IRASBURG – A hearing officer of the Vermont Public Service Board on Monday ordered wind developer David Blittersdorf to prove he didn’t violate a certificate of public good when he put up two small wind mills on his Kidder Hill property in Irasburg.
Abutting property owner Robert Garthwaite alleges that one of the wind mills is in the wrong location and too close to his seasonal camp and asked the PSB to revoke the certificate of public good for the wind mill.
It’s the second alleged violation against Blittersdorf, who wants to erect two industrial-sized wind turbines on the same property.
Blittersdorf is facing a complaint by the town of Irasburg, the state Department of Public Service and Agency of Natural Resources that he put up a meteorological tower to test wind speeds without a certificate of public good.
Blittersdorf is also involved in a proposal to erect one large turbine on a Holland farm and a small net-metered solar project in Morgan that has the town of Morgan and residents concerned that he wants to put up a large wind turbine as well.
Garthwaite alleges that Blittersdorf’s application for a certificate of public good for the small wind mill on Kidder Hill contained inaccuracies and that one of the wind mills is in a location “significantly different” that Blittersdorf described, according to information before the PSB.
The PSB opened an investigation into the matter July 15.
On Friday, hearing officer John Cotter held a pre-hearing conference with attorneys in the case.
On Monday, Cotter issued an order at the recommendation of the department that Blittersdorf file an affidavit of compliance about the wind mill’s location and other information .
Blittersdorf has until Aug. 26 to address the following issues, Cotter ordered:
– the locations proposed for the two wind mills in the certificate application;
– the distance between those proposed locations and the nearest residences, including the structure on Garthwaite’s land;
– the as-built locations of the wind mills;
– the distances between the as-built locations and the locations proposed in the application;
– and the number of residential structures that are a mile or less in distance from either of the two as-built wind mills, including the structure on Garthwaite’s land.
“If Mr. Blittersdorf is unable to provide the board with such an affidavit, he shall explain why he did not construct the project in compliance with the requirements of the CPG,” Cotter ordered.
Failure to file an affidavit or material misrepresentation of a fact in an affidavit is a violation subject to civil penalties and “shall also be grounds for revocation or rescission” of the order and certificate originally issued, according to the statutes.
Like the investigation into the lack of a certificate of public good for the MET tower, this case is in two stages, first to determine if a violation occurred and then, if there is a violation, to determine if there should be a penalty.
In the MET tower case, the board has yet to determine if there is a violation.
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