Michael Mammoliti said a wind turbine a few hundred feet from his home is giving him headaches – literally.
In the fall of 2011, Mammoliti and his wife, Brenda, filed a complaint to the Public Service Board against a plan by Green Mountain Power to build the 120-foot-tall alternative energy source.
Since then, the Mammolitis have sought to shut it down. They say it is making them sick.
“Is it just for someone to suffer for someone else’s profit?” Michael Mammoliti said. “Is this the way we should live today in the world?”
For part of the year, the travel of the sun makes it so the turbine is between the sun and the house, casting a shadow. And on sunny days, the turbine’s blades beam light through his windows, Mammoliti said.
“It’s like flashes of light,” he said. “Like a strobe light.”
Green Mountain Power spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure said the company is well aware of the Mammolitis’ complaints, and that the utility has done what it can to mitigate the issue.
To stop the flickering, Green Mountain Power agreed to shut the turbine off between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., when the sun is lowest in the sky.
However, Mammoliti said a software glitch did not take into account daylight savings time and the turbine was actually off between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., and that the flickering continued.
Schnure said when GMP learned off the hiccup, the software was fixed. Mammoliti said the problem still exists.
The Mammolitis have also said the turbine makes noise and was unfairly installed in their neighborhood.
Green Mountain Power, as per its certificate of public good from the state, said the turbine is one of two locally-based community towers that produce renewable energy.
A noise study also found no abnormal sound levels.
Schnure said to her knowledge, Mammoliti has been the only complainant.
“The community of Vergennes has been very receptive of this wind plant,” she said. “We’ve heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that people love that they have wind power.”
Mammoliti said though he’s for wind energy, he’s against this project.
“When it bothers someone unfairly, it shouldn’t be put there,” he said.
In its latest order, the Public Service Board said GMP is complying with regulation and has mitigated any light and noise issues.
A statement in the order also said the issue could be brought to court, but Mammoliti said he cannot afford a lawyer.
He said he is looking to move.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding