Articles from Vermont
A hearing officer of the Vermont Public Service Board on Monday ordered wind developer David Blittersdorf to prove he didn’t violate a certificate of public good when he put up two small wind mills on his Kidder Hill property in Irasburg.
The standards stipulate that interior sound be measured with windows open in the summer, closed in the winter and partly open during October and April. Opponents of large-scale wind power say allowing measurements with windows closed is a departure that violates lawmakers’ intention.
Just days before the Vermont primary on Aug. 9, controversy is swirling around a statement Dunne made last week that some observers interpreted as a new and stronger endorsement of local control over wind siting. The kerfuffle has cost Dunne the endorsement of author and climate change activist Bill McKibben, and has drawn attacks from his rivals for the Democratic nomination, Sue Minter and Peter Galbraith.
“For me, that includes, solar hydro and wind. What I believe, though, is that we need to do it the Vermont way. We need to make sure that there is community involvement,” he said. “I’ve made it very clear all along ... that I believe that a community should have an affirmative vote before you go forward with a wind project.”
VEC has taken positions in the past in reaction to the pressure for renewable energy projects that had potential to harm members, said CEO Christine Hallquist. In 2011, the board called for a moratorium on renewable projects until the Legislature addressed siting concerns.
Depending on who is elected governor, Vermont may have seen its last wind project. "I'm calling this election a referendum on wind," said Galbraith, who stands apart from his Democratic rivals in seeking to halt all new industrial-scale wind development in the state.
The board was asked to come up with the interim rules after Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a renewable energy siting bill following a special veto session in June.
The lack of information from developer David Blittersdorf, consultants or the farmers left residents, Holland property owners and wind opponents from neighboring towns including Albany, Craftsbury, Lowell and Newark to seek answers from each other and anti-wind experts. And it clearly led to a nearly unanimous straw vote by a show of hands in opposition to the project.
From all parts of the audience, people rise to question Iberdrola’s team on an array of topics: production of concrete and of low-frequency noise etc. [Team Iberdrola's] programmed response to each question is the same. “Our highly technical scientific experts will explain this highly technical scientific matter at a later date.” Or, “The peer-reviewed literature shows wind turbines have no effect on [whatever concern the questioner has raised].”
The Grafton Select Board Monday night made clear that any November vote about the proposed 90-megawatt wind project will be on whether the town should negotiate with Iberdrola Renewables and not about the merits of the project.
As Vermont continues its quest to source 90 percent of energy from renewables by 2050, fresh problems with Europe’s alternative energy sector may spell trouble for wind energy in the Green Mountain State.
Marshall Hollander, a former town supervisor for Columbia, in Herkimer County, was among those who challenged wind farms proposed in several communities near his. ..."The developers here have been like wolves who target rural townships so they can make some money before they disappear," he said.
The proposal for a single industrial-grade wind turbine on a farm in Holland has some neighbors up in arms. A group calling itself Citizens for Responsible Energy in Holland is meeting to brainstorm about the project called Dairy Air Wind.
Grafton voters went to the polls today and elected John Turner to a Select Board seat left vacant by the resignation of Gus Plummer. But the voting developed an unexpectedly sad tone just before the polls closed this evening as word got out that candidate Don Dougall had been hospitalized this morning and was undergoing surgery, according to board chair Al Sands.
An opponent of the Iberdrola wind project was elected to the Select Board on Tuesday, shifting the power dynamic in this small town that is grappling with a wind development that would be the largest in the state.
Windham Select Board chairman: 'We don't want it'
WINDHAM — A turbine developer is defending the embattled Stiles Brook Wind proposal, saying critics have relied on “many inaccuracies” and “false claims.”
Recently a majority of the town of Windham Select Board and the chair and members of our Planning Commission sent a letter to Iberdrola responding to that corporation’s determination that some 3,000 acres central to our town are a spot “well-suited for a wind project.” We cite a number of reasons for disagreeing with Iberdrola’s conclusion, including the fact that “over 200 Windham homes lie within 1.5 miles of at least one turbine,” and we state our unwillingness “to subject any of our town’s property owners to the unknown short- and long-term effects of exposure to turbine noise, vibration, infrasound, and shadow flicker.”
"They're allowing them to buy up the rest of the land after the project is built; that's not OK. This is turning our regulatory process into a joke. Oh well, they got their CPG, so they have a right to move forward. They do not have a right to move forward if they haven't met the board’s conditions," said Annette Smith of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
Wind energy developer David Blittersdorf is intensifying his fight to avoid being found in violation of state regulations and being penalized for having a wind test tower without a permit on his Kidder Hill property. ...This week, the Irasburg select board rejected an undisclosed offer by Blittersdorf that if accepted would have taken the town out of the hearings over the alleged violation.