Library from Vermont
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.
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.
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.
National Geographic research suggests, according to Tourtellot, that tourists are increasingly seeking unspoiled views, cultural arts, local crafts, specialty cuisine and original architecture. As the character and authenticity of more and more heretofore pristine travel destinations is spoiled by development, Vermont should be well positioned to tap this lucrative and growing market- if Vermont preserves its unspoiled character.
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.
And, while I agree with Mr. Shutkin that wind power, as a source of clean and renewable energy, should and will play a role in our future energy portfolio, its role will necessarily be small because of its fundamental limitation as an energy source: wind power is ‘intermittent’, i.e. it provides energy only when the wind blows, and, as such, wind power is a source of supplemental, not ‘base load’ energy.
Vermont must move in a measured, thoughtful way as it considers the potential and pitfalls of wind power.
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.
A NIMBY, of course, is the ultimate pejorative as it suggests we’re hypocrites, i.e. individuals who are for a ‘good thing’ in principle (in this instance wind power as a source of clean and renewable energy) but not if it comes to our neighborhood.
In Vermont, wind power will not dependably replace any of the conventional power generating systems currently employed. It will, however, convert the only remaining quasi-pristine natural areas in Vermont into stony mesas with high-tech whirligigs as monuments to our collective gullibility.
The tone and substance of your 3/27 editorial ‘Wind must be part of energy mix’ suggests you, as is true of many Vermonters, have been simply co-opted by wind power advocates with little or no homework done on what impact industrial wind power would have on Vermont’s environment, economy and quality of life.
While Vermonters are reasonably familiar with the benefits of industrial wind turbines, we have not done our homework on the impact of their construction on our environment, economy and quality-of-life.
This letter replies to Putney resident John Berkowitz's letter entitled "Vermont can benefit from wind power," which appeared in the Manchester Journal on March 12 [click here]. Mr. Berkowitz argues against a three-year moratorium on wind power in Vermont and in favor of wind power because it will (1) help Vermont and America stop and reduce global warming, (2) help our economy by providing construction and permanent jobs, (3) help secure our energy future, and (4) help our wildlife. Finally, Mr. Berkowitz urges us "to learn more about the issue."
The threat to Vermont posed by industrial wind power is real. Our cause is just. We will prevail. After all, it is simply common sense.
At first gust, wind power sounds like an environmentalist's dream. An endless supply of clean, renewable energy that will help reduce pollution and lower dependence on greenhouse- gas belching power plants and radioactive-waste generating nuclear facilities.
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.