Library filed under General from Vermont
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.
David Blittersdorf wants to erect two wind turbines on a Northeast Kingdom ridgeline in the 1,100-person town of Irasburg and produce enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes.
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.
"The state has done absolutely nothing to recognize that this type of development causes tremendous harm to the environment and to the health and welfare of people living around the mountains," said Annette Smith of the Danby-based group Vermonters for a Clean Environment, who frequently works with people near wind projects, including near the proposed Swanton project.
“He’s been flying under the radar, collecting data, without the public being told about it for years now. We’ve missed an opportunity to object and to prepare for what is coming. To me, should be like a trial. If evidence is gathered illegally, he shouldn’t be allowed to use it. He should have to start over from square one.”
Travis and Ashley Belisle plan to erect seven wind turbines on Rocky Ridge, a mile-long slope that they own in Swanton near the St. Albans Town line. ...Belisle’s project ran into strong headwinds right out of the gate when a planned, informative meeting left many of his neighbor’s angry and hurt.
GRAFTON — The wind was blowing in an ironic fashion on Tuesday.
Roughly three years ago, a landowner and developer announced plans to explore the feasibility of a commercial wind-turbine project on a large, forested tract in the towns of Windham and Grafton.
The Vermont Statehouse debate over solar energy was devisive as lawmakers weigh further investment versus preservation of the state's natural beauty. Also up for debate was how the Public Service Board decides if a project is in the "public good." While some Vermonters hope for local control, others sounded off on keeping restrictions to more development at a minimum.
“The way to go forward and reduce your carbon at the least expensive rate is maximize your solar, do big wind on ridgelines and back it up with natural gas,” he said. Wind energy development has proven intensely controversial. The regional planning commission serving the Northeast Kingdom is considering a moratorium on large wind projects. The area already hosts two ridgeline wind developments, in Sheffield and Lowell.
The executive committee for the Northeastern Vermont Development Association voted unanimously to recommend that the regional planning commission oppose future wind projects. The recommendation must be approved by the commission’s board of directors.
It has been predicted that when the year 2050 arrives, Vermonters will be using 90 percent renewable energy and the world will be well on its way to controlling climate change. I doubt that, and here’s why.
Big Wind has a big public relations problem. A new WCAX poll shows public support for wind plummeting from 66 percent in 2013 to 50 percent now.
Out of 653 registered voters, half of those asked were in favor moving forward with wind power development. 41% favor a moratorium for a few years to allow for further study.
In a letter dated Thursday, Karen Tyler, an attorney with the Burlington law firm of Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel and Hand PLLC states, “SMW (Seneca Mountain Wind) no longer plans to either pursue its MET Tower project at a later date, or seek permission from the Board to transfer the CPG to another person or entity.”
Only when we experienced the noise firsthand, did we begin to understand and wonder just what we were facing. About six months in we realized the project is impacting us. We started connecting the sounds with how we feel. Hardly believed it was true until we started reading up on wind turbine syndrome. The same symptoms are echoed world wide!
“There’s a very simple rule. If a utility or a competitive power supplier is going to make green claims or renewable claims about the content of the energy that is sold to their customers that utility must retire the renewable energy credits in enough supply to back up those claims.”
In a petition filed with the Federal Trade Commission, a group of Vermont residents says the utility is “misleading and harming Vermont electricity consumers” by marketing renewable power to Vermonters and also selling credits for the renewable energy to out-of-state power suppliers.
"They are selling the renewable energy credits to customers in other states. Those customers have the renewable and clean energy benefits of that power," Levine said. "Simply using accounting measures to make claims about clean energy doesn't get us there."
A group of protesters who believe noise from industrial wind turbines is damaging to human health brought their message to the capital Tuesday.