Library from Vermont
This photo essay, compiled by Peak Keepers of Vermont's Mountains, is dedicated to all animal species, large and small, that rely on the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, for their home habitat, for their water, their food and social interaction. They have no say in our world. They cannot decide to tear apart a mountain for their own good. For them there is no such thing as global warming or green energy. And excerpt of the essay is provided below. The full photo essay can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
No matter what you think of industrial wind power, the financial proposal that Eolian Renewable Energy has come up with in Essex County doesn't smell too good. In fact, it reeks of desperation. ...Property owners (over 400) in, and residents (roughly 40) of, the Unified Towns and Gores (UTG) would receive an annual check of $922 if the plan is approved. That's not public money; it's a personal check -- $922 in each landowner's pocket.
When the project was first announced, Lorusso said he was in favor of it, believing it to be clean, renewable and sustainable energy -- a view that changed once construction got underway. "It is not clean," he said. "They blasted. There were swamps there. There were the beautiful trees, the wildlife. It's a hard thing because I have not been able to get to terms with what was taken from me." Since the turbines have been put up, Lorusso said a significant amount of the wildlife has since left the area.
A wind turbine blade struck by lightning this summer on the Lowell ridgeline will be lowered to the ground for repairs early next week. ...The blade will remain on the ground over Thanksgiving holiday while the new finish is curing and then will be reinstalled on the tower.
“Everyone who gets a tax bill is going to get a vote,” said John Soininen, [Eolian] project manager. But not everyone agreed. “I’ve never heard of anything voted on in this state before where we let out-of-state landowners vote on town issues,” said state Sen. John Rodgers.
The issue is whether ratepayers across the region should foot the bill for power lines needed for southern New England. The debate has pitted Vermont against some of the more populated states to our south. Southern New England – in particular Massachusetts and Connecticut – needs more renewable generation to meet their clean-energy mandates.
Seneca Mountain wind developers stuck their head in the lion’s den here Monday night, and the lion roared back.
The developer of a major wind project in the Green Mountain National Forest has been unable to reach an agreement to sell the power it would produce. The project’s state permit is contingent on a long term power purchase agreement with a Vermont utility.
"We think that it is likely there will be significant additional transmission investment needed to maintain reliability and improve access to these clean, intermittent power sources," Lee Olivier, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in an earnings call Friday. "But it is too early to estimate how much that additional investment will be and exactly when it will occur."
PSNH has maintained that running underground transmission lines would make Northern Pass economically unfeasible. But critics said TDI New England's proposal not only disproves that claim, but could place Northern Pass out of the bidding since New England Clean Power Link would provide comparable energy to the New England market — without the community and political opposition Northern Pass has engendered.
The Caledonia County Democratic Committee recently passed a resolution seeking to have the State Democratic Committee call on the Vermont State Legislature and Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin to re-evaluate the state's energy policy and, in particular, protect areas of high elevation from wind development projects.
"We all support renewable energy, but it must be built in conformance with the existing standards intended to prevent stormwater pollution of our pristine streams. We cannot trade a wind project for our water quality. Our water is everything -- our wells, our water supply for fire fighting, our high elevation streams, our wetlands, our rivers. We cannot let our water be compromised so Gaz Metro and their cronies can make a buck."
In one case, as reported in the Sunday Free Press, the value of property was decreased by a whopping $50,000 from a price of nearly $410,000 because of proximity to a wind turbine. A homeowner saw a $700 reduction in the annual tax bill. Now that’s real cash gained because of financial harm — bona fide or perceived, it doesn’t matter. Though in terms of reducing enjoyment of property because of noise, altered views or flicking lights, this change is not exactly a favorable return on investment.
Horn said she is not suggesting that towns have veto power over the board’s decisions, but she does want the statute’s language changed to give towns an effective voice in the process. Communities have become concerned over the permitting process because of the impact some energy generation projects, such as the 21-turbine wind project on Lowell Mountain, have on the surrounding landscape.
When Melodie McLane of Georgia used to drive by the wind turbines in Clinton, N.Y., she says, she always looked at them with wondrous curiosity. But now, after four industrial wind towers were built near her home on Georgia Mountain Road, she dreads them. 'I had no idea it would be this bad,' she says, describing a constant noise she says makes it hard to sleep or go outside.
The department wants GMP to pay a penalty for several noise violations last winter that came from selected monitoring of four areas around the turbines. The department wants the PSB to enforce a $56,000 penalty against GMP to be used to do continuous monitoring. GMP at first resisted the idea of continuous monitoring, but then said it would research the idea.
Yet, countryside residents from Vermont to Massachusetts, and elsewhere, now claim not only environmental degradation but personal health problems from the imposing wind towers, which fans praise as emblematic of America’s clean energy future. Mike Nelson, of Albany, Vt., told WCAX-TV last November the resulting noise from the wind tower installments had cost him lost sleep and that neighbors were reporting headaches, symptoms of so-called “wind turbine syndrome.”
“If you get it wrong, bad things happen,” Nicholas Miller, a senior director at General Electric’s energy consulting arm, said about developing the grid in accordance with renewable energy growth. “Germany didn’t see 20 Gigawatts with a ‘G’ (of solar) coming in in 24 months. They got their interconnection rules wrong … and it’s costing them a quarter of a billion dollars to put the genie back into the bottle.”
The members unanimously agreed that the sound of the turbines-- any sound-- was enough. "It's a noise that's a constant sort of noise. I once described it as if you're on a coastline and way off in the distance, there's a freighter going by and you hear the engine going-- chug, chug, chug. That's the kind of noise that you experience," Vickers explained.
Minimum Generation Emergencies generally occur during temperate nights, when power demand is at an annual low. Blomberg said that when this happens, the first generators to be called off are those outside the region. The next generators ISO calls off are the “self-schedulers.” These are the generators that bid into the market at their leisure. Most, if not all, of New England’s renewable energy generators fall into this category of power producers because renewable power less predictable. ...It would be almost impossible for a renewable energy producer to participate in the day-ahead market because the risk is too high.