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LYNDONVILLE – Lyndonville Electric Department is in conversations with Seneca Mountain Wind, LED manager Ken Mason confirmed Thursday.
The wind project has been proposed for three Northeast Kingdom communities and met strong resistance in particular from Newark and Brighton while Ferdinand, part of the Unified Towns and Gores (UTGs), has remained neutral.
The project initially conceived as a 90 megawatt project could be reduced in scope by 33 percent, with a recent update to an ISO-New England interconnect request showing that last month, the SMW reduced the project to a 60 megawatt project.
That update shows that the project hopes to deliver its electricity to the grid via the Velco 115 kV substation at Lyndonville.
At last week’s meeting of the Lyndonville Trustees, the board went into executive session to discuss “potential contract terms with a renewable energy developer,” according to the March 4 agenda.
No action was taken after the 14-minute executive session, the minutes show.
Eolian CEO Jack Kenworthy said, “SMW and LED have initiated a conversation to discuss mutually beneficial ways to deliver the wind generated electricity from the wind farm to a proposed interconnection point in Lyndonville. We hope to sign an MOU that will lay out the path forward for those conversations and that process is not complete.”
Mason stated in an email, “LED has executed a ‘Confidentiality Agreement’ with Seneca (Mountain) Wind and is currently working on a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU).” He did not disclose any details of either of those documents. “Both of these documents have been put together with the assistance of LED’s attorney Mr. Piper and LED’s legal obligation to both the public and Seneca Wind under Vermont’s ‘Open Meeting’ law has been duly considered.”
“My philosophy has always been to get as much information out to the public (ratepayers) as soon as possible. I have voiced this also to Seneca (Mountain) Wind and am trying to strike a balance between their wishes of confidentiality, and letting the sunshine in,” Mason said, when pressed for further information on the talks with the wind developer.
Geoff Commons, director for Public Advocacy for the Vermont Department of Public Service, asked about the change to the SMW project proposal on Thursday, responded, “We have seen the information on the ISO website regarding the change in SMW’s description of their wind-turbine project. SMW does not currently have any petition before the PSB for approval of wind turbines. Changes to SMW’s wind-turbine plans are not relevant to the proposal that is pending before the Board, which relates only to placement of met towers. That petition has not been withdrawn or amended, and must be decided by the PSB on its own merits. If SMW does eventually file a petition for approval of wind turbines, that proposal will be reviewed as filed.”
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