EDEN – A Connecticut company called BNE Energy Inc. of West Hartford wants to erect six large turbines on the southwest side of the Lowell Mountain range.
BNE has had a wind test tower on the mountain for several years and intends to file a request next year with Vermont utility regulators for permission to erect the six turbines.
If approved, that would put 27 turbines on this rural mountain range in northern Vermont. Green Mountain Power and its partner Vermont Electric Cooperative already have 21 turbines on the ridgeline.
Details about the proposed Eden project are laid out in an application by BNE Energy with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which asked for proposals from private developers to meet Connecticut’s clean energy goals.
“Wind resources on the property are predicted to be excellent,” BNE stated in its application to sell Wind Eden electricity in Connecticut.
BNE has permission to erect other wind turbines in Connecticut, according to the document BNE filed Aug. 5 with the state of Connecticut. The applications in Connecticut are posted online.
Paul Corey, chairman of the BNE board of directors who applied to the Connecticut department to sell electricity for the Wind Eden project, could not be reached for comment Monday.
BNE states that it has worked in the past year with a local Vermont utility to connect the six proposed Eden turbines to the grid nearby.
David Hallquist, chief executive officer of Vermont Electric Cooperative, said Monday that VEC did a study for BNE two years ago that showed it would be cost-prohibitive to connect to power lines along Route 100.
Hallquist did not know if BNE had talked to GMP about connecting to another power line farther south at Stowe, which he said would be even more costly.
GMP has not had any recent discussions with BNE Energy, a spokesman said late Monday afternoon.
Hallquist said that VEC would oppose a permit for Wind Eden, because it would further destabilize the area grid.
Grid operator ISO-New England has already curtailed the production of some electricity from the Lowell turbines due to instability of the local transmission lines. GMP is due to install $1 million worth of equipment to improve the transmission stability and allow more electricity generated in Lowell to go into the grid. (*I think this should be $10.2 million, not $1 million)
Wind Eden project
BNE states that the Wind Eden turbines would be near the grid on Route 100, based on its application in Connecticut.
The Wind Eden project would be located on a 353-acre site in the Bigelow Basin in the town of Eden on undeveloped land, according to the Connecticut application. BNE has a lease with a local landowner signed last year.
The turbines would be located at elevations of 2,000 to 2,600 feet above sea level.
The property is adjacent to a conservation area and a 410-acre state forest.
The proposed six turbines would be the same size as those at the Lowell wind project.
BNE calls the project financially and technically viable. It has conducted some preliminary analysis of the environmental assessments needed for the Wind Eden project and have looked over all the permits and approvals obtained by GMP for the Lowell wind project.
The plan is to conduct the studies in the spring of 2014, apply to the Vermont Public Service Board in the fall of 2014 and expect to receive a certificate of public good for the Eden turbines by the second quarter of 2015, BNE states.
Both Corey and BNE’s president have backgrounds in the power industry. Also, Corey formerly served as the executive director of the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control.
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