HOLLAND – The proposal for a single industrial-grade wind turbine on a farm in Holland has some neighbors up in arms.
A group calling itself Citizens for Responsible Energy in Holland is meeting to brainstorm about the project called Dairy Air Wind.
So far, their focus is to stay on top of information coming out of select board meetings and look at the town plan to see whether it would provide the town with a say over the siting of industrial wind turbines, said spokeswoman Linda Wilkie.
The group formed after local farmers Brian and Kim Champney of Dairy Air Farm announced that they wanted to raise a large wind turbine on their property on School Road with the help of renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf.
The family is working with consultants at Vermont Environmental Research Associates (VERA), which is in the midst of studying the impacts of an industrial-sized wind turbine on the neighborhood.
The project was to be the discussion of a community meeting on July 7 but selectmen postponed the meeting at the request of a VERA representative.
The opponents of the Dairy Air Wind turbine were upset that John Zimmerman of VERA attended the select board meeting just days before the community meeting and spoke to the selectmen without being on the agenda, Wilkie said.
The meeting postponement caught many community members by surprise. Members of the anti-wind group plan to have a presence at future meetings to avoid that from happening again, she said.
Most of the people in Holland are opposed to having such a large wind turbine in town, she said.
The group is also upset that there seems to be an attempt to pit farmers against their neighbors. Wilkie said they support local farmers and that they need help paying their bills, but neighbors don’t want large wind turbines.
They would be supportive of solar projects, depending on their location and size, she said.
The group is looking for more members, who are welcome to reach out to Wilkie privately, she said.
The state utility regulators on the Vermont Public Service Board said that certain town plans will be considered when siting wind projects.
Blittersdorf is involved in another wind project in Orleans County – on his Kidder Hill property in Irasburg.
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