Articles filed under General from Vermont
An economic committee in Grafton has analyzed supposed benefits of the Stiles Brook Wind Project and concluded that many residents will see no tax benefits, but ones that do typically have properties assessed at $300,000 or above.
Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos says he’s “greatly concerned” about a turbine developer’s monetary offer to registered voters in Windham and Grafton. Though the Vermont Attorney General’s office has said Iberdrola Renewables’ proposed “direct partnership payments” don’t violate election law, Condos asserts that the developer is “pushing the envelope in an attempt to influence the vote.”
Developers are demanding that residents who want a say in the Public Service Board hearings on the Swanton Wind Project be given two weeks to decide whether they will participate.
Windham Town Treasurer Peter Chamberlain has told the Windham Select Board that while Iberdrola’s latest offer, presented on Oct. 4, totals $1 million, most of it will not be available for the town to decide how to use.
In the latest VPR poll, 67 percent say they “somewhat” or “completely” trust the Public Service Board, a three-member panel that issues state permits for energy projects. But in a second poll question, only 12 percent say the PSB should have the final say on where wind power generators are placed.
NEVER FOR OR AGAINST’: State Sen. David Zuckerman, the Vermont Democratic Party nominee for lieutenant governor, told residents living near the Rocky Ridge Wind Project that he hasn’t made up his mind about it.
At its meeting on Oct. 13, the Planning Commission continued its work developing a map to indicate areas within the town requiring more extensive impact evaluation prior to the establishment of solar or wind energy facilities. This was in response to a request by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission for a map that will be included, perhaps with modifications, in a countywide renewable energy siting plan to be submitted to the Vermont Public Service Board.
The debate over siting renewable energy projects has become one of the major policy contrasts between the gubernatorial candidates. The Republican candidate, Phil Scott, says he would stop ridgeline wind development, and he wants to give towns more say over where turbines are built.
Residents living near the Deerfield Wind project site off Route 8 are bracing for construction-related blasting, which is scheduled to begin this week.
Dairy Air Wind has filed an application for a certificate of public good to raise a wind measurement tower on a dairy farm on School Road.
On Monday evening, the Holland Select Board stated that the board will site safety, health issues, aesthetics and property values when challenging the “met” tower application. Others are concerned about ice throw from the blades of the wind turbine, which would be located not far from School Road.
Increasingly, local concerns on wind have threatened to slow the advance of wind power. Solar developments also provoke local opposition from time to time, but the danger posed to pristine environments by solar projects has not been as acute as the danger from wind projects. Sensing that the wind was blowing against them, Iberdrola has decided to pay off the voters. That is an astonishing corruption of the democratic process.
For many residents, the increased financial benefits don’t outweigh their original concerns. Residents have long been concerned with potential noise, visibility, flood and water contamination caused by the critical placement of towers on the primary runoff path to the valley’s watershed.
The company says it will reveal changes to the plan in Grafton at a special meeting Wednesday. Full-time Windham residents will vote on the project on Election Day.
“Everybody knows that we’re against this project,” said selectboard member Dan Billado during the board’s Tuesday meeting. “I think we as a board should continue to let the public know that we’re against this.”
Iberdrola will disclose revisions at public meetings in Windham and Grafton
LAKESIDE SOLAR: Residents of Morgan, Vermont, are pushing back against a 500-megawatt solar array to be built along Seymour Lake. While a handful of communities are busy fighting industrial wind-turbine projects, the town of Morgan is doing battle with the Public Service Board over a five-acre field of solar panels.
Neighbor Complains That Turbine On Kidder Hill Is Not Sited Correctly IRASBURG — Renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf swears that he did everything right when he applied for permission to put up two small wind turbines on Kidder Hill, contrary to what his neighbor says.
The select board voted Wednesday to oppose a tower to measure wind speeds for an industrial wind turbine planned on Dairy Air Farm. The board is expected to seek to become an intervenor in the state review process of the meteorological or “met” tower.
In a surprising change, the Grafton Select Board now believes it may be able to hold a formal, binding vote of registered voters on the proposed Iberdrola wind project to coincide with the presidential election — Tuesday, Nov. 8. The Spanish wind company is proposing to construct 28, 500-foot wind turbines on land in Windham and Grafton in what would be the largest industrial wind farm in Vermont.