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Holland: Residents invited to see Georgia Mtn. turbines

HOLLAND – Dairy Air Farm owners Kim and Brian Champney, who want to erect a large wind turbine on their farm, have invited fellow Holland residents to see wind turbines up close.

They have arranged a tour Sunday afternoon of the Georgia Mountain Community Wind project, according to a letter sent to Holland residents.

The four industrial-sized turbines on Georgia Mountain were erected by developer David Blittersdorf, who is helping the Champneys research and seek to erect a similar sized turbine on their School Road farm in Holland.

The tour is from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, with the invitation extended to Holland residents. They are required to bring the letter of invitation with them to the meeting place in Milton where the tour will begin.

In case of a severe weather forecast Sunday, the tour would be postponed to Sunday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. A notice would be posted on the wind project’s website at www.georgiamountain wind.com/outreach by 11 a.m. Sunday if the tour has to be postponed.

In the invitation, the Champneys explain why they want to host a wind turbine, which is expected to be less than 500 feet tall and be located not far from School Road.

“Our vision is to harvest clean energy from the wind that blows across the cornfields on our family’s dairy farm,” they wrote.

“As many of you know, dairy farming is extremely volatile, and farmers are constantly trying to find other ways to sustain their businesses. As farmers, the environment is a crucial aspect of our success. Adding a wind turbine not only makes the farm more financially sustainable for the long term, but it is harvesting a natural resource, the wind, that can be used to benefit us all.

“We are excited that our piece of working landscape can help contribute to Vermont’s renewable energy economy and reduce our reliance on polluting energy sources. Communities across Vermont have benefited financially by hosting wind projects, which provide tax revenue, but don’t require town services.

“When built, the single wind turbine will generate enough clean energy to power approximately 1,000 Vermont homes, contribute to Holland’s tax base, and the state education fund. We expect Dairy Air Wind would contribute approximately $20,000 in new tax dollars to the Town of Holland and $25,000 to the statewide education fund every year.

“And, all of the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for the project will go to Vermont utilities,” they wrote.

They said they hope that those with concerns will attend the tour and see the turbines for themselves.

Meanwhile, the town continues to discuss the single-turbine wind project, called Dairy Air Wind.

On Monday at 6:30 p.m., the Holland Select Board will discuss the town’s existing energy policy when it comes to working with energy developers.

Also on the agenda are Vicki and Dan Lewis of Derby, who are critical of wind projects.

The Champney farm turbine is being researched. Their consultants say they expect to need a wind test tower. They could hold a meeting this fall to show their research about the impact on the region of a wind turbine.