Articles filed under General from Vermont
One of Vermont's renewable energy pioneers is giving up on his home state — at least for now. David Blittersdorf, founder of Williston-based AllEarth Renewables, is set to announce Wednesday that he is abandoning the Kidder Hill Community Wind project, a two-turbine installation in Lowell and Irasburg. Furthermore, Blittersdorf said he is not pursuing any more wind or solar projects in Vermont.
“There are contracts in place with the utilities under various previous programs that, as you say, we are paying more than perhaps you could buy the energy for elsewhere,” he said.
Green Mountain Power suffered “several millions” of dollars of lost revenue over the past 18 months because northern Vermont’s electrical grid isn’t robust enough, the company’s director of power planning said Thursday.
Swanton Wind’s developers are not getting the project’s $100,000 Public Utility Commission (PUC) filing fee back, nor are participants in the PUC’s review process getting their legal expenditures returned. But if Swanton Wind’s developers file a new application in the future, those participants may again argue they’re eligible for compensation.
READSBORO — The controversial Deerfield Wind project that took over 10 years and $7.5 million to complete is now generating power, but regional data shows that renewables are not producing as much energy in these cold winter months as some might have hoped.
“This is a sad day for many Vermonters and people who care about wildlife and value the importance of wilderness,” said Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, which mounted a court challenge over impacts on the nearby George D. Aiken Wilderness Area. Smith and other opponents of commercial-size wind projects also protested the Deerfield Wind groundbreaking ceremony in September 2016.
“When it comes to energy development in Vermont, the industrial wind industry leads the “old way” pack. Wind operators and developers have been living off federal subsidies since the early 1990s and have been wreaking havoc in Vermont for just as long. It’s time to boot them out of the state…”
Backers of a planned seven-turbine wind energy project in Swanton said this week they’re withdrawing their application for a state permit. A combination of factors led to the decision, said Nick Charyk, a spokesman for the Swanton Wind project, who characterized this as “a pause, not a halt.”
The Belisle family has shelved plans for a proposed wind project in Swanton, citing tax and regulatory risks, a spokesman said.
“Many people believe that if Irasburg opposes industrial wind development on the Kidder Hill ridgeline, the developer could simply move the towers a few feet to the Lowell side of the town line,” Warner said. “However, the towers would have to move nearly a mile away from Irasburg before our town would lose its participation in the siting decision. The Legislature included that provision in Act 174 precisely for situations like this.”
The Public Utility Commission has opened an investigation into blasting that was conducted at the Deerfield Wind project.
The Vermont Public Utilities Commission on Thursday refused to reconsider its rejection of the petition for a certificate of public good for Kidder Hill Wind, a two wind turbine project in Irasburg and/or Lowell, saying the application is incomplete without a study of how the project will impact the electric grid.
Dairy Air Wind was given until August 3 to answer the commission’s questions about the location of the MET tower and exactly when it was put up. But instead, on that day, it took the tower down.
Regional electric utility and grid operators say they are being forced to curtail power sources and that new development may not be possible due to energy grid saturation in northern Vermont.
The town of Charlotte and the Agency of Natural Resources opposed the project in proceedings before the Public Utility Commission (formerly the Public Service Board). The regulatory body agreed the array would detract from the view from Mount Philo. The aesthetics of energy projects are one of the criteria that can trigger a review by the commission.
State regulators have dealt a blow to a proposed wind energy project on Kidder Hill in Irasburg and Lowell.
Seven 499-foot turbines proposed for Rocky Ridge may be the first major energy project in the state to face stringent scrutiny via the approval process of the newly configured Public Service Board. The board, which will change its name to the Vermont Public Utility Commission starting Saturday, issued an order to Swanton Wind on June 22 that sets a higher standard of public accountability.
Reached by phone Friday, Shea, who has been a vocal opponent of the project, said he was "not too surprised" by the board's decision, saying, "They seem to favor developers over residents." He said he remains concerned about the effects of heavy construction vehicles like rollers and large loaders he says have "been running up and down the road [Route 8] repeatedly."
Gov. Phil Scott has chosen Anthony Roisman, a private attorney with years of experience in nuclear energy and toxic waste litigation, to lead the Vermont Public Service Board.
This commentary is by Dustin Lang, of Swanton, who lives adjacent to the proposed Swanton Wind project.