Articles filed under General from Vermont
The Vermont Public Utilities Commission now says a wind turbine project in northern Vermont must explain its economic impact and whether it fits into the state’s energy plan.
The state Public Utility Commission issued an order this week reversing a May decision to hold off on reviewing site-specific criteria for the project until the body determined how the electricity it generates would impact the already overburdened northern tier of the state’s electrical grid, called the SHEI. The new order means the PUC can now schedule project hearings that had previously been delayed.
The Dairy Air Wind project, a single 2.2 megawatt turbine to be installed at a dairy farm in the state’s far northeast corner, won a state contract in July 2016 to supply renewable power to the New England power grid. Since then, the landscape for wind development has shifted significantly, with a pro-wind governor retiring and being replaced by a candidate who partly ran on a campaign against large wind turbines.
After years of fighting, Ron Holland has breathed a sigh of relief after the Kidder Hill Community Wind project was canceled. That means he won’t see turbines go up behind his home in Irasburg.
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.