Library from Vermont
Town officials say they may not meet a developer-imposed deadline to vote on the controversial Stiles Brook Wind Project proposal.
Facing the prospect of having seven 499-foot industrial turbines built on their prized Rocky Ridge hillside, local residents stood with Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Scott to declare opposition to the project.
Second home owners in Windham say they will hold their own referendum on a proposed commercial wind project, even though the project developer has refused to consider their votes.
The Department of Public Service wants Vermonters to make sacrifices to meet the state’s ambitious alternative energy goals. Giving up some rural landscapes for solar arrays, sharing cars and driving less, and generally using less cheap oil and gas are all in order if the state has any hope of achieving 90 percent renewable energy usage by 2050.
The debate over giving towns a say over poorly sited renewable energy projects is beginning to affect the gubernatorial race, as a mega-wind project proposed for Windham and Grafton is set to affect the largest number of homes of any wind project in Vermont.
The issue of sound, and its effects on neighboring property owners, has become the brightest flashpoint in the wind-energy debate. And opponents of ridgeline turbines, like Rodgers, hope data from the state-funded sound-monitoring equipment will bolster their case.
The stage is set for a vote that could have big implications for the town of Windham’s landscape and for the wind industry in Vermont. ...While Vermont towns don’t have statutory veto power over such projects, Stiles Brook developer Iberdrola Renewables says it won’t move forward if residents in Windham and neighboring Grafton reject the proposal.
We've done our research. We've learned that wind energy does not reduce carbon emissions. Those claims are false. Wind energy projects destroy natural resources. Many environmentalists have raised concerns about destruction of otherwise undisturbed areas and the deaths of birds and bats.
Pilette says Vermont's new energy siting law gives towns a say in where renewable energy projects can be built if the towns have updated town plans. Grafton is working on its town plan, and so Pilette says the board doesn't want to hold a vote until the plan is in place.
A lobbying and communications firm that works with a high-profile wind developer in Vermont has formed a wind energy advocacy group. Alexandra MacLean registered Wind Works VT ...would not say whether Iberdrola was one of the contributors.
Maine’s quest to become a leader in wind power – producing enough megawatts to light up more than a million homes – has gotten pushback from rural residents who say they want a greater voice in proposals that now bypass them and go directly to the state for review.
Brouha and his attorney, Denise Anderson, had contended that it had been proven on the record that the company’s permit conditions were violated already, but the state has decided to order further testing in the matter, in a recent order.
The Therriens abandoned their home in 2014 after living there for two decades because they said the sound and vibrations from the power plant were causing sleepless nights and health problems. When the property recently went up for tax sale, Energize Vermont seized the opportunity to pay off the family’s back taxes and made an agreement to use the property for research purposes.
Windham officials have refused to negotiate with Iberdrola, on the advice of the town’s attorney, Robert Fisher of Brattleboro, according to Seawright. To enter into negotiations would send the message that the town has endorsed the project, he said. He said he expected Iberdrola to make a last-minute proposal directly to Windham residents just before the Nov. 8 vote.
The Public Service Board, which should have the word “public” removed from it, came out with their new temporary standards on industrial wind turbine noise standards. Shocked, I guess I shouldn’t be; angry, you bet I am.
"So this is yet again a political decision not based on good process, not based on good science and is yet another bit of evidence of how the wind industry has corrupted our regulatory process."
Smith said the runoff trouble was predicted by a team of 10 concerned Vermonters, including water quality experts and lawyers ...“At the end of each meeting, the people we met with told us there was massive political pressure (to approve the Lowell project),” she said. “During the meeting they told us we were raising good issues, and that they would look carefully at them and get back to us. Well they never got back to us and then the permits went out.”
Depositions began last week in the case over whether wind developer David Blittersdorf violated state regulations by putting up a wind test tower on his Kidder Hill property without a certificate of public good.
Wind critics noticed the group’s ads in July and disputed the accuracy of its claim that wind power will reduce dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Just 1 percent of the state’s energy mix comes from oil, said Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, which opposes wind projects.
Of course, the backlash against Big Wind in Vermont and elsewhere isn’t the story the American Wind Energy Association and its myriad minions in the left-wing media are pushing. Annette Smith, the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, a small nonprofit group that has been active in the state’s energy-project-siting battles for 17 years, told me “The pro-wind lobby is mad that wind energy has become a high-profile issue,” in the gubernatorial race. “They want to keep this all hidden.”