Articles from Vermont
According to Blittersdorf, whose business stands to profit handsomely from the 25 megawatts of new renewable power generation required each year for the foreseeable future, Vermonters can expect to see solar and wind farms everywhere across the state. His industry plans to install 6,000 megawatts of solar capacity and 3,000 megawatts of wind to meet Vermont’s goals — a sharp increase from the roughly 100 megawatts of renewable energy generation today.
“He’s been flying under the radar, collecting data, without the public being told about it for years now. We’ve missed an opportunity to object and to prepare for what is coming. To me, should be like a trial. If evidence is gathered illegally, he shouldn’t be allowed to use it. He should have to start over from square one.”
Travis and Ashley Belisle plan to erect seven wind turbines on Rocky Ridge, a mile-long slope that they own in Swanton near the St. Albans Town line. ...Belisle’s project ran into strong headwinds right out of the gate when a planned, informative meeting left many of his neighbor’s angry and hurt.
His neighbors, including those in a nine-house development that Belisle built, aren’t so sure seven whirring turbines are the right thing for them. “It terrifies us,” said Christine Lang. ...She and other residents said they’ve heard about complaints that neighbors of other wind projects have had about noise and flickering shadows.
GRAFTON — The wind was blowing in an ironic fashion on Tuesday.
The closing days of this legislative session saw several senators try to give town and regional commissions a stronger voice in land use decisions by introducing an amendment to H.40, a new bill focused on energy policy. The goal of the amendment was to replace the tepid requirement that the board give “due consideration” to town and regional plans with a requirement for “substantial deference.” ...both Sens who represent Windham, Grafton and Townshend — the towns now facing a proposal to install up to 30 industrial wind turbines on their shared ridgelines — voted to deny their constituents even this modest statutory standing.
The bill, H.40, would resolve that concern, allowing utilities to continue earning about $50 million in revenue from the sale of RECs. The bill repeals Vermont’s current incentive program, known as SPEED, and for the first time sets mandatory renewable energy targets. Double counting would not be allowed. This is similar to energy policies in all other New England states.
Despite goals that require the growth of new renewable energy projects, towns and advocates say lawmakers have not taken up meaningful legislation on how and where to better build solar and wind projects. Hallquist said the state may need to revisit its renewable energy goals if communities continue to push back against renewable energy developments.
Roughly three years ago, a landowner and developer announced plans to explore the feasibility of a commercial wind-turbine project on a large, forested tract in the towns of Windham and Grafton.
Towns would have more regulatory authority over solar energy projects under a proposal in the Senate. The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee added a provision to the state’s renewable energy bill, H.40, that allows towns to adopt bylaws requiring solar developers to comply with setback and screening requirements.
Wind projects take longer to develop than solar, and they can face stiff opposition from the public. And experts say the federal tax credits that are keeping the solar industry on track have been uncertain for wind developers for some time.
"So, what did we decide. Did we want to bring the rifle ... or not?" says Forrest Hammond.
RESET will continue SPEED’s tradition of unintended consequences. It will affect the Vermont economy for decades. RESET’s Tiers 1 and 2 will impose renewable electricity requirements on utilities without reforming the destructive and abusive siting practices that have turned so many Vermonters against state government.
More than 100 people turned out for a Vermont Statehouse hearing Tuesday on growing concern that the state's push to build renewable energy is causing aesthetic and other environmental problems.
Key Vermont lawmakers are saying that with about six weeks to go in the this year's Statehouse session, it's likely legislation to retool the way Vermont sites solar, wind and other renewable energy projects will take until next year to see action.
The Vermont Statehouse debate over solar energy was devisive as lawmakers weigh further investment versus preservation of the state's natural beauty. Also up for debate was how the Public Service Board decides if a project is in the "public good." While some Vermonters hope for local control, others sounded off on keeping restrictions to more development at a minimum.
In its zeal to approve every single telecommunications tower and renewable energy project in the state, the PSB is fabricating its own interpretations of the law regardless of the standards of the local community and it is allowing the scenic beauty of Vermont – that was so carefully protected over so many years – to become degraded.
In a long-awaited draft ruling, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority found Vermont’s renewable energy credits are acceptable despite some claims that Vermont RECs are “double counted.” The credits represent the environmental attributes of electricity generated from renewables such as wind and solar.
The overall bill, H.40, establishes new standards for renewable energy in Vermont, requiring that by 2032, 75 percent of electricity sold in the state come from such sources as wind, solar and biomass. Much of the bill found broad support, because it would avert an estimated 6 percent increase in electric rates expected as Vermont utilities struggle to sell renewable energy credits to neighbors with different standards.
The Vermont House has advanced a wide-ranging bill that pushes utilities beyond electricity to help customers save on heat and could resolve criticism that the current state program to promote renewable energy double-counts its results.