Articles from Vermont
Despite the platitudes of its corporate and government backers, industrial wind has not reduced Vermont's carbon emissions. Its intermittent nature makes it dependent on gas-fired power plants that inefficiently ramp up and down with the vicissitudes of the wind. Worse, it has been exposed as a Renewable Energy Credit shell game that disguises and enables the burning of fossil fuels elsewhere.
We would love to find solutions to get our southern neighbors the juice they need without destroying our pristine forests." Vermont already imports around a quarter of its electricity from Hydro-Quebec, and is exploring strengthening its connection with the Canadian utility.
"I’m not going to say it’s a fair settlement, because of the pain and suffering the Nelsons went through … but it’s a settlement that enables them to move on with their lives," said Smith. "It is filled with heartbreak, but it was necessary."
GMP and the Nelsons announced the settlement early Monday morning in separate statements. The deal ends a court battle that has been percolating in Orleans Superior Court in Newport City since GMP began blasting rock for the mountaintop wind project three years ago.
GMP's settlement "represents just the latest in the series of unanticipated costs" from the wind project that will be passed on to consumers "who are weary of hearing about the cost-effectiveness of wind-generated electricity," Whitworth stated.
Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, who worked with the Nelsons in their opposition, said the Nelsons tried unsuccessfully to find another use for their property once the turbines were built. “Green Mountain Power’s robbed it of its value,” she said. “There’s really no alternative.” Smith said the Nelsons offered to sell the property to Green Mountain Power and then have it donated to nearby Sterling College, but the utility declined.
The Nelsons typify the Vermont dream of working hard, paying taxes and minding one's own business. "Now, we have to add, and be forced off your property by a foreign-owned corporation," the organization said, referring to the fact that GMP's corporate parent is Canadian. "Yes, they were paid for that property, but money runs a poor second to beauty, peace, quiet and a love for your land."
In response to a six-state strategy to bring more clean power to the region, a Massachusetts transmission company said it wants to bury a transmission line under Lake Champlain to connect industrial wind power in New York to a Burlington substation.
How can it be said that these large-scale wind facilities are benign? Many people have complained about headaches, nausea, lack of restful sleep, heart problems, tinnitus, etc. The complaints have been ignored, hidden, dismissed and/or marked confidential.
The request-for-proposals is expected to be issued by the New England States Committee on Electricity, a nonprofit organization that represents the governors on regional electricity issues. Maine’s representative on the committee, Public Utilities Commission Chairman Thomas Welch, said on Monday that it was too early to know what shape the RFP would take, and when it would be issued.
A workshop focused on how to draft reports that are easier to understand is scheduled, with the understanding that it "will not be a forum for discussion of the sound standard applicable to the project" or the methodology that GMP is using to study noise, the board stated.
The Agency of Natural Resources says it needs more money to keep up with the growth of renewable energy projects in Vermont. Without hiring new staff, the agency said the process of approving new electric generation facilities could take longer. Distributed solar, biomass and wind projects have been on the rise in the state. The workload for the agency has increased fourfold as funding and staffing remain stagnant, according to Billy Coster, senior planner and policy analyst for the Agency of Natural Resources.
Opponents of a Northeast Kingdom wind project have asked the Vermont Supreme Court to overturn a permit to install test towers on Seneca Mountain. Their arguments center around balloons and aesthetics. In their annual session at the Vermont Law School, justices heard arguments involving a Public Service Board decision to allow a wind developer to erect four test towers.
industrial solar,” he told the committee. The committee passed a bill Friday designed to lump solar projects into the same zoning process as other commercial development. Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, introduced S.191 this year. The bill is not designed to stop solar projects, said committee Chair Bob Hartwell, D-Bennington. But lawmakers say something must be done to balance the state’s renewable energy goals with the state’s bucolic landscape, which includes giving towns a voice in deciding where solar projects are located.
Members of the Senate Finance Committee proposed several amendments, including what some say was a moratorium on wind - a debate that began after Green Mountain Power constructed a 21-turbine wind project in Lowell, which the town supports. "We should not be destroying our ridgelines and dividing our communities for and economic development program that the surrounding communities don't want," said Sen. Peter Galbraith, D-Windham.
This commentary is by Melodie McLane, who is a neighbor of the Georgia Mountain Community Wind project.
Brouha said Monday afternoon that he filed the request on Friday with the PSB in Montpelier. Brouha said the company is not complying with noise standards established as a condition of their permit by the PSB, and he wants whatever changes it takes to ensure that continued operation will be in compliance. Brouha said solutions could include shutting down some of the wind towers, repositioning some of the structures.
The [wind] issue has sharply divided the town, with many residents opposed to the development for various reasons and think it could have a devastating impact on Grafton. Two such people include Sam Battaglino and Skip Lisle, who are running to unseat Selectboard Chairman Al Sands and member Gus Plummer, respectively. The vote, by Australian ballot, will be held Tuesday. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
McCafferty said there are multiple problems with wind farms -- such as the aesthetics and the noise associated with them. "People don't come to Vermont to look at wind farms and they don't come to Vermont to hear a lot of noise. So, these are direct impacts on the values," McCafferty said. Before the crowd departed for the night, Wright gave them one last message.
Geoff Goll, the principal engineer of Princeton Hydro, Exton, Pa., said that it is very difficult to control stormwater runoff from steep terrain, and he said that the measures currently being employed often don’t work. He said roads and trails would need to be built to the turbine sites themselves, creating impervious surfaces, which increases runoff and pollution. The Lowell Mountain wind project created 27 acres of impervious land, and total disturbance of the mountain totalled 135 acres.