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.
HOLLAND – Neighbors, two electric utilities and a Quebec town can participate in the review of the Dairy Air Wind turbine proposed for School Road. But Thomas Knauer, the hearing officer for the Vermont Public Service Board who granted party status, warned that the impact of a 499-foot-tall wind turbine on property values is not part of the review under state law. Property values are among the top concerns of neighboring property owners. Meanwhile, the two Vermont electric utilities, Green Mountain . . .
Back in the 1960s, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram conducted a research experiment whose results shocked the nation. Participants were told that they were taking on the role of ‘teacher’ in a study of methods to improve learning. An authority figure told the ‘teacher’ to administer increasingly powerful electric shocks to a ‘learner’ in the next room whenever a question was answered incorrectly. There actually were no shocks and the learner was part of the research team, but the ‘teacher’ . . .
HOLLAND – Vermont Electric Cooperative is facing a large new cost because there’s too much renewable energy entering the Northeast Kingdom electric grid – and the proposed Dairy Air Wind turbine will only make it worse. That’s why VEC and Green Mountain Power are opposing the 2.2-megawatt turbine proposed for Dairy Air Farm on School Road in Holland, according to filings with the Vermont Public Service Board. Also joining the opposition is a second Quebec town, Barnston-Ouest (Barnston-West). Both VEC and . . .
The Public Service Board has approved new sound standards governing wind energy projects that have been cheered more enthusiastically by wind opponents than by environmentalists. The odd thing is that wind opponents, too, count themselves as environmentalists, arguing that the sound generated by large wind turbines harms the nearby environment in a way that offsets the environmental gain from the clean energy produced by the turbines. The injury created by continuous thrumming sound waves is hard to grasp for people . . .
This week, the Vermont Public Service Board issued new noise standards for utility-scale wind projects in Vermont. Wind advocates slammed the rules as amounting to an effective ban on new wind farms. Opponents welcomed the guidelines as a step in the right direction, but they would prefer even tighter restrictions. The rules would impose a 42-decibel daytime noise limit and a 39-decibel limit at night. There would also be a setback requirement of 10 times the turbine’s height, meaning that . . .
The Public Service Board has relaxed its proposed limits on wind turbine noise, and a key senator says lawmakers could order further changes if the rules prove too strict. Wind energy supporters say Vermont is unlikely to see turbines put up under the new sound standards the board sent to legislators Tuesday for a final review. If that turns out to be true, the standards could be replaced, according to the chair of the Senate committee on energy, Sen. Chris . . .
HOLLAND – The postponed site visit and public hearing for the Dairy Air Wind Project could be held the first full week in June. The developer’s attorney has worked with the town of Holland and regional and state agencies to find a new date for state utility regulators to see the site for the 499-foot-tall wind turbine proposed for Dairy Air Farm and hear from area residents about the project. It would take more than a year for the Vermont . . .
Regulators in Vermont are seeking a sound limit on wind power projects that would be among the quietest in the country. Renewable energy advocates say the rule regulators want is too restrictive and would effectively ban the development of wind power in Vermont. The move comes as the state moves forward with some of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the nation. “This rule will make most, if not all, large wind projects unworkable in Vermont, taking this critical . . .
The final rule keeps the daytime sound level at 42 decibels, but the board changed the allowable nighttime level from 35 decibels allowed in the draft rule to 39 decibels. The board also kept a controversial setback limit of 10 times the height of the turbine, so that a 500-foot turbine would have to be at least 5,000 feet from the nearest residence. But in the new rule the board does give developers an opportunity to apply for a waiver to the setback rule.
State regulators have closed the books on a resident’s complaint about noise from wind turbines on Georgia Mountain after further analysis of recordings found no need to investigate any longer. The five turbines have drawn sustained opposition from some neighbors, who have accused Georgia Mountain Community Wind of violating noise conditions in its permit. The Public Service Board’s ruling last week stems from a complaint made in September 2015 by Melodie McLane. She lives with her family about 3,800 feet . . .