Documents filed under Zoning/Planning from Vermont
This Docket concerns a proposal by UPC Vermont Wind, LLC ("UPC", "Petitioner", or "Applicant") for a 16-turbine, 40 megawatt wind generation facility in Sheffield, Vermont (the "Project").
In order for the Public Service Board to concur with UPC's conclusion that the UPC proposed wind turbine project will not unduly interfere with orderly growth in the region, the Board must ignore the overwhelming, consistent and corroborating evidence in this recored that the vast majority of the citizens of the Northeast Kingdom are opposed to large-scale, industrial-sized commercial wind development.
This paper examines Vermont Public Interest Research Group’s (VPIRG) assertion that by 2015 industrial wind turbines on 8.8% (or 46 miles) of Vermont’s ridgelines above 2500 feet could provide 20% of Vermont’s electricity needs. (1) The examination compares VPIRG’s proposal- which is predicated on Vermont’s average electricity consumption- with the utility industry’s standard for measuring wind energy’s contribution to system reliability and peak demand. i.e. its capacity credit. This measurement concludes that for wind energy to provide the reliable generating capacity to meet 20% of Vermont’s peak demand industrial wind turbines would require 44% - 88% (or 226-451 miles) of Vermont’s ridgeline above 2500’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Background and Purpose: Vermont’s energy needs are growing while its future energy sources remain uncertain. At the same time, Agency lands are under ever-increasing pressure to serve more uses and needs. Part of meeting Vermont’s future energy needs will likely involve development of additional renewable energy sources in Vermont. The role of Agency of Natural Resource (ANR) lands in accommodating wind energy and other renewable energy projects has been the subject of recent public debate and is the focus of this policy.
Under Vermont's two-part Quechee test, a determination must first be made as to whether a proposed project will have an adverse impact on aesthetics and the scenic and natural beauty of an area because it would not be in harmony with its surroundings. If the answer is in the affirmative, the inquiry then advances to the second prong to determine if the adverse impact would be undue.