IRASBURG – The discussion over whether a wind test tower by renewable developer David Blittersdorf needed a certificate of public good will continue until the end of April.
George Young, hearing officer with the Vermont Public Service Board, said negotiations are ongoing between Blittersdorf and Dr. Ron Holland, representing the Town of Irasburg, and should have more time.
The dispute is over the existing meteorological tower on Blittersdorf’s land on Kidder Hill, which he says he put up to test wind for a small turbine, not for the two industrial grade turbines he now proposes.
Holland disagrees and is trying to get Blittersdorf to admit that he has another wind test tower on property in Morgan as well. The opponents say that they would have known years ago that Blittersdorf wanted to put up wind turbines in Irasburg if he had applied for a certificate of public good for the wind test tower as required by state regulations.
Blittersdorf is fighting that. They want to see him fined or stopped from erecting the two turbines.
The Vermont Department of Public Service, which represents electricity consumers in these cases, asked Young to provide more time.
“The department’s motion indicates that the parties have engaged in discussions that might lead to a stipulation or other negotiated outcome and indicates that these discussions are ongoing,” Young wrote Friday.
The department’s attorney stated that neither Blittersdorf nor Holland object to having more time.
Young on Friday gave them until April 27 to either file a stipulation on an agreement or propose a schedule for the rest of the investigation.
Meanwhile, representatives of Blittersdorf have visited the Lowell select board to discuss the Kidder Hill wind turbines as part of an information tour to neighboring towns before Blittersdorf files his 45-day notice of application for a certificate of public good for the turbines.
Martha Staskus, project representative for VERA Renewables, and Alison Milbury Stone, attorney for Kidder Hill Community Wind project, spoke first to the Irasburg select board and then later in March to the Lowell select board.
They have also met with IRA, the Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance opposing the two turbines.
Staskus called it a listening tour, to describe the project and to make sure that towns and neighbors are aware of it in advance of the filing.
Her job, she said, is to listen to comments, share information, and to see if there are ways to improve it before the formal application process begins.
In Lowell, the selectmen asked if Blittersdorf wanted to move the turbines to the Lowell side of his property, since the town has experience with wind turbines and would not oppose another project in town, according to board minutes.
Staskus said that’s what she heard from the selectmen. She was not in a position to discuss those kinds of details of the project because the site for the two turbines is based on the best location for wind and other issues on the Kidder Hill property.
When asked by email if he had considered moving the wind turbines to the Lowell side of the property, Blittersdorf said to talk to Staskus.
Stastkus told the Irasburg select board that she would return after the 45-day notice was filed to discuss the project in detail at a warned public forum.
Blittersdorf would pay $40,000 in taxes annually on the two turbines and site.
The town voted overwhelmingly to oppose industrial wind turbines.
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