SEARSBURG, Vt. – The Green Mountain Club has withdrawn an appeal of the Deerfield Wind project after the U.S. Forest Service agreed to require the use of radar-activated lights on wind turbines.
The project proposed by Deerfield Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of the Spanish company Iberdrola Renewables, calls for 15 wind turbines nearly 400 feet high and spaced a half-mile apart on the ridgelines to the west of Route 8 in Readsboro and east of Route 8 in Searsburg.
Together, the turbines are expected to produce 30 megawatts of power.
Green Mountain Club Executive Director Will Wiquist said the club, which oversees the Long Trail in Vermont, filed initial comments before the Public Service Board approved the project in 2009. A second round of comments filed by the club earlier this year focused on lighting of the wind turbines.
“We thought it was very important that the view from the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail Š have no view of flashing lights,” Wiquist said.
The club worked with the Forest Service, upon whose land the turbines will be sited, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to alter the PSB’s previous order. The amended order now requires radar-activated lighting that will only trigger lights when aircraft approach.
Wiquist said the new order will benefit hikers and campers who are near the turbines.
“We just got confirmation from them this week and we’ve withdrawn our appeal.
We’re really happy the Forest Service worked with us on this. If the project goes forward it will really minimize the impact on the trail,” he said.
The club has not taken an official position on the wind project itself, according to Wiquist.
He said they are neither backing or opposing it. However, the club has asked the PSB to require a decommission plan, and require the developer to pay for all decommissioning costs.
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