- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Moratorium on wind projects is in the wind

Sen. Bob Hartwell, a Democrat from Bennington County, and Sen. Joe Benning, a Republican from Caledonia County, are seeking to create a three-year moratorium on large-scale wind turbine projects.

A two-year moratorium proposal failed in the Senate during the last legislative session, but Benning said a number of wind projects have come forth and support for moratoriums has been mounting across the state.

A Legislative Council lawyer is drafting the bill, which could include setback requirements from projects to residences and also try to restrict the distance of transmission lines.

“Energy is a commodity. It’s produced in-state and out-of-state,” said Benning, who has concerns over industrial-scale wind turbines on ridgelines.

“They require tax incentives to be built and then they require enhanced rates in order to run them. Overall, the question hasn’t been asked ‘Why are we doing this?’” he said.

“If we’re just trying to say, ‘We’re going green,’ that’s one thing, but if there’s a logic behind it as to why you’re spending this money and actually destroying your own image, you only want to do that in a case where you absolutely need to,” he said.

House Speaker Shap Smith told VTDigger.org that legislators should wait for a siting commission’s report on the issue.

“I’m told we have the numbers in the Senate,” Benning said.