Articles filed under Energy Policy from Vermont
If the governor were being ingenuous, he might advocate a moratorium on any proposed wind project until his secretary had completed her charge. ...We know why Shumlin and Powell cannot wait: Federal money available for this, otherwise, "never never" plan evaporates at midnight at the end of this year if the Certificate of Public Good is not in hand.
"Allowing the Agency of Natural Resources secretary to make this decision about where projects should or shouldn't go, it completely ignores the human side of it. We are now apparently in a realm where we can mitigate the impact on the bears but the human species are being tossed out."
The Shumlin administration hopes to ease some of the controversy over wind energy by identifying what areas should be off limits to energy developers. As VPR's John Dillon reports, the administration's plan is not the comprehensive siting process that some environmentalists had called for.
"We must act on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but the appropriate way for Vermont to do that is by increasing our use of solar, expanding efficiency, weatherizing, and increasing vehicle efficiency. Utility-scale wind on ridgelines is incredibly destructive to wilderness, and has little potential to contribute to US emission reductions."
The public deserves an energy debate based in fact, not hyperbole. There are very well financed interests that, for personal financial gain, oppose Vermont Yankee. The actions of Mr. Blittersdorf are perhaps the most visible example of this taking place. He is part of a group of folks who have contributed heavily to political campaigns in order to have legislation passed that directly benefit them. These projects cost captive ratepayers as much as six times the current market price.
Rather than inspire a new industry willing to take a risk and invest private capital in hopes of a return, the green-energy incentives simply perpetuate a dependence upon government largess. In an effort to put a thumb on the scales and pick their own winners and losers, the Legislature's proposals more closely resemble some fly-by-night, get-rich scheme than a thoughtful economic development plan.
A federal ruling has cast doubt on a Vermont program designed to promote renewable energy. The ruling says utilities should not pay more than market rates for electricity from the clean-energy projects. The state agency that represents consumers wants to know how the decision affects projects in Vermont, so it's asked the state attorney general's office for legal advice.
In the aftermath of the Waitsfield Planning Commission's decision to keep intact a Town Plan prohibition on wind farming above 1,700 feet on the Northfield Ridge, a look at the Public Service Board decision on a wind farm in Georgia-Milton reveals the importance of Town Plan language to the PSB in making decisions.
Utility scale wind projects are proposed or approved in no fewer than eight locations across Vermont: Lowell, Londonderry, Ira, West Rutland, Waitsfield, Georgia, Sheffield and Deerfield. Each of these projects would extend across miles of ridgeline. These multi-mile, multi-tower facilities would fundamentally alter ridgelines.
After the announcement last week that Vermont Community Wind Farm had put its efforts in the town of Ira on hold, the chairman of the industry group Renewable Energy Vermont, Lawrence Mott, says the state needs clearer guidelines for such projects. Mott's group has 300 members, including Vermont Community Wind Farm.
Renewable energy advocates say Vermont lags behind other New England states in supporting large-scale wind projects. They cite a recent decision by developers to postpone a controversial wind project in Ira as evidence that the state is an unfriendly place to do business.
Whether they're called wind farms or industrial wind generating plants, these industrial developments have caused divisiveness and controversy in every community in Vermont where they have been proposed. Because electricity generation has special legal status for land use regulations, industrial wind projects are being sited in areas where other industrial developments would never be allowed.
Whether you call them wind farms or industrial wind generating plants, these industrial developments have caused divisiveness and controversy in almost every community in Vermont where they have been proposed. Because electricity generation has special legal status for land use regulations, industrial wind projects are being sited in areas where other industrial developments ...might never be allowed.
Petitioned language involving Ira's future approach to renewable energy was amended on the floor to add "in accordance with the town plan." ...In the end, people knew exactly what they came for, and exactly on what they were voting. There were no further questions or discussion. The vote was a resounding 89-20 in support of an Ira renewable energy policy that leaves industrial wind turbines off Ira ridgelines.
A day after the Senate voted not to support Vermont Yankee's operation after 2012, a House committee turned its attention to Vermont's other largest electric supplier. The House Natural Resources and Energy Committee is considering legislation that would allow Hydro-Quebec power to be considered "renewable" by Vermont standards.
Some say that Ka Le is haunted -- and it is. But it's haunted not by Hawaii's legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are "Na leo o Kamaoa"-- the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm. The voices of Kamaoa cry out their warning as a new batch of colonists.
Today, we are confronted by the crisis of climate change. Descriptions are so fearful, confusing, and occasionally contradictory that it's hard to know what to think. We each try to do what we can to reduce our personal impact on the earth, and ponder how to preserve the planet from a catastrophic fate that could be imminent and irreversible. For many people, renewable energy has become the panacea: producing power from wind, trees, grasses, and the sun.
Friends and neighbors, I write as a Clarendon resident, and not in my role as Select Board chairman. The people of Clarendon and the towns surrounding it are trying to understand what the Vermont Community Wind Farm project is all about. What will it mean for us? What impacts will it have on us? Why here and now? What has brought trouble to our town's doorstep is "easy" money.
Green Mountain Power's plan to construct a wind farm along a ridge line in the town of Lowell will have little impact on Vermont's energy needs. Neither will it improve Vermont's climate or environment. Instead the wind farm will be a monument to crowd pleasing notions of energy independence and freeing Vermont from the slavery of fossil fuel dependence. With some of the cleanest air in the country and a nearly non-existent carbon footprint from Vermont Yankee, it's hard to understand just what role the wind farm will play.
Wind power is winning in the Northeast Kingdom, and will continue to win, for a couple of reasons. Energy policy is terribly sensitive to fashion, and wind is currently fashionable. Hydro power used to be fashionable, and therefore good, and easy to push through the permit process. Now it is unfashionable, so while Vermont consumes great quantities of power from Hydro Quebec, we can't count it as renewable energy in our utilities' portfolios. That, of course, is an act of deliberate, politically inspired stupidity.