Library from Vermont
Big Wind has a big public relations problem. A new WCAX poll shows public support for wind plummeting from 66 percent in 2013 to 50 percent now.
Out of 653 registered voters, half of those asked were in favor moving forward with wind power development. 41% favor a moratorium for a few years to allow for further study.
The circular logic of REC market fundamentals would have low REC pricing jeopardizing future development. As renewable energy project profit margins get squeezed, fewer projects will be built and forward REC prices would rebound as forward supply tightens.The worry is that offshore wind projects could break this self-correcting market logic in the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL).
What about renewables? For many reasons, renewable build-out is not happening very quickly. As of last year, less than 10 percent of Vermont’s in-state electricity generation was by renewables, not counting hydro. Also, renewables are generally paired with natural gas (gas-fired plants are turned on when the wind dies down or the sun sets). So renewables are not going to be much help right now.
The plan for a $1.2 billion, privately financed New England Clean Power Line was presented at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. TDI depicted the project as a “green” technology that would benefit Vermont’s tax base, spur economic growth with reduced energy costs, and diversify the state’s energy sources.
The Sheffield Board of Civil Authority voted Wednesday evening not to reduce the assessed value of a Sheffield property owner's homestead, located next door to a Sheffield industrial wind farm.
In a letter dated Thursday, Karen Tyler, an attorney with the Burlington law firm of Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel and Hand PLLC states, “SMW (Seneca Mountain Wind) no longer plans to either pursue its MET Tower project at a later date, or seek permission from the Board to transfer the CPG to another person or entity.”
Only when we experienced the noise firsthand, did we begin to understand and wonder just what we were facing. About six months in we realized the project is impacting us. We started connecting the sounds with how we feel. Hardly believed it was true until we started reading up on wind turbine syndrome. The same symptoms are echoed world wide!
“There’s a very simple rule. If a utility or a competitive power supplier is going to make green claims or renewable claims about the content of the energy that is sold to their customers that utility must retire the renewable energy credits in enough supply to back up those claims.”
In a petition filed with the Federal Trade Commission, a group of Vermont residents says the utility is “misleading and harming Vermont electricity consumers” by marketing renewable power to Vermonters and also selling credits for the renewable energy to out-of-state power suppliers.
Parenteau and the petitioners don’t deny that GMP has constructed significant renewable energy projects. But they say the utility is selling so-called “credits” for that green power to high-paying customers out of state – mainly utilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The stuff Vermonters are paying for? Parenteau says it’s the dirty “brown” energy produced by coal, gas and nuclear plants elsewhere on the New England grid.
Vermont citizens filed this petition with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate deceptive trade practices of Green Mountain Power (GMP), a Vermont utility. The complaint focuses on GMP marketing of renewable energy to Vermont consumers. The petition was filed by the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School.
"They are selling the renewable energy credits to customers in other states. Those customers have the renewable and clean energy benefits of that power," Levine said. "Simply using accounting measures to make claims about clean energy doesn't get us there."
Before deliberating, the BCA in attendance agreed they should visit the Therrien property, preferably when the wind is blowing and the turbines are turning, to see firsthand the proximity of the towers to the property and to experience any disturbances created by the towers.
There are better ways to reduce Vermont's production of green house gases than industrial-sized wind turbines on ridgelines that cause controversy and overburden the Northeast Kingdom's transmission lines. That's one of the recommendations out of a wind study done for the Northeastern Vermont Development Association that took three years of research.
Big Wind, and the renewable industrial complex generally, has mounted a frantic lobbying campaign to get Congress to pass the “extender” bill to revive the expired provisions to enable more Big Wind money making.
"Would I favor wind development on ridge tops in Windham? Absolutely not," he said. "Our ridgelines have very important purposes -- for environmental matters, for health matters, for water-quality matters. They’ve always been considered to be an important part of our infrastructure in the state."
Vermont electric customers could be on the hook for the cost of out-of-state transmission projects as the result of a federal court decision Friday.
“What were they thinking?” when New England’s state energy planners backed building 25-cent-per-kilowatt-hour wind projects while opposing reliable, existing, low-cost generators like Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
A combination of factors — the end of federal stimulus money, uncertain reauthorization of federal incentives, difficulties in connecting to the grid, competition with solar and local opposition — have shelved at least two projects and left three others lying dormant.