Library filed under Zoning/Planning
SHEFFIELD -- UPC Vermont Wind brought out its big guns Thursday night to present the company's development plans to the Sheffield Planning Commission.
The final legal barrier to building the Awhitu Wind Farm has now been removed following the withdrawal of an appeal to the High Court.
READSBORO — Officials from the two towns most affected by a proposed wind facility met on Wednesday night to discuss the economic impacts of a 30-turbine development. The Readsboro and Searsburg Select Boards met in the Central School gym to discuss the financial benefits and strains that can be expected by a town hosting a wind farm. Robert Ide of the Vermont Department of Public Service attended, as did about 10 residents. Searsburg is now the home of the state's only existing commercial wind facility. There are 11 turbines producing about 6 megawatts of electricity. A 30- to 45-megawatt plant with 20 to 30 new turbines has been proposed for ridgelines spanning both Readsboro and Searsburg.
The idea has been brought up in just about every county in the Stateline. Wednesday night in Ogle County members of the public were invited to come up and voice their opinions to the zoning board of appeals. The room was packed with concerned citizens, so much so that some were forced to listen to testimony from the hallway. Every person that stood up to talk was against the proposed wind farm.
Ground is broken for the first substantial wind turbine in the state. It is expected to go on line in March and will provide enough electricity to power about half of Portsmouth Abbey's campus.
How should wind turbine use in Michigan be governed: at the state or local level?
The proposed Cape Cod wind farm may face another hurdle because of a defense bill passed by the Senate yesterday that calls for government to study whether the windmills interfere with military radar. The proposed 130-turbine park, to be built in Nantucket Sound, is near a missile defense surveillance system.
Dr. Lee Allison, director of the science and energy policy office for Governor Kathleen Sebelius, presented information on a topic that is circulating much controversy these days in McPherson County -- wind energy.
BELVIDERE — Supporters of a proposed wind farm that was rejected by the Boone County Board last month are challenging the county’s decision in court.
ATV park, new prison and WIND TURBINES!
"..I urge MMS to wait until it establishes guidelines to all offshore wind projects before it acts upon an individual project, such as Cape Wind. In my opinion, the review of this project at this time would make little sense and would undermine the goal of developing comprehensive guidelines that establish the specific criteria for reviewing such projects, including those that specifically protect the interests of any state affected by the project.
Virginia local governments would lose zoning and land-use authority over designated sites for wind farms, nuclear plants and other low-emission energy facilities under a proposal being studied by a legislative panel.
At an open house in Fisherville, concerning wind farms, a representative of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture said farmers can easily sell themselves short or even lose their property if they enter into bad agreements for the use of their land.
Rose Bacon, member of the Governor's Energy Task Force and a rancher who owns property in the Flint Hills, spoke about the vulnerability of communities facing proposals from international companies that want to build commercial wind farms in rural areas. She pointed to the lack of “teeth” in regulations, and the attractive tax write-offs granted to wind energy companies, and the inexperience of local officials in dealing with such monstrous deals, depicting a state-wide scenario akin to the “wildcatter days in the oil business.”
The Hawley Wind Study Committee was established by town meeting vote and was directed to issue a report to the selectmen. Interested citizens were asked to submit a letter of interest to selectmen who then selected the committee. The committee first examined potential positive financial benefits to the town. Community based wind development was explored for a piece of town-owned land with the assistance of the UMass Renewable Energy Resource Lab. The committee determined that development of the site was not feasible. Lengthily discussions on the associated various negative impacts of wind plants followed. It was determined that our current bylaws would not require any form of local review to minimize these impacts. A report outlining the above was provided to the selectmen concluding that the appropriate course of action was to establish a wind power bylaw.
The purposes of this wind-generated energy production facilities section are to: A. Protect the scenic, historic, environmental, and natural or man-made resources of the community without prohibiting alternative energy technologies to be developed. B. Provide standards and requirements for regulation, placement, construction, monitoring, design, modification and removal of wind facilities. C. Provide a procedural basis for action within a reasonable period of time for request for authorization to place, construct, operate, or modify wind facilities. D. Preserve property values. E. Locate wind facilities so that they do not have negative impacts such as, but not limited to, attractive nuisance, noise, falling objects, general safety, welfare and quality of life, wildlife and the environment in the community. F. Require owners of wind facilities to configure them so as to minimize and mitigate the adverse impact of the wind facilities.
There is no question in this proceeding that EMDC bears the burden of proof with regard to each of the criteria for a Certificate of Public Good ("CPG") under 30 V.S.A. Section 248. See In Re: Petition of Tom Halnon, 174 Vt 514; 811A. 2d 161, (August 20, 2002); Petition of Vermont Gas Systems, Inc., Docket No. 5314 at p.17 (August 2, 1989); Petition of Champlain Pipeline Company, Docket No. 5300 at p. 32-33 (August 21, 1989); Petition of David and Jan Blittersdorf, CPG NM-11 at p. 3 (May 26, 2000). ("The Board has consistently held in cases under Section 248 that the burden of proof is on the applicant.")
"It's important that people realize the scope of them, the number and the size," (Gov.) Douglas said. "We need to slow down. This is a very important decision."
A Massachusetts wind developer has met his match in the Northeast Kingdom, where people are rallying against his plan to industrialize their ridgeline with massive turbines.
The Windham Regional Commission asked the District Environmental Commission if the proposed commercial wind energy development on Glebe Mountain requires an an Act 250 amendment as well as a permit under Section 248 (30 V.S.A Section 248). Act 250 is designed to protect Vermont's ridgelines above 2500'. Section 248 authorizes the Public Service Board to issue 'Certificates of Public Good' for electricity generating projects. The District Environmental Commission concluded that construction of the wind measurement towers and the proposed wind energy project represent material and substantial changes to existing Act 250 permits and thus require an amendment.