Wind Power News: Vermont
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
Granite State Power Link is a plan to carry 1,200 megawatts of wind and probably hydroelectric power from Quebec into Massachusetts. Despite the New Hampshire-centric name, a third of the line would run through Vermont. It is similar to Northern Pass, which seeks to carry 1,000 megawatts of Quebec hydropower through New Hampshire into New England’s grid, but the two plans have significant differences.
As a Green Mountain Power customer, I have received a notice that the company is filing a request for a rate increase of nearly 5 percent. Green Mountain Power has agreed to purchase electricity from Deerfield Wind once that project is completed. The timing does not appear to be coincidental. As wind power is more expensive than power from other sources (and less reliable), it would appear that Green Mountain Power’s customers will be paying a premium for power generated . . .
SWANTON – 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. It states: In today’s order, the Board initially denies a request by Swanton Wind to . . .
BENNINGTON – The county’s regional energy plan is the first of its type to be certified by the state Department of Public Service. Prepared by the Bennington County Regional Commission in partnership with state government departments and businesses in the energy field, the document received DPS approval June 21. The plan constitutes a lengthy amendment to the area’s regional plan. In addition to meeting new requirements under the planning legislation, Act 174, the certification qualifies the BCRC to review and approve . . .
Many utility regulations in effect today have been on the books for around a century, said Ellen Burt, Stowe Electric Department’s general manager, and the past two decades have seen technological advancements those regulations for which those regulations weren’t designed. That technology includes “smart” meters, Burt said, referring to electric meters capable of communicating automatically with the utility whose service they meter.
SWANTON – The Public Service Board will not set any further dates for its regulatory review of Swanton Wind until the project developers file, “at a minimum,” a complete System Impact Study. The board announced its decision in an order issued Thursday, responding to proposals to reschedule the board’s review process, which has bloated beyond the original timeline determined in October 2016. The board’s decision concurs with assertions the Department of Public Service (DPS) made in a June 2 filing. The . . .
Lawmakers put off until October the deadline for adopting new rules governing wind turbines, after the Public Service Board offered a major revision in response to what it said were concerns from legislators and others. A legislative committee Thursday postponed for three months the July 1 deadline for adopting new limits for turbine noise. The move came after the Public Service Board on Monday offered to strip from its proposed rules a requirement that turbines be set back a certain . . .
MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules on Thursday met for the second time in as many weeks to hammer out what needs to be in the final rules for the regulation of sound from industrial wind turbines. 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 . . .
A committee of the Vermont legislature has postponed action on proposed noise rules for wind turbines until late October. The Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules heard three hours of testimony Thursday morning. As the noon hour approached, members discussed postponing a vote until its next meeting on July 6. But two members – Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) and Rep. Linda Myers (R-Essex Junction) —will be taking long vacations this summer, and they requested postponement until the full committee can meet again. . . .
Several years ago, a company based in Maine wanted to build a biomass/wood pellet manufacturing facility in Pownal at the former Green Mountain Race Track. What followed was more than a year of public hearings, permit applications, and controversy. In order to get a certificate of public good from the Vermont Public Service Board, which it never did, Beaver Wood Energy LLC had to obtain a number of other state permits, among them a water withdrawal permit. The facility needed . . .