Library filed under Energy Policy from Vermont
Where is the governor? He ought to lay his cards on the table for all of Vermont to see.
Will they demonstrate that remote ridgelines in the Northeast Kingdom are to be sacrificed to commercial wind development -- and that only a few souls way up north who have lost their peaceful retreat to strobe-lighted industrial monoliths will complain?
Vermonters must decide if it is worth destroying their exquisite mountains for symbolism -- because the giant wind turbines being proposed for the ridgelines won't produce much power.
We cannot lose sight of Vermont's distinctive place in the world with its open spaces and gorgeous vistas. It is up to us to continue the legacy. Real jobs, real lives depend on it.
Almost 70 years ago, Vermonters decided man's hand did not need to be evident everywhere. Remember that spirit now as this state considers allowing wind turbines on ridgelines.
Everyone probably agrees with the fundamental goal of the legislation -- to protect Vermont's fragile environment by increasing the use of clean energy. But before lawmakers rush into mandates, they must ensure the measure doesn't inadvertently harm the economy or the landscape.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Comments to FERC by the New England Conference of Public Utility Commissions and the Vermont Department of Public Service
Operating reports on the 11 turbine Searsburg, Vermont Wind plant. The development report (Dec 1997) and the third year operating report (Dec 2000) are available at as downloads. The first year operating report (Dec 1998) is available at the web link.