Library from Vermont
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.
In the following interview, Vermont Electric Cooperative CEO Dave Hallquist explains why Vermont’s green energy agenda appears to be dead on arrival in the northern part of the state.
The group drummed outside the rally, advocating against a recently proposed wind turbine project in Swanton. They want lawmakers to re-evaluate the pace and size of the renewable energy projects popping up across Vermont. Specifically, the group believes people and families living near the sites of these projects are being overlooked in the development.
The department then filed documents Oct. 14 saying that the department “recommends that the board initiate an investigation in response” to Brouha’s concerns, and that the department is “unable to enforce the project noise conditions as currently written with sufficient certainty to make objective determinations of CPG compliance.”
An outsider might have felt the tug of sweet nostalgia. Unfortunately, many of the locals felt patronized, shut down and dismissed, as they are forced to struggle with the most serious problem the town as ever faced.
On July 1, 2014, Acentech performed the same measurements at Mr. Brouha’s home as in the NPC Report. More than 15 months later, on October 14, 2015, the DPS filed with the PSB its long-awaited report from Acentech, with comments from DPS Special Counsel Aaron Kisicki (802)-828-3785, finding the NPC Report correctly establishes the interior noise levels at Mr. Brouha’s home are greater than 30 dBA (Leq)(1). According to Acentech’s report, it is reasonable to conclude the interior noise levels at Mr. Brouha’s home exceeded the CPG noise standard by as much as 14% of the time.
Debate continues to swirl around how well wind project developers monitor the sound their turbines produce. One pending investigation into possible noise violations focuses on towers atop a ridge in Sheffield.
Former Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, who was a strong proponent of wind power during his government service, is now speaking out on behalf of residents concerned about the noise generated by turbines in Sheffield and a potential installation in Swanton.
Iberdrola is proposing a 96-Megawatt wind project that will cover 5,000 acres of property through the Stiles Brook Forest ...During the meeting, Iberdrola representatives explained where the project is in the time line, where it is headed and what benefits will be brought to the local economy. Briot said a proposal will be available to the public by fall 2016.
But additional large-scale projects, including solar and wind, would pose problems for the electrical grid, according to Shumlin. “They build it before they think clearly and they can’t get it distributed to the folks who need it,” the governor said. “If you build projects of that size — the grid was not set up to be able to maximize the use of that power.”
NO BENEFIT: Renewable energy requirements in Vermont will lead to the construction of more wind farms in the state, but it may have no impact on the nation’s carbon footprint.
At the first public hearing for Vermont’s updated energy plan, audience members criticized the siting of wind and solar projects, and the plan’s policy expert told Vermont Watchdog going completely green will have no impact on global warming.
New England’s most populous states are looking to tap Canadian dams and rivers for more of their electricity, a change that officials say would help cut greenhouse-gas emissions and help keep some of the nation’s highest power prices in check.
Christina Lang,of Swanton, said her home would be 2,000 feet from the turbine blades which she said "would make noise constantly." "We're sad, and we're hurt, and yes, we are upset that this has been going on so long," added Sally Collopy, of Fairfield. "Nobody listens, and nobody cares and we're fed up with it. We're fed up."
Sally Collopy and Penny Dubie, the wife of former Lt Gov Brian Dubie, were among the protesters in front of the conference center holding signs opposing wind turbine construction on ridgelines. In Swanton, there is a proposal for a project with seven 499-foot tall turbines. “It just makes no sense at all,” said Collopy, holding a sign that said “We are victims of industrial wind.”
"We don't see how this project fits in," said Mary Powell, chief executive officer of the state's largest electric company, Green Mountain Power. "We are in really good shape for our customers with wind." Ditto Vermont Electric Cooperative, the state's second-largest utility. According to director of government affairs Andrea Cohen, VEC has no plans to buy new wind-generated energy. Nor does the Burlington Electric Department.
On Thursday night hundreds of people packed into the Irasburg Town Hall to tell renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf they don't want his industrial wind towers in their town. Out of 285 voters, 274 said "NO" to wind development in town.
In a stinging rebuke of Vermont’s most prominent wind developer, Irasburg residents packed Town Hall Thursday night and voted 274-9 against hosting giant wind turbines on a nearby ridgeline in sight of local neighborhoods. ...Additional time was taken in hopes of locating the project’s developer, David Blittersdorf, who was widely expected to make a presentation defending his project. Once it became apparent he was a no-show the Selectboard proceeded with a vote.
“The Northeast Kingdom has become the dumping ground for every ill-conceived, poorly sited renewable energy project the developers can dream up,” Rodgers said in a news release. “Environmental and energy issues are real, but we know that there are far more effective ways to address them without ruining the quality of life that defines us as Vermonters.”