Documents from Vermont
Part of the Department's ongoing mission is to provide the public with up-to-date information regarding Vermont's utilities. Utility Facts furthers this mission, providing utility data as it becomes available in an easy to access format. The report is divided into four sections, (electricity, gas, telecommunications and water) each of which contains tables, charts and references.
Below are two Phase I Avian Risk Assessments reports, prepared by Paul Kerlinger, for Vermont's East Haven Wind Farm (July 2003) and New Hampshire's Lempster Mountain Wind Power Project (June 2005). Phase I assessments have proven inadequate in assessing mortality at several sites in the U.S. including Mountaineer in West Virginia and Meyersdale in Pennsylvania. The US Fish and Wildlife Interim Wind/Wildlife Guidelines calls for multi-year evaluation of avian and bat activity using remote sensing.
The purpose of Mr. Ide’s testimony is to present the Department’s overall recommendations with respect to the petitioner’s request for a Certificate of Public Good (“CPG”) under 30 V.S.A. § 248, including specific recommendations on a number of criteria found in 30 V.S.A. § 248(b). In places, he will be incorporating or relying on the work and testimony of other Department witnesses Editor's Note: The complete testimony (attached) is a worthwhile read. Selected Q & A's appear below.
Vermont regional commissions are responsible for updating their respective 'plans' every five years. The Windham Regional Commission (WRC), comprised of representatives from the 27 towns in Windham County, submitted a draft of its updated plan for public comment in late June 2006. Given the prevailing public concerns regarding energy, the energy section of WRC's draft plan was of particular interest. Specifically, the Glebe Mountain Group, an incorporated non-profit organization that has been actively engaged in protecting Glebe Mountain from industrialization, felt is was imperative that industrial wind generation projects not be encouraged or accorded any presumption that they serve the public good. The Glebe Mountain Group's comments on the plan are attached as is the original 'draft' WRC plan. Some of the specific comments related to wind energy are extracted below as is the conclusion. These comments were fully endorsed by The Friends of Glebe Mountain, an unincorporated 100% volunteer group comprised of residents of and non-resident property owners in the towns of Londonderry and Windham.
ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED by the Public Service Board of the State of Vermont that: 1. The findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Hearing Officer are hereby adopted, as modified above. 2. The proposed Project will not promote the public good of the State of Vermont, and a certificate of public good shall not be issued pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 248. Dated at Montpelier, Vermont, this 17th day of July , 2006.
This technical report was prepared for the Vermont Department of Public Service (VDPS) by GDS Associates, Inc and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Editor's Note: The complete report and accompanying power point presentation are available below.
Renewable energy sources have disadvantages as well as advantages, however. Although their costs have decreased in recent years, many renewables are still more costly than traditional sources. Some are also available only intermittently; for example, wind can be variable and hydroelectric is seasonal. And while many people are in favor of renewables in principle, many are also unhappy when faced with the prospect of a windmill or a trash-burning power plant in their neighborhood. These facilities face the same siting and investment difficulties that any electrical facility would, as the developers of a proposed wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod have discovered in recent years.
The Town of Londonderry, Vermont (the “Town”) Planning Commission (the “LPC”), hereby submits its recommendation to the Public Service Board (the “Board” or “PSB”), pursuant to Vt. Stats. Ann. Tit. 30, § 248(f), with respect to the petition or application for a Certificate of Public Good filed or to be filed by Glebe Mountain Wind Energy, LLC (or any affiliated entity) for an industrial wind turbine electric generating facility and associated transmission lines to be located on Glebe Mountain, in Londonderry and Windham, Vermont.
The attached pdf files contain the responses of four parties to the Vermont Public Service Board with respect to the Hearing Officer's recommendation to not issue a Certificate of Public Good for the proposed East Haven wind plant. The first two from Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources and the Kingdom Commons Group support the Hearing Officer's recommendation. The remaining two from the Conservation Law Foundation and Vermont's Department of Public Service do not.
For the reasons set forth.., I conclude that the proposed Project will not promote the general good of the state. Therefore, I recommend that the Board not issue a Certificate of Public Good for the proposed Project. However, if the Board does issue a CPG, I recommend that it include the conditions outlined in this Proposal for Decision.
...the MEA Report can be used to estimate the value (avoided emissions) of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) by providing both REC suppliers and stakeholders with information that can be used to communicate the environmental benefits of RECs and works to enhance the overall REC marketplace. Editor's Note: As noted below under Methodology [emphasis added], this report appears to substantiate the point that wind energy would not backdown "baseload" generation.
Approximately 125 people attended the hearing, 40 of whom spoke to the issue. Twenty-seven speakers identified themselves as opposed to the project, 13 in favor. One hundred eighty six written comments were received, 146 opposing the project and 40 supporting it.
The attached pdf file compares the size of the proposed 2.5MW turbine for Glebe Mountain with a two story house, the Statue of Liberty, the 1.5MW turbine originally proposed and the Bennington Monument.
The ridgelines, once developed, are likely to remain developed as can so well be seen by the justification for the East Mountain and Little Mt. Equinox proposals: because the roads are already there. Roads are the principal harbingers of development. Once put in, and at great cost, it will be argued, even after the turbines are no long needed, that they be used for something else. We are talking about exchanging something priceless that should go to our children and grandchildren for the short term gain of something that can be had by other means. It is a matter of relative value and to me and many others, the ridgelines are priceless. It think most Vermonters, once they open their eyes to what is about to happen and realize the value of what they are about to lose, will agree.
Contact informtion for Governor Douglas, the Vermont Public Service Board as well as state representatives and senators for the communities affected by the proposed wind plant on Glebe Mountain, Londonderry, Vermont.
The wind turbine array will be located within a 1200 foot wide Project corridor that extends approximately 3.7 miles along the Glebe Mountain ridge. Editor's Note: The cover letter is provided below. The pdf file provides an overview of the proposed project. Photos of the preliminary site plan and the overall facilities plan follow the cover letter. Both are also available in NWW's photo gallery.
There is no question in this proceeding that EMDC bears the burden of proof with regard to each of the criteria for a Certificate of Public Good ("CPG") under 30 V.S.A. Section 248. See In Re: Petition of Tom Halnon, 174 Vt 514; 811A. 2d 161, (August 20, 2002); Petition of Vermont Gas Systems, Inc., Docket No. 5314 at p.17 (August 2, 1989); Petition of Champlain Pipeline Company, Docket No. 5300 at p. 32-33 (August 21, 1989); Petition of David and Jan Blittersdorf, CPG NM-11 at p. 3 (May 26, 2000). ("The Board has consistently held in cases under Section 248 that the burden of proof is on the applicant.")
The Windham Regional Commission asked the District Environmental Commission if the proposed commercial wind energy development on Glebe Mountain requires an an Act 250 amendment as well as a permit under Section 248 (30 V.S.A Section 248). Act 250 is designed to protect Vermont's ridgelines above 2500'. Section 248 authorizes the Public Service Board to issue 'Certificates of Public Good' for electricity generating projects. The District Environmental Commission concluded that construction of the wind measurement towers and the proposed wind energy project represent material and substantial changes to existing Act 250 permits and thus require an amendment.
Eric Rosenbloom, a resident of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, addresses why wind power does not live up to advocates' claims, why its impact on the environment and people's lives is far from benign and how money invested in wind energy could be better spent.
Culminating three years of study, the Planning Commission of Londonderry (VT) revised Londonderry's Town Plan to prohibit industrial wind turbines on Glebe Mountain. The revised Town Plan was submitted to the Londonderry Select Board on August 30, 2005 and approved by the Select Board on October 5, 2005. Included here are selected themes and extracts from Londonderry's Town Plan.