Library from Vermont
A public information meeting on wind power will be held at Grafton Congregational Church and Chapel, Main Street, on Monday, Nov. 26, at 6 p.m. Organized by Friends of Grafton's Heritage, this is the first public information meeting in Grafton about the Stiles Brook Wind Project, a proposed large-scale industrial wind farm.
We in New Hampshire will pay the price of having our scenic mountains covered in wind turbines while most of the profits go to an out-of-state developer and its investors. If you agree that New Hampshire's Lakes Region should be preserved, send a letter to your legislator today. There are already three industrial wind farms in operation now with another three under development in New Hampshire
Two senators - a Democrat and a Republican - are pushing for a three-year moratorium on large-scale wind development in Vermont, and Republican House leaders support similar legislation. But the measure may be stopped fast in its tracks when it slams into House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morrisville, and the wall of Democrats at his back.
Dozens of others also claimed to have heard the loud whooshing sounds from the blades throughout the weekend. Thirty-three neighbors submitted a petition to the Department of Public Service, claiming the noise was "horrendous" even with only half the turbines running.
The five commission members, whose report is due in April, are trying to keep their sessions inclusive of all forms of energy generation and focused on the Public Service Board process. But at the commission's first two meetings, the audience has been dominated by supporters and opponents of wind energy development.
Hallquist said it just makes sense to focus on the real causes of Vermont's carbon production -- oil and gasoline -- than burn so much political energy battling over wind and solar energy. Both are much higher in cost than the market rates for electricity today, and both carry a high cost in dividing communities that would otherwise be supportive of a less-intrusive energy source like geothermal, Hallquist said.
The majority of Windham residents are adamantly against the proposal but Grafton has been neutral on the issue for some time. ...Kissel told the Reformer the Friends of Grafton's Heritage are opposed to the idea for several reasons.
There are thousands of wind opposition groups all over the world. The story is the same everywhere. The audible noise and inaudible low frequency and infrasound are driving people from their homes. People do not abandon their homes for no reason. Noise from these big machines can extend three to six miles in mountainous terrain, with residents within 2 miles most at risk.
"I thought at first they were testing the F-35 fighter, roaring right over the mountain," said Mr. Potter, who estimates that he lives between a mile and a half and two miles from the turbines. "It sounded like a jet airplane over there," said Frank Coulter, a town selectman who lives three miles east of the turbines on the Center Hill Road. A half mile further east in Albany Center, David Lawrence said: "It was like a jet plane all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
The signatures represent about 17 households, all of them east of Lowell Mountain. Nelson said the wind on Saturday and Sunday was blowing from the northwest. The signers include the chairman and one member of the Albany Selectboard. At Green Mountain Power, spokeswoman Dotty Schnure said the utility had received one complaint related to the weekend noise.
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.
The developer is challenging the applicability of the amended Newark Town Plan as the PSB reviews the MET tower application for the one station planned for Newark. An attorney for the Vermont Department of Public Service has told the PSB that the amended Newark Town Plan should be relied on in the decision, since the developer had not properly notified all abutters and there was a stay on the CPG application.
This week, when confronting criticisms about industrial wind's assault of Vermont's mountains, he lashed out at critics, calling them "the committee against virtually everything." Vermont needs an urgent and informed debate for dealing with climate change. Yet it is hard to have such a discussion when Vermonters who adopt views contrary to the governor's are dismissed with an imperial wave of the hand.
While the commission was asked to include all kinds of energy generation projects in its review, it is wind turbines that have caused the most widespread controversy in Vermont. Although three commercial projects have been built, and a third is under construction, there has been rising opposition in towns where new projects have been proposed.
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).
Judge Martin Maley has denied the request by the Lowell six wind opponents for acquittal of the jury conviction against them for trespassing or for dismissal of the charges. Maley's ruling Friday means that the Lowell six protesters will have to appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court to see their convictions overturned.
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has issued the first permit of its kind for a wind project in the state allowing a small number of fatalities of endangered bats, which could collide with the turbine blades or be affected by the pressure changes created by the rotating turbines.
This is not the end of the hearing process. The PSB is still considering appeals over the stormwater runoff plans and water quality plans. The opponents said they will appeal. Green Mountain Power wants to have all of its 459-foot-tall turbines on the ridgeline operating by year's end to secure $44 million in federal production tax credits.
Newark residents voted 169-59 last month to amend their town plan to oppose "industrial scale generation and transmission facilities" in the community. The amendments also barred commercial structures taller than 125 feet, which would rule out Eolian's wind-measuring tower.