The General Assembly’s Regulation Review Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved regulations that held up the construction of wind turbines in Connecticut since 2011.
The vote paves the way for Texas-based Pioneer Green Energy to apply to build a 10-12 megawatt wind farm in Ashford and Union.
Melanie Bachman, acting executive director of the Connecticut Siting Council, said Tuesday that she expects the council to receive an application soon.
“It certainly has taken a while, but we were very pleased particularly given that it is Earth Day,” Bachman said of the vote.
The Earth Day vote was made possible after committee members, the Siting Council, and various other state officials met earlier this year to hammer out their differences.
During the three-year moratorium, a citizens group called FairWindCT opposed pieces of the various regulation proposals— particularly rules pertaining to how close a turbine can be to a residential area.
Legislators addressed some concerns by making it more difficult for a developer to get a setback waiver, and by requiring developers to provide upfront financial assurance so the state can decommission a turbine that is no longer in use.
FairWindCT President Joyce Hemingson said Tuesday that she was pleased the state had its first set of comprehensive wind regulations, despite the fact that her group did not get what it wanted on a number of fronts.
In particular, the group wanted a bigger setback requirement for turbines proposed near residential properties. The committee approved a setback of 1.5 times the height a given turbine, which Hemingson said isn’t enough.
The group is also concerned about the noise turbines make.
“[The rules] aren’t perfect, but there’s a procedure in place for making changes, if changes need to be made,” Hemingson said.
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