Lowell, Vermont – Green Mountain Power leaders say delays in construction to the Lowell Mountain Wind Project could cost tens of millions of dollars.
Those added costs would eventually be passed on to rate payers.
Opponents are claiming success because they say they were able to get close enough to the project that blasting could not happen Wednesday.
Also they say no one was arrested despite a court order for them to stay away.
The project developer, GMP, says this is another example of the problems protestors are causing.
Protestors lined the street outside the construction headquarters for the Lowell wind project Wednesday.
“Great turnout today. Lots of good people,” says Steve Wright.
Wright says protestors wanted to send a message to GMP about building wind turbines nearby.
“It’s going to destroy one of the most beautiful and pristine ridge lines in Vermont for a very, very small amount of power in return,” says Ben Luce, a wind power protestor.
But Wright says this is more than a protest. He and others want to fight GMP on the mountain and in the courts.
“The plan is continue working to delay Green Mountain Power wherever we can with the particular action,” says Wright.
“If opponents are successful in delaying the project all it would do would add costs to the customers,” says Dotty Schnure, GMP spokeswoman.
Schnure says the project has the backing of locals, regulators and so far the courts. She says a delay of a few weeks could add $50-million to the project cost.
“We need to finish the project by the end of 2012 to be eligible for the production tax credit. Every penny of that tax credit goes to lower the costs to our customers,” says Schnure.
A judge right now is working on the order to keep protestors who are on the mountain outside the blast area.
GMP says it’s working with local law enforcement on how exactly to enforce it.
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