Library filed under General from Vermont
It certainly wasn’t the biggest story to come out of last Tuesday’s election, but it was an important one nonetheless.
The two small windmills are subject of an investigation by the Vermont Public Service Board into whether Blittersdorf put them where he said he would. A neighbor has complained to the board that one turbine is too close to his cabin.
Although it cannot be stated definitively that wind energy was the deciding factor in Scott’s win over Minter, it is abundantly obvious that wind has been one of the most divisive issues in the state.
In Vermont, an ill wind blows for a once promising source of renewable energy. Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott was clear during the campaign: He wants to halt further development of wind turbine towers on Vermont’s widely beloved mountain ridges.
The two towns’ rejection of Iberdrola Renewables’ 24-turbine project was specific to that proposal — so much so that the company’s name was included in the ballot question. Iberdrola immediately pledged to stop work at Stiles Brook in the wake of Tuesday’s advisory vote. But spokesman Paul Copleman couldn’t rule out the possibility that his company could offer its substantial development work to a different developer.
The voters in Windham and Grafton said a loud “no” on Tuesday to the 24-turbine Stiles Brook wind energy project. Spanish renewable energy developer Iberdrola says it will honor the votes. ...
"As we've indicated, we plan to cease development of the project unless the communities at some point contemplate reconsidering their decision," Iberdrola spokesman Paul Copleman said.
(Editor’s note: VTDigger founder Anne Galloway writes about the heated debate over the proposed Stiles Brook Wind Project.)
Voters in Windham and Grafton will weigh in Tuesday on a 24-turbine wind project. Next Tuesday’s vote in Windham on a proposed wind project has become so controversial that the town plans to videotape the whole process — from voter check-in to ballot counting — in hopes of quelling concerns about fairness.
The coming vote in the small Windham County towns of Windham and Grafton about the placement of wind turbines in their towns ought to concern all Vermonters interested in the integrity of democracy and the continuing development of renewable energy. Till now, wind energy has had an important place in the mix of renewable energy sources in Vermont, but the tactics of the wind developer in Windham County have poisoned the cause.
An economic committee in Grafton has analyzed supposed benefits of the Stiles Brook Wind Project and concluded that many residents will see no tax benefits, but ones that do typically have properties assessed at $300,000 or above.
Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos says he’s “greatly concerned” about a turbine developer’s monetary offer to registered voters in Windham and Grafton. Though the Vermont Attorney General’s office has said Iberdrola Renewables’ proposed “direct partnership payments” don’t violate election law, Condos asserts that the developer is “pushing the envelope in an attempt to influence the vote.”
Developers are demanding that residents who want a say in the Public Service Board hearings on the Swanton Wind Project be given two weeks to decide whether they will participate.
Windham Town Treasurer Peter Chamberlain has told the Windham Select Board that while Iberdrola’s latest offer, presented on Oct. 4, totals $1 million, most of it will not be available for the town to decide how to use.
In the latest VPR poll, 67 percent say they “somewhat” or “completely” trust the Public Service Board, a three-member panel that issues state permits for energy projects. But in a second poll question, only 12 percent say the PSB should have the final say on where wind power generators are placed.
NEVER FOR OR AGAINST’: State Sen. David Zuckerman, the Vermont Democratic Party nominee for lieutenant governor, told residents living near the Rocky Ridge Wind Project that he hasn’t made up his mind about it.
At its meeting on Oct. 13, the Planning Commission continued its work developing a map to indicate areas within the town requiring more extensive impact evaluation prior to the establishment of solar or wind energy facilities. This was in response to a request by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission for a map that will be included, perhaps with modifications, in a countywide renewable energy siting plan to be submitted to the Vermont Public Service Board.
The debate over siting renewable energy projects has become one of the major policy contrasts between the gubernatorial candidates. The Republican candidate, Phil Scott, says he would stop ridgeline wind development, and he wants to give towns more say over where turbines are built.
Residents living near the Deerfield Wind project site off Route 8 are bracing for construction-related blasting, which is scheduled to begin this week.
Dairy Air Wind has filed an application for a certificate of public good to raise a wind measurement tower on a dairy farm on School Road.