Documents from Vermont
Londonderry (VT) resident, Hugh Kemper, wrote this paper to alert fellow residents to the probable impact on Londonderry's character and the quality of residents' lives of a proposed 27 turbine wind plant along 3.5 miles of Glebe Mountain's ridgeline. The paper argues that industrial wind energy is, at best, a symbolic gesture to halting climate change and a financial windfall for developers while the costs to Londonderry's environment, economy and quality-of-life are significant.
Eric Rosenbloom's list of the current industrial-scale wind projects targeted for Vermont. Note the huge leap in size from the existing Searsburg facility that we are all urged to go see and love and consequently love as well the new very much larger facilities being planned.
If you really want to cut energy consumption, reduce pollution, improve public health and protect our environment, it’s time to contact your elected officials, educate them about the lessons of Denmark, Germany and elsewhere, and tell them you want tougher energy efficiency measures instead of wind power plants. Otherwise, in the next few years, you’ll be looking at wind turbines in some of your favorite places, with the knowledge that they’re doing little more than funneling your tax dollars to a few lucky corporations and landowners, and away from better solutions.
This plan serves to help guide utilities in their own planning activities by establishing a standard of planning and analysis for utilities.
Eric Rosenbloom's weblog focusing on wind power issues.
I was asked to review the prefiled testimony and exhibits of Matthew Rubin for the East Haven Windfarm and to provide an independent opinion regarding the claimed environmental benefits, estimated benefit values, project footprint and noise impacts and general wind project economic issues.
To help guide our own internal policy on wind energy, VNRC has developed a list of criteria that we feel is appropriate to consider for wind energy development. These criteria are not exclusive to state owned land, but rather focus on developing a vision for siting wind energy infrastructure in Vermont. We have included specific considerations for State lands as well. The goal is to integrate the need to develop new in-state sources of renewable energy with protection of existing environmental values and public policy goals.
Dr. Terry Matilsky, Associate Professor of physics and astronomy at Rutgers University, addresses ice throws on behalf of the Kingdom Commons Group's opposition to the proposed East Haven Windfarm.
...additional radar studies would be required to see if spring migration patterns are different than those measured in the fall. Typically spring migration is shorter than fall migration with fewer numbers in the shorter period of time. How this will affect the numbers of birds passing through the rotor swept volume is unknown. It is important to determine the seasonal timing, altitude and numbers of migrant birds passing over the proposed project site and the effects of weather upon their passage over a greater part of the whole year. In addition, it is possible to determine some of the bird and bat species passing through the project site by accoustical sensors to determine which species, that make vocal calls, are migrating through the site.
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.
It is noteworthy that this study does not answer the basic question of how wind turbines affect property values. George Sterzinger, executive director of REPP, admitted as much in response to critics who stressed that the study contains no proof that wind farms were the reason for the changes in property values: “ We have no idea”…noting REPP did not have enough time or money to answer that question. (Cape Cod Times 6/20/03).
I have reviewed Beacon Hill’s two reports, i.e. 'Free But Costly: An Economic Analysis of A Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound" (March 2004) and ‘Blowing in the Wind' (October 2003) which focused primarily on tourism and property values. The complete reports are available from www.beaconhill.org. The following consists of two parts. Part I addresses some key findings as well as some thoughts on methodology. Part II focuses on what may or may not be applicable to Glebe.
This presentation indicates that for New England the increasing demand for summer-time electricity is greater and increasing faster than winter-time demand. The fast-rising need for power in summer will likely result in construction of new power plants to keep ahead of demand - although inland industrial wind plants will not be able to contribute much to this demand period due to their very low capacity factor during summer months.
"The biggest blackout in history on August 14, 2003 brought all economic activity in the northeastern United States to a halt. At 4:11pm EST, the sudden plunge into darkness was a reminder of just how much we depend on energy for much of our activities. Thirty years earlier, another energy shock – the 1973 OPEC oil embargo – provided a more protracted lesson in the importance of energy to our overall well-being. The recommendations in this Plan all stem from the fundamental importance of energy to the State’s economy and the well-being of its citizens. Because energy – especially electricity – remains a fundamental driver of the VT economy, competitively priced energy continues to be vital, since differentials in energy costs can be a determinant in relative competitiveness of one region over another. The disparity between the average electric rates Vermont’s residential and business customers pay, and the average rates paid by customers in the U.S. as a whole, has steadily increased. In 1990, Vermont’s residential electric rates were about 15 percent higher than the U.S. average, commercial rates were about 20 percent higher, and industrial rates were some 35 percent higher than the U.S. average. Today, that disparity has grown to about 50 percent for all three classes"....
Eric Rosenbloom's comments on a report written by Eleanor Tillinghast on the poor performance of Vermont's Searsburg wind project. An environmental advocate in southwest Massachusetts, Ms. Tillinghast's report was published in The Caledonian-Record of St. Johnsbury (Vt) on December 17, 2003 but, unfortunately, is not available on line.
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.
Comments to FERC by the New England Conference of Public Utility Commissions and the Vermont Department of Public Service
A summary of the outcomes reached at four wookshops during February, March, April and May in 2002 that were held in an effort to build consensus on various criteria for siting wind energy projects in Vermont. This paper is available by clicking on the download link.
This paper by landscape architect Jean Vissering addresses siting guidelines for both utility scale wind plants and smaller scale wind turbines.
Jean Vissering's more extensive summary than "Wind Turbine Siting Issues in Vermont" of the workshops held in 2002 at Woodbury College to build a consensus on criteria for siting wind energy projects in Vermont.