A letter dated June 1 from Green Mountain Power (GMP) CEO Mary Powell and Vermont Electric Co-op (VEC) CEO Dave Hallquist, and addressed to “postal patron” was received by some Orleans County residents last week. The letter another example of the smoke and mirrors word games that GMP has peddled for two years now to promote the Kingdom Community Wind project.
Worthy of note are:
“…federal policy encouraging the development of new renewable projects.”
A recent peer reviewed analysis of federal policies recommends a minimum target of a 32 percent capacity factory for industrial wind projects. By their own projections the maximum expected capacity factory for the proposed KCW project is 27.06 percent. That state policy has not kept up with changes in cost effective renewable technologies could saddle us with a renewable energy dinosaur if this project is built.
“The PSB decision includes numerous conditions…”
The decision includes 42 conditions that reflect serious shortcomings of the project as proposed. Of these most notable are the consequences if noise levels from the turbines cannot meet set standards – the turbines could be shut down. This has been the recourse in communities where nighttime noise could not be controlled. The most consistent strongest winds are at night. Nighttime shut down will further reduce the already estimated low capacity factor for this project.
“When operational…” The assumption that this project is a “done deal” is grossly misleading. VEC members still must vote on a transmission upgrade to move power that would be generated by this project to the grid. Appeals will be filed to challenge the recently issued Certificate of Public Good and GMP’s stormwater permits. More generally, given the underperformance of industrial turbines elsewhere and the limited experience by anyone with turbines of this size in high elevation locations, GMP has little basis to make any operational claims.
Our landscape is our economic heartbeat and it defines who we are. How much of that are we willing to gamble away when there are other options to meet our renewable energy needs?
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