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Pair of lawmakers want windmills regulated by Act 250

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. -- A pair of lawmakers from the Northeast Kingdom say windmill projects should be regulated by the Act 250 development review law, not just its companion law governing new energy generating projects.

Some opponents of wind projects that have been proposed for spots in the region say that the utility review, known as Section 248, is not as stringent as Act 250. Rep. Cola Hudson, R-Lyndon, introduced such a bill after attending a hearing on a wind project planned in East Haven.
"No members of the Public Service Board were at that meeting," Hudson said. "They left it to a hearing officer. There's very little personal touch."
Act 250 would be a more open process, Hudson said.
Rep. Janice Peaslee, R-Guildhall, said she would introduce a bill similar to the one that Hudson unsuccessfully proposed two years ago. It would require wind developers to go through both the utility and the broader development processes.
"I don't think (Section 248) is enough," Peaslee said. "The proposals here are much bigger than in Searsburg and will impact the whole region."
Dave Rapaport, vice president of East Haven Windfarm, said making wind developers go through both Act 250 and Section 248 would be "unnecessarily redundant." The utility review recognizes the need for reliable power.
"The broad public benefit goes beyond the local community," Rapaport said.
East Haven Windfarm wants to build four windmills... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Some opponents of wind projects that have been proposed for spots in the region say that the utility review, known as Section 248, is not as stringent as Act 250. Rep. Cola Hudson, R-Lyndon, introduced such a bill after attending a hearing on a wind project planned in East Haven.
"No members of the Public Service Board were at that meeting," Hudson said. "They left it to a hearing officer. There's very little personal touch."
Act 250 would be a more open process, Hudson said.
Rep. Janice Peaslee, R-Guildhall, said she would introduce a bill similar to the one that Hudson unsuccessfully proposed two years ago. It would require wind developers to go through both the utility and the broader development processes.
"I don't think (Section 248) is enough," Peaslee said. "The proposals here are much bigger than in Searsburg and will impact the whole region."
Dave Rapaport, vice president of East Haven Windfarm, said making wind developers go through both Act 250 and Section 248 would be "unnecessarily redundant." The utility review recognizes the need for reliable power.
"The broad public benefit goes beyond the local community," Rapaport said.
East Haven Windfarm wants to build four windmills on East Mountain in East Haven, which would generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity. The turbines are proposed to be 220 feet at the hub and have three 115-foot blades. The permit application is pending before the Vermont Public Service Board.
UPC Vermont Wind, a Massachusetts company, wants to build 20 398-foot turbines in Sheffield and six more in Sutton.
EnXco has been measuring wind along a 3-mile stretch of the Lowell Mountain Range since June 2003. The California-based company is planning between 12 and 26 340-foot wind turbines on ridge lines in Lowell, Eden and Irasburg.
EMDC has also won permission to build wind measurement towers in Brighton and Ferdinand. A plan for a third measurement tower on East Haven Mountain is still pending.
The town of Brighton and the Kingdom Commons Group, which opposes the windmills, has appealed to the state, arguing that because the wind measurement towers don't generate electricity they should be subjected to Act 250.
But Louis Borie, chief coordinator for the Vermont Natural Resources Board, rejected the bid based on a 1971 ruling by the attorney general.


Source: http://www.wcax.com/global/...

DEC 13 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/669-pair-of-lawmakers-want-windmills-regulated-by-act-250
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