Library from Vermont
Critics of industrial-scale wind farms say the Vermont Public Service Board’s new sound standards are a step in the right direction but ultimately may not help Vermonters. “On the surface it is a big improvement over the current standard, and over the first draft, but there will be more public process, and the industry will fight against what I view as still inadequate to address all the issues,” said Annette Smith, director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
The Public Service Board has issued its draft rules on wind turbine sound that, if adopted, would put much stronger restrictions on wind development in the state.
Swanton Wind sought to have GMP buy power from the planned wind farm under prices established through PURPA; however, the pricing regime Swanton Wind applied under expired in September, 2016. Green Mountain Power fought that effort, saying that Swanton Wind filed its application too late. The Public Service Board agreed,
“The Vermont Air National Guard is a big deal and they are responsible for keeping us safe,” said Christine Lang, a resident who would be one of the project’s immediate neighbors. “If wind towers are going to affect their ability to train and keep us safe, then that’s a concern.”
The VTNG’s motion outlines three core concerns motivating its opposition to Swanton Wind — basically, that the project “will significantly and negatively impact the operations of [the VTNG] rotary wing flights in the Northern Champlain Valley.”
This commentary is by Dustin Lang, of Swanton, who lives adjacent to the proposed Swanton Wind project.
SWANTON — For more than four hours Thursday night, opponents of Swanton Wind got a chance to question the team behind the project.
“Vermont cannot afford to have its rates skyrocket in the name of renewable energy,” Ethan Allen Institute President Rob Roper told Vermont Watchdog. ...In a commentary posted on EAI’s website, Roper calls S.51 the “Let’s Destroy the Economy Bill” and raises an important question:
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Annette Smith, of Danby, who is the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
“The PSB has sent us a clear message that we may as well stop filing complaints when GMCW is in violation,” said Melodie McLane, who issued the complaint.
Blomberg’s presentation was most clear when it was most simple, never more so than when he presented a list of six problems with industrial wind noise and six ostensibly simple solutions. Blomberg’s list stated regulatory techniques for wind turbine sound are too complicated, and suggested using setbacks, a mandatory distance between any industrial wind project and a homeowner’s house or even property line, and metrics based on maximum sound outputs rather than average sound outputs.
The Windaction Group wishes to congratulate Ms. Smith for being recognized for her tireless advocacy. Her good works extend well beyond Vermont.
The siting of industrial wind projects could be a key issue during the 2017 legislative session, because Gov.-elect Phil Scott wants lawmakers to enact a two-year moratorium on all large, ridgeline wind proposals.
Election Day was bleak for the future of ridgeline wind power in Vermont. The outcome of local, state and national voting signaled a vote of no confidence in the growth of utility-scale wind power in the Green Mountain State.
The Northeastern Vermont Development Association is under the gun to adapt its regional energy plan to meet new standards so towns have a say over siting energy projects.
Green energy projects are often said to be cost-effective, but one of the financial aids that makes them viable has lost significant value, and appears to be on the verge of collapsing.
At a meeting Friday in the Capitol Plaza Hotel, Stephen Ambrose, a sound consultant and member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, argued that sound levels permitted in Vermont are too high and are causing sleeplessness, distress and other health-related symptoms.
At a special hearing Thursday, representatives from Georgia Mountain Wind appeared before the Vermont Public Service Board to appeal a ruling that wind turbines have violated noise and weather-related specifications listed in the project’s certificate of public good.
As Vermont races to become the nation’s first all-green-energy state, reports that municipalities are reaching the goal may be overblown.
The Holland Planning Commission and about 100 people, including some close neighbors, are seeking status to challenge a proposed wind measurement tower for the Dairy Air Wind project on School Road.