Library from 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.
HOLLAND — Voters and property owners overwhelmingly oppose a proposed industrial-sized wind turbine planned for Dairy Air Farm.
Dairy Air Wind, a company owned by renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf, filed notice Monday of the intent to apply in 45 days for permission to erect an industrial-sized wind turbine on Dairy Air Farm.
It certainly wasn’t the biggest story to come out of last Tuesday’s election, but it was an important one nonetheless.
The two small windmills are subject of an investigation by the Vermont Public Service Board into whether Blittersdorf put them where he said he would. A neighbor has complained to the board that one turbine is too close to his cabin.
“This is David Blittersdorf and company, VERA (Vermont Environmental Research Associates), attempting to market wind power to Connecticut for no benefit to Vermont,” said Smith. “Why Blittersdorf is just fanning the flames of opposition and just infuriating people more, I don’t understand it.”
Although it cannot be stated definitively that wind energy was the deciding factor in Scott’s win over Minter, it is abundantly obvious that wind has been one of the most divisive issues in the state.
In Vermont, an ill wind blows for a once promising source of renewable energy. Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott was clear during the campaign: He wants to halt further development of wind turbine towers on Vermont’s widely beloved mountain ridges.
The two towns’ rejection of Iberdrola Renewables’ 24-turbine project was specific to that proposal — so much so that the company’s name was included in the ballot question. Iberdrola immediately pledged to stop work at Stiles Brook in the wake of Tuesday’s advisory vote. But spokesman Paul Copleman couldn’t rule out the possibility that his company could offer its substantial development work to a different developer.
In order to build the project, mountainous terrain must be blasted and graded to develop the roads to provide access of trucks and cranes to these high elevations. The natural hydrology is interrupted and redirected, with tens of acres of imperious cover created. To compensate for this change in the natural runoff patterns the Stiles Brook project would contain upwards of 50 plus structural storm water management facilities that would require maintenance in perpetuity. If these systems fail due to insufficient design or construction, lack of maintenance or poor siting, storm water runoff from the site will increase significantly.
The voters in Windham and Grafton said a loud “no” on Tuesday to the 24-turbine Stiles Brook wind energy project. Spanish renewable energy developer Iberdrola says it will honor the votes. ...
"As we've indicated, we plan to cease development of the project unless the communities at some point contemplate reconsidering their decision," Iberdrola spokesman Paul Copleman said.
(Editor’s note: VTDigger founder Anne Galloway writes about the heated debate over the proposed Stiles Brook Wind Project.)