Library filed under General from Vermont
The plan, which calls for 14 turbines in Sheffield and two in Sutton, eliminates the prospect of turbines on Hardscrabble Mountain, as well as the need for access to the site through the King George School property, according to the developers. It also makes the $75 million project invisible from St. Johnsbury, Danville, Kirby and Walden, even though the size of the turbines - 399 feet in the original proposal - has been boosted to 420 feet, they said.
After years of warning that New England's electric grid was on the brink of having to impose Third World-style rolling blackouts, top power officials now cautiously predict the region may have enough power for the near future. Since February, thanks to recent policy changes, proposals for 21 new power plants that could deliver enough electricity for about 3 million homes have come before regional power grid administrators. Those include a $1.5 billion NRG Energy Inc. plan for multiple new generators in Connecticut and a single generator that would burn methane gas from a dump in Westminster, near Fitchburg. The Holyoke -based organization that runs the six-state power grid and wholesale markets, Independent System Operator New England, plans to discuss the projects in a two-day Boston conference starting today .
Vermont's relatively quiet gubernatorial campaign rose a few decibels this week when the major party candidates clashed over important issues in their first official debate at St. Michael's College. Anyone expecting a friendly discussion between Republican Gov. Jim Douglas and Democrat Scudder Parker at the Tuesday night debate was in for a surprise. Almost from the start, the two went head-to-head in a series of feisty exchanges that highlighted their differing views on public safety, a proposed scholarship program for Vermont students, health care reform, property tax changes, wind energy and more.
SHEFFIELD – A wind opponent group here last week petitioned the town to hold a meeting asking voters to choose Australian ballot instead of a traditional town meeting in the most recent move to fight a proposed 26-unit industrial Sheffield Wind Farm. A petition signed by about 20 Sheffield residents asking for a public vote to decide to elect public officials by Australian ballot arrived by certified mail last Friday, according to Selectman Chairman Max Aldrich.
Vermont's energy future has become a hand-wringing issue, tangled up in the uncertainty of power sources and worries about climate change. Quebec Premier Jean Charest offered another opinion Friday, a more optimistic view. Just north of the border in his province, billions of dollars are being invested in renewable energy -- hydro-electric and wind -- and Quebec wants to increase its power exports. Vermont, which relies on Hydro-Quebec for a third of its electricity, has been a longtime, valued customer and Quebec would expect to continue that relationship, Charest told an audience at Champlain College in Burlington. "We will be there in times of need for each other," he said, referring to shared energy and environmental concerns. Such words, albeit with no specific price tag or contract attached, send an encouraging message to Vermont.
Governor Douglas: "Well I support renewable but I think we have to weigh all the pros and cons and on balance I think it is more of an intrusion then we want. The Green Mountain State would have to be renamed the Green Mountains with white Industrial Turbines state."
Three years ago a wind developer built the Waymart Wind Farm along the spine of the Moosic Mountain.
It’s a tough debate, one of the most perplexing we’ve covered. A lot of people, if you will pardon the pun, are teetering on that ridge line between protecting the Vermont we love and enlisting in the very important battle against global warming. Speaking only for ourselves, VPIRG’s self-righteous preaching on the subject cheeses us off, when we consider the probity of the source. It tends to tip us a little toward the other side. VPIRG needs to do what it can to fix the problem, but it’s pretty late in the game. Rather than purge its board, maybe it should just withdraw from the wind power debate, and leave the field to those whose arguments won’t carry even a whiff of conflicted interests.
State regulators will ultimately determine the fate of the wind project. A decision is expected next year. Both sides of the debate have invested a lot of money in this fight. UPC wind estimates they've spent about $3 million so far, doing environmental studies and printing up literature on their project. The opponents have formed a group called the Ridge Protectors, the 250 members have hired a lawyer, and lobbyist and they predict by the time this is all done they will have spent upwards of $300,000.
"We are not going to back down," says Luis Guzman. The heated wind debate has blown from the hills of Vermont to Hollywood.
....I do have to point out one false premise that you unfortunately included in your call for more debate. That is the premise that the Searsburg electrical generating station is acceptable as "Vermont Scale".
MONTPELIER, Vt. -- More than 100 candidates for federal, state and local offices in Vermont have signed onto a plan by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group to reduce dependence on foreign oil and emphasize renewable sources of electricity. VPIRG asked 329 political candidates across the state to sign their pledge and 111 signed the document while 27 candidates provided position papers, which support similar goals.
The current hype surrounding wind energy is just that and is a costly distraction from securing clean energy that is also reliable.
During a meeting on May 25, selectmen agreed to spend $25,000 on legal fees. Three months later, that money was spent and then some. "The most recent bill we have received from you puts us over our limit by $3,000," the letter states. The letter, signed by selectmen Tim Simpson, Jeffrey Solinsky and David McCue, asks that no interest be charged on the $3,000 until the board can have a vote taken. Another special town meeting will have to be held before more money can be spent on legal counsel against the UPC wind project, selectmen wrote.
VPIRG’s advocacy of industrial wind energy is misplaced – the issue is emissions not ‘renewables’ per se.
SHEFFIELD, Vermont -- When farmer Greg Bryant first heard about plans for windmills along a swath of mountain ridges in this northeastern Vermont hamlet, he was all for it. The idea of tapping a plentiful natural resource for power was appealing. Now he's dead set against it, one of many people here who fear the prospect of 400-foot tall windmills sprouting from the tops of picturesque mountains.
The Vermont Public Service Board has confirmed its rejection of a commercial wind farm atop East Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom. Developer Mathew Rubin said he would not appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court. "We've made the decision to take no further activity on the project until the state policy on wind power changes," he said.
Gov. Jim Douglas took his clearest position yet on industrial wind projects in Vermont on Friday, saying they would be "an imposition" on Vermont's landscape. Industrial wind turbines on ridge lines would not aesthetically suit Vermont's small scale landscape, Douglas, a Republican, said at a brainstorming session with leaders of large and small businesses Friday afternoon at the Gateway Center. To give up Vermont's brand for an energy source that could only produce 6 percent of Vermont's energy needs isn't a good idea, Douglas said. "I can't make the case there's enough gain for the pain," he said. "I just don't think it's worth it."
Pamela Graves can test this for herself. Imagine that she has built a wind tower in her backyard to supply all her electrical needs. What will she do when the wind stops? Either the house will go dark and cold, or she will tap into the New England power grid, which is ready and waiting for her, powered by water, gas, coal and nuclear fuel. Multiply her situation by 500,000, and you have the State of Vermont. It is evident that we will continue to rely on conventional sources of electricity, no matter how many wind towers are built.
MONTPELIER, Vt. -- The state Department of Public Service has announced that it and the state's two largest power companies will make available $980,000 in grants to support small solar and wind power projects.