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Another wind farm coming to region?

SHEFFIELD – There is a wind farm developer sniffing around the area, that’s been confirmed and was discussed recently at the Lyndonville Board of Trustees meeting.

Someone is looking in the area for a possible wind farm, but who it is, and where exactly they’re looking, hasn’t gone public yet.

At last week’s Lyndonville trustees’ meeting, Lyndonville Electric Department Manger Ken Mason said, “There are people now looking at another wind farm north of Lyndonville … a project in the 60 to 70 megawatt range, and they’re talking to us now to try to use our system to get it onto the VELCO system … these guys are around, there’s always someone calling you up and saying, ‘Hey, have I got a deal for you.'”

When asked for details, Mason said, “They have asked me not to use their name until they are ready to announce themselves. I told them that I’d have to mention their visit when it comes to future potential power supply for full disclosure and they understood that. They’re supposed to contact me again soon after talking to VELCO and I will ask them then if they have a problem with the world knowing.”

A rumor that there are plans on file for more turbines at Sheffield Town Hall are without merit, according to Sheffield Town Clerk Kathy Newland.

When asked about that claim, Newland – speaking for herself and other Sheffield officials, said, “We would swear on a stack of bibles” that there are no new wind farm plans on the drawing board for the town.

At a recent Sheffield selectmen’s meeting, Sheffield planner Tina Heck had the same question.

“I’m new on the planning commission, and I just had a question because we just had this big wind project that finished, and I have heard that other wind companies have approached the select board about starting new projects,” Heck said.

Heck was assured by the town’s three selectmen that those are rumors.

“It’s absolutely not true,” Newland said. “We have not heard a thing.”

John Lamontagne, First Wind spokesman, the company which recently had a ribbon cutting for its 16-turbine wind farm in Sheffield said, “Certainly we don’t have anything ongoing near the Sheffield site, apart from the operating project. We have no plans for expansion and we’re not looking at developing anything in the area. So there’s no truth to the rumors. And regarding the rest of Vermont, we don’t have any specific projects that we’re looking at. But we’re always interested in possible projects in good locations.”