violation of its certificate of public good.
The process by which energy projects are developed in Vermont is broken. To regulate development, we have the Public Service Board, whose members seem to have been appointed by the governor to further his agenda and policies. We have a Public Service Department that serves the governor, not the public. We have legislators who write policy to serve the very utilities and energy developers that finance their campaigns.
A Spanish energy company that wants to build a commercial wind project in Windham and Grafton says it will respect the outcome of a still-unscheduled public vote on the project.
“Windham has been studying commercial/industrial wind generation since 2004,” officials wrote. “Our 2008 town plan, re-adopted in 2013, contains a prohibition against this form of development based on the unique topography and settlement patterns of our town, our 10 years of research and knowledge and the support of the majority of our residents and property owners.”
Companies designing projects to bring clean electricity to southern New England say they’re grateful Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have finally made a request for proposals to carry that power to the region. But meeting the region’s longer-term goal of expanding the use of renewable electricity from wind, solar and hydroelectricity will require more transmission capacity than the states requested, said Edward Krapels, the CEO of Anbaric Transmission, which is proposing one project in Maine and another Vermont.
Dubie said the FAA’s notice “speaks for itself,” and said that as an airline pilot, the letter “absolutely” raises concerns in his mind. He said he had spoken to a regional director of the FAA who told him the turbines could interfere with radar communications.
The vast building and subsidizing of renewable energy facilities throughout Vermont will not affect climate change. ...By following these policies we will not pass on to the next generation a Vermont that is one iota cooler or more stable than it otherwise would be. It will be, however, uglier, less accessible, more expensive, and harder to find a job. Talk about a call to burn down the village in order to save it!
According to a Notice of Presumed Hazard posted on the FAA’s website, the 499-foot-tall wind turbines proposed for Rocky Ridge in Swanton would have “an adverse physical or electromagnetic interference effect upon navigable airspace or air navigation facilities.” The structures exceed federal obstruction standards and therefore are “presumed to be a hazard to air navigation,” the notice states. The blades of the turbines would degrade radar used by Boston Center to regulate air traffic across New England states, New York and part of Pennsylvania.
Joel Clark, vice chair of the Swanton Selectboard, told Vermont Watchdog the vote “certainly will send a message to the Legislature that there should be some local control.” He said Swanton’s zoning standards don’t allow for developments of that size, adding that the Public Service Board’s process for approving renewable energy is outdated.
On Tuesday, town residents will meet at the Village Municipal Complex to vote on two articles pertaining to the siting of seven wind turbines on nearby Rocky Ridge. ...While the special election is days away, the winds are blowing strongly against the wind developers.
Two weeks after a developer came to town to disclose details of what would be Vermont’s largest wind-turbine site, the project’s opponents presented an impassioned case against building any wind farms in Stiles Brook Forest.
In a wide-ranging meeting, Grafton residents gathered Monday to discuss everything from possible health effects of wind turbines on surrounding residents to suggested economic benefits of cutting taxes with yearly payments from wind companies. But what much of the discussion boiled down to is a Vermont town’s inability to have any control over industrial wind projects.
Washington -- Aggressive energy efficiency efforts and new distributed generation capacity -- virtually all of it in the form of solar projects -- are combining to put a lid on growth in peak demand and electric use in New England, ISO New England said in its newly released 2015 Regional System Plan.