Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Vermont
The principal problem with the Iberdrola proposal is that it involves not one but 15 structures, each of which is far higher than the Bennington Battle Monument: 389 feet high to the tip of the blade. These would be not on a promontory but on top of a prominent ridgeline and would be seen for many miles and lighted at night for aviation safety.
A new state commission has begun to wade into the contentious debate over where Vermont builds energy projects. Critics say the state's ridgelines are at risk from industrial-scale wind development. But the panel will confine its review to the permitting process and will not examine the state's overall goals for renewable energy.
Vermonters for a Clean Environment (VCE), along with the Wilderness Society and Defenders of Wildlife, are trying to block the plan. VCE recently filed a motion for summary judgment in US District Court, claiming the project planning did not correctly carry out evaluation processes required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Another commission. Can't have enough of those, can we? If there is a thorny problem or a contentious issue to be dealt with, then round up the usual experts, give them a few months to conduct hearings and otherwise do their research, then deliver a study, complete with recommendations that the politicians elected to do the people's business can then hide behind.
"The problem I have with wind in particular is it's being done wrong in this state. You don't rape a pristine environment in exchange for intermittent power that has to be subsidized by the taxpayer to be built and by the ratepayer in order to be maintained," said Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia County.
Green Mountain Power is putting up a number of turbines that will generate power to thousands of homes on Lowell Mountain in Vermont. It's a project Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott supported, but was taken back by it during a recent bike trip. ...Now he wants the state to put a two-year moratorium on any new projects.
The below letter sent to the Vermont Public Service Board describes a significant flooding event in the vicinity the Lowell wind energy facility under construction.
In short, ridgeline wind is extremely destructive relative to the energy it provides, it is not cost effective and likely will never be, it does not have good overall resource potential in this region, and there are much better alternatives that do have a good cost and resource outlook.
He is concerned that the storm water controls are insufficient and poorly designed for the area due to its steep slopes and for other reasons. He, like others, questions whether or not the site impacted nearby water quality near and if the storm caused a larger volume of water at the base of the mountain due to the run-off.
The complaint was filed as a new violation complaint online on April 16, the 4-page document shows. The reported violation is stated as occurring at Hawk Rock, where the wind farm wants to site one of the meteorological towers associated with its hoped-for wind project, and the violation also is stated to have allegedly taken place at Quarry Road.
Champlain Wind Park is a figment of Annette Smith's imagination, created to suggest that Chittenden County residents should consider what it would mean to have windmills - 450 feet high to the top of their turning blades - in their backyard.
Environmental concerns around the sites in Brighton and Ferdinand where a New Hampshire wind project developer is seeking to place meteorological towers have the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources suggesting a limit on when the sites can be disturbed.
Wright captured the bird's-eye view of the development from between 500 and 1000 feet above the construction site, where GMP is rushing to complete the wind project by the end of the calendar year. Wright finds himself on one side of a fierce debate over wind power in Vermont that pits environmentalists worried about habitat destruction against environmentalists worried about renewable energy.
Recently I hiked up to the top of Lowell Ridge to see where 21, 400-foot wind towers will be placed. As I crested the mountain I came face to face with an energy policy that is at war with itself. The environmental destruction taking place there pits those seeking to reverse climate change against those who wish to preserve Vermont's pristine natural resources.
The town says that the forest clearing and earth moving necessary for the construction of the project could have a substantial adverse impact on soil and water quality, and create an increased risk of flooding. "As proposed, the Deerfield Wind Project may result in increased flood risk."
For years environmentalist fought ski areas over putting one lift up to a summit for thousands of skiers and riders to enjoy. Now some of these same environmentalists support desecrating entire ridge lines with heavy-duty roadways and giant wind turbines towering 400 to 450-feet with wing spans greater than a 747. I do not get it. How do these big white erections pass as "green"?
"The permit decision violates federal laws on numerous grounds - conflict of interest, failure to independently evaluate noise and aesthetics, the impacts of blasting and the impacts to groundwater, the changed circumstance regarding bats, and the degradation of the neighboring George D. Aiken Wilderness, to name a few."
The irony of fighting global warming by destroying an untrammeled mountaintop can't be ignored. To me, it sounds suspiciously like the Vietnam-era fallacy that you have to destroy the village in order to save it. ...We need a more thoughtful way to make those choices when mountaintops are involved. Vermont's mountain summits are too precious a resource to be made a pawn in the alternative energy game.
According to an email from Deputy Secretary Christopher Recchia "(the agency) did not see a way of overcoming these resource obstacles, as there is no opportunity for nearby off site compensation that could maintain the connectivity goal, not to mention the steep hurdle of the natural communities on the site."
Lifting the existing moratorium - or simply ignoring it - would be a radical change in state policy ...Ending the wind development moratorium without clear rationale and rock-solid protections for our most-precious Vermont landscapes would be a significant step in the wrong direction.