Articles from Vermont

Grafton wind opponents set up storefront

The small, red 130-year-old building at 205 Main St. has served as the town post office, a real estate office and as a home for the Grafton Historical Society. Sitting inside the front room on Tuesday, Liisa Kissel declared, “Now, it has a new purpose.”
28 Sep 2015

Brian Dubie: Wind turbine noise, what you can't hear can harm you

Turbine infrasound can be detected inside homes as far away as six miles. We know also that very low levels of infrasound and LFN are registered by the nervous system and affect the body even though they cannot be heard. Researchers have implicated these infrasonic pulsations as the cause of some of the most commonly reported “sensations” experienced by many people living close to wind turbines. These sensations include chronic sleep disturbance, dizziness, tinnitus, heart palpitations, vibrations and pressure sensations in the head and chest etc. There is medical research which demonstrates that pulsating infrasound can be a direct cause of sleep disturbance. In clinical medicine, chronic sleep interruption and deprivation is acknowledged as a trigger of serious health problems.
26 Sep 2015

Spanish energy company eyes Windham, Grafton for commercial wind

Developers who want to build a commercial wind project in Windham and Grafton say environmental surveys will start soon which will give them a clearer picture of where the turbines might go. For the past two-and-a-half years Iberdrola Renewables has been collecting wind data from three meteorological towers located on a high plateau that straddles the Grafton-Windham town line.
25 Sep 2015

Morgan community reacts to plans of solar power farm

Some leery residents believe Blittersdorf's ridgeline land purchases mean he also wants to bring wind to the small Northeast Kingdom town. "If you move it away from the lake and out of sight, I don't have a problem with it, but if you bring turbines, we'll have a major fight," said Bob Kern of Morgan. ...At the end of the meeting, locals voted 62-7 to have the select board try to intervene to stop the project.
22 Sep 2015

Where are the guardians?

For decades, organizations including Vermont Natural Resources Council, Conservation Law Foundation, Sierra Club, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Preservation Trust and others could be counted on to show up at the merest hint of potential development anywhere in Vermont. Lobbying in Montpellier and using Act 250 and local regulations, those groups helped preserve the landscape that we love.
10 Sep 2015

Dubie: We must protect our ridgelines

Renewable energy, for the most part, is a good thing. I support net metering for home-scaled wind and solar, fish-friendly small scale hydro, and mining landfills and bio digesters for methane. But at some point the rush into large scale (and subsidized) renewable energy becomes too costly, and too destructive of human and environmental values, to merit continued support. We have reached that point with Big Wind, and it’s time to slow this rush to “renewable energy of all kinds at whatever cost.”
5 Sep 2015

Wind developer gets extension to study Windham County site

The extension was approved despite objections from the town of Windham, where officials argued that the revised town plan “specifically prohibits both meteorological towers and commercial wind-energy systems.” Iberdrola’s requested extension represented a “substantial change” to the company’s plans, the town argued, so the new town plan should apply. But the Public Service Board, in an order dated Sept. 3, disagreed.
4 Sep 2015

Solar sprawl set to erase Vermont’s no-billboards tourism appeal

But an insidious new form of visual pollution is overtaking the state. Solar sprawl tied to Act 56 could wipe out thousands of acres of undisturbed land and transform Vermont from The Green Mountain State to The Solar Panel State. With Vermont set to become the nation’s first all green-energy economy, solar projects popping up from Bennington to Barton dwarf the billboard blight of the 1960s, and could erase tourism’s marketing message. 
4 Sep 2015

Vermont's Energy 'Scofflaws'

Anybody who has ever objected to a “renewable” energy project in Vermont knows that the deck is stacked in favor of energy developers — that just about any project that’s proposed, no matter how objectionable, will be approved by our Public Service Board. Yet, having the playing field tilted sharply in their direction isn’t enough for some developers — they have to cheat, too.
18 Aug 2015

WIND TURBINES: Do property values fall? It depends on who you ask

One of the concerns cited by homeowners is a sharp drop in home values that is caused by the aesthetics, noise pollution and related health effects. Neighbors reference instances where families have abandoned their homes after years of being unable to sell but the developers, Swanton Wind, points to academic and government studies reporting there is no evidence that wind farms damage home values.
17 Aug 2015

Fire from windmill seen from Route 8

Flames were visible from Route 8 and a state trooper on patrol called in the alarm. Eight firefighters and an engine were sent to the site. The fiberglass housing that covers the machinery of windmill number four was on fire. ...The windmill is so high in the air that we cannot reach it to perform any type of extinguishment efforts and we cannot be underneath it due to falling debris,” said March.
15 Aug 2015

Hostile crowd obliterates Blittersdorf, wind plan; Irasburg wind opponents get organized for battle

Kevin McGrath, who lives near the Lowell project, and Steve Therrien, who said he was forced from his home because of the Sheffield development, both spoke about the damage that wind turbines have caused. McGrath, who is appealing his tax appraisal due to the towers, invited everyone to visit his home to see for themselves. He spoke about the deafening noise that wakes him at 2 a.m. and how he can’t just shut it off. “My land has scrap value,” McGrath said.
12 Aug 2015

More data for Stiles Brook project needed, developers say

Residents who attended came armed with questions, but over the course of 2½ hours, “We didn’t hear anything new,” said Liisa Kissel, a leader in the opposition to the project. There was one thing, though. Iberdrola Communications Manager Paul Copleman assured residents that if the town votes against the project, the company will abide by voters’ wishes.
6 Aug 2015
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