DERBY – Encore Redevelopment, LLC, is the Burlington-based project development company working for two certificates of public good to construct two turbines on two separate farms just east of Derby Line. The turbines planned are more than 420 feet tall at the tip of the blade, with an estimated capability to power 900 homes each.
The project plans have created contention and some area residents are questioning just what Encore does.
The Derby Line Wind Project is the first project of its kind for the company. Encore was involved in the construction of a turbine in Vergennes, but that turbine, standing at about 120 feet tall and having a potential to power approximately 25 homes at most, is far smaller than the ones proposed for Derby.
The company says its takes underutilized property and creates new sources of alternative energy.
“Our philosophy is to create harmony between the natural and built environments that fosters sustainable growth and community benefit by creating opportunities for the redevelopment of underutilized property and the generation of clean, renewable sources of electricity,” says its website, http://www.encoreredevelopment.com/.
Encore Redevelopment was founded in 2007 by Chad Farrell, who remains the principal of the company. According to the company website, Farrell is a project manager and environmental engineer with over 15 years of experience in the fields of environmental engineering, professional project management and real estate development.
Encore’s goals include job creation and revenue generation in green energy economies through project development, capitalization and project management activities.
Encore was founded “to fill an observed need in the market for high-level expertise and guidance with respect to the assessment, remediation, and redevelopment of environmentally challenged real estate, also known as brownfields.”
Encore’s focus is finding the best use for property, whether contaminated or underutilized.
The company promises opportunities for “solid financial returns for a wide range of investors and clients.”
Besides Farrell, the Encore team consists of three others: Nick Richardson, the director of operations; Collin Ackerman, project manager; and Matt Andon, project analyst. Encore also lists the law firm of Gravel and Shea and accounting firm Novogradac and Company as supporting team members.
Encore chooses a project site, develops strategy, and conducts feasibility studies, then the company applies for necessary permits, negotiates power purchase agreements, coordinates major asset procurement, secures project financing, oversees operations and maintenance activities and manages construction.
The Derby Line Wind Project is among a few other projects the company is working on. The other projects are mostly solar. The company’s history shows work mainly on solar developments, as well as project management work in brownfields, or contaminated areas, for redevelopment.
Encore is tapping into Vermont’s SPEED program for the Derby wind project, which the company says makes the project “quite favorable for investment.”
Encore is working with various investors to design, permit and construct the project and estimates completion at the end of 2012.
The Derby project has created contention among many through Derby, Derby Line, and surrounding towns, including north of the US/Canadian border.
Many say the project only benefits the farmers leasing their land and the developer, while hurting others through property devaluation and by potentially causing health effects due to sound. Towns have already sought to intervene in the process. Standstead, Que., is seeking to intervene.
Several residents say the turbines are too large for a residential setting. However some community members speak in favor of the turbines, saying that it’s a step in the right direction for energy concerns.