Articles filed under General from Vermont
VPIRG’s board of trustees reveals cozy ties with executives of the state’s top solar companies and wind farms — people who benefit directly from the group’s renewable energy advocacy. VPIRG board member Duane Peterson is a co-president of SolarCommunities, Inc. VPIRG’s treasurer, Mathew Rubin, is president of East Haven Windfarm. The group also has ties to David Blittersdorf, founder of NRG Systemsand now CEO of AllEarth Renewables in Williston.
The Vermont Legislature has instituted policies that fast-track regulatory review of large-scale energy projects despite mounting opposition from local communities that would host the projects. Much of Vermont’s renewable power is sold out of state in the form of a renewable energy credits. ...“They’re continuing to allow not only the destruction of our neighbors’ communities and towns, but also the environment.”
In 2008, after battling a wind proposal that didn’t go forward, Windham amended its town plan to prohibit commercial wind within the town borders. Local officials were quick to oppose the current proposal.
“The knowledge that the mountains will be spared the assault of dynamite and bulldozers brings me great relief. We would like to extend our gratitude to the neighbors of Newark, Brighton, the UTGs, and beyond who contributed time and resources and enabled us to conduct outreach and educational efforts.”
The decision to back off the 20-turbine ridgeline wind project in Ferdinand was likely due to the cost of upgrading the transmission infrastructure needed to connect the remote wind power to the weak rural grid network. Transmission line upgrades were estimated to cost $86 million, according to David Hallquist, CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative.
The Agency of Natural Resources says it needs more money to keep up with the growth of renewable energy projects in Vermont. Without hiring new staff, the agency said the process of approving new electric generation facilities could take longer. Distributed solar, biomass and wind projects have been on the rise in the state. The workload for the agency has increased fourfold as funding and staffing remain stagnant, according to Billy Coster, senior planner and policy analyst for the Agency of Natural Resources.
The [wind] issue has sharply divided the town, with many residents opposed to the development for various reasons and think it could have a devastating impact on Grafton. Two such people include Sam Battaglino and Skip Lisle, who are running to unseat Selectboard Chairman Al Sands and member Gus Plummer, respectively. The vote, by Australian ballot, will be held Tuesday. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Unified Towns and Gores' displeasure with a proposed wind project is about to be codified in the town plan. Following a decisive "no" vote by property owners on the wind project last month, the UTG Planning Board has moved to add the vote outcome to the town plan.
A bill designed to increase local involvement in the review process for energy projects was endorsed by a Senate committee Wednesday. By a 4-1 vote, the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee approved S.201, a bill that would give communities hosting new energy projects more say in the Public Service Board's review process. The bill also requires developers to present the board with a full carbon cycle analysis of the project -- the emissions created during construction and operation.
The developer of the proposed Grandpa’s Knob Windpark in Rutland County has canceled easement agreements with surrounding landowners. The developer, Reunion Power, sent letters to the towns of Pittsford and West Rutland last week saying it had terminated access agreements with property owners. The two towns are located on the east side of the proposed 20-turbine, 50 megawatt project to span Pittsford Ridge.
Town votes have no standing in the Section 248 process in which the Public Service Board issues or denies a certificate of public good (CPG) for energy and telecommunications projects. Wind developers, however, have made much of communities or groups that support a project, currently three of 14 (See Table 1.). Those opposing wind development in their communities have carried the 11 other town votes. There are also towns where the local governing bodies took a negative position or the town plan prohibits industrial wind (See Tables 2 and 3.).
The owner of Seneca Mountain is vowing to build a wind project on the Northeast Kingdom ridgeline over the objections of area property owners who rejected a proposal to build 20 industrial turbines.
By a count of 171 against to 107 in favor, the UTG voters rejected the industrial wind project developed by Eolian Renewable Energy of Portsmouth, N.H., which included cash payments for the residents if they became host to the wind project. From the beginning SMW/Eolian has promised they would abandon the wind development if a community rejected the official project proposal.
Property owners in the United Towns and Gores of Essex County have voted that they do not want a wind farm on Seneca Mountain. ...out of 282 property owners, 171 (60%) are against the proposal.
A nearly two-year wait for people in this part of the Northeast Kingdom to find out whether an industrial wind project may take root here may be over soon. On Jan. 13 at 6 p.m., the Board of Governors of the Unified Towns and Gores will announce the results of a recent ballot of property owners in the UTGs, asking them their stance on a proposed wind project. The confidential, sealed ballot responses have been kept under lock and key since they were due to be postmarked by Dec. 12 and returned.
But there’s a political contest going on in Vermont, and though it is both small and unofficial, it may not be trivial. The result could determine whether a wind power project known as Seneca Mountain Wind is built atop some of the wildest, most remote wildlife habitat in the state. If Seneca is constructed, it would be the third windfarm on a ridgeline in the Northeast Kingdom — after Sheffield and Lowell.
“The neighbors count, no matter what.” That was the message Stephen Ambrose brought to a discussion on the negative impact of wind power Friday night, hosted by Vermonters for a Clean Environment. Ambrose also brought 35 years of environmental noise-consulting experience to the United Church of Christ, where he was joined by local politicians, as well as Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire residents, all affected by the construction of windmills near their homes.
Renewable energy developer First Wind reached an agreement with Burlington Electric Department (BED) to sell the utility power generated from the planned Hancock Wind project near Ellsworth, Maine.
Nearly 400 people who own property in five Vermont unincorporated towns and gores are being asked to vote on whether an industrial wind project should be built on Seneca Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom town of Ferdinand.
“Everyone who gets a tax bill is going to get a vote,” said John Soininen, [Eolian] project manager. But not everyone agreed. “I’ve never heard of anything voted on in this state before where we let out-of-state landowners vote on town issues,” said state Sen. John Rodgers.