Articles from Vermont

Concern about grid constraints stall big wind projects

The Vermont Public Utilities Commission on Thursday refused to reconsider its rejection of the petition for a certificate of public good for Kidder Hill Wind, a two wind turbine project in Irasburg and/or Lowell, saying the application is incomplete without a study of how the project will impact the electric grid.
1 Sep 2017

Public Utility Commission rejects solar array near Mount Philo

The town of Charlotte and the Agency of Natural Resources opposed the project in proceedings before the Public Utility Commission (formerly the Public Service Board). The regulatory body agreed the array would detract from the view from Mount Philo. The aesthetics of energy projects are one of the criteria that can trigger a review by the commission.
26 Jul 2017

Swanton Wind project on hold for system impact study

Seven 499-foot turbines proposed for Rocky Ridge may be the first major energy project in the state to face stringent scrutiny via the approval process of the newly configured Public Service Board. The board, which will change its name to the Vermont Public Utility Commission starting Saturday, issued an order to Swanton Wind on June 22 that sets a higher standard of public accountability.
30 Jun 2017

Debate over wind turbine setbacks prolongs adoption of new siting rules

During the meeting, the most contentious issue was the setback provision, which sets the distance between turbines and homes at 10 times the height of the turbine. Also discussed were proposed decibel sound limits of 39 dBA (A-weighted decibels) at night and 42 dBA during the day. By the end of the morning, the committee voted to push the deadline for adopting new rules back to October.
23 Jun 2017

Panel Ices Wind Rules Until October

It's all likely to prove academic, since LCAR is almost certain to vote down the rules sometime after leaf-peeping season. At that point, the PSB would have to resume work on a new set of rules. Given the fact that the board and the Scott administration take a dim view of ridgeline wind and most legislators are in favor of renewable energy including wind, it's going to be very tricky to find a set of rules acceptable to all parties. ​
23 Jun 2017

Wind noise should be overseen by state, not developer

Permit enforcement is a concern raised at nearly every public hearing for renewable energy projects. People want the government to protect them if and when a company violates the terms of its operating permit. It's hard to trust that the government will do that when so much of the monitoring process is in the hands of the company being monitored or its agents.
22 Jun 2017

DPS criticizes noise monitoring plan for wind project

The DPS requested that the board “reject the proposed sound monitoring protocol and require Deerfield Wind to submit a revised protocol” that includes the department’s suggested changes. The department’s stance was echoed by the Wind Action Group and Thomas Shea, who owns property in Searsburg and is an intervenor in the project permit process.
20 Jun 2017

Public Service Board rejects Deerfield Wind shutdown

Reached by phone Friday, Shea, who has been a vocal opponent of the project, said he was "not too surprised" by the board's decision, saying, "They seem to favor developers over residents." He said he remains concerned about the effects of heavy construction vehicles like rollers and large loaders he says have "been running up and down the road [Route 8] repeatedly."
17 Jun 2017

Experiment in environmental ethics

Back in the 1960s, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram conducted a research experiment whose results shocked the nation. Participants were told that they were taking on the role of “teacher” in a study of methods to improve learning. An authority figure told the “teacher” to administer increasingly powerful electric shocks to a “learner” in the next room whenever a question was answered incorrectly. There actually were no shocks and the learner was part of the research team, but the “teacher” heard increasing cries of pain with each “shock” administered. Even as the intensity of the shocks approached the maximum of 450 volts, the authority insisted that the shocks should continue – that the anguished screams, the banging on the wall, the pleas about heart conditions, and ultimately the ominous silence from the other room should all be ignored.
24 May 2017

VEC, GMP oppose Dairy Air wind turbine

Both VEC and GMP told the board the proposed 499-foot-tall turbine would cause economic harm to VEC and GMP because northern Vermont already has constraints on its transmission system. That’s causing curtailments to their own Kingdom Community Wind turbines at Lowell and is not consistent with the state’s comprehensive energy plan because it hinders other renewable energy sources, both utilities are saying. New regulations imposed last year by the New England electric grid operators at ISO-NE have cost VEC $550,000 in new charges in six months alone between October 2016 and March 2017, according to the filing. And that doesn’t include the cost of lost production when wind turbines at Lowell and Sheffield are curtailed by ISO-NE when there’s too much power in the grid in an area that doesn’t need it.
20 May 2017

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Vermont&p=4&type=Article
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