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Holland wind project: Test tower 300 feet from School Road

HOLLAND – A slender tower to test for wind speeds on Dairy Air Farm would be a football field away from School Road.

The tower, called a meteorological or “met” tower, is proposed for a knoll off School Road that is just south of the intersection with Twin Bridges Road.

The tower will be located near where Dairy Air Farm owners Brian and Kim Champney want to raise an industrial-grade wind turbine nearly 500 feet tall.

The details about the met tower are included in a notice of intent provided by Vermont Environmental Research Associates (VERA) on behalf of the Champneys to the town, neighbors and statutory agencies. The notice comes in advance of the plan to apply for a certificate of public good for the met tower from the Vermont Public Service Board.

The notice is required under board rules. VERA intends to file for a certificate of public good by Sept. 26, according to the notice. The Public Service Board usually reviews met towers quickly under an expedited process.

In the notice, Martha Staskus with VERA, speaking on behalf of the Champneys, writes that the 60-meter tower will be about 300 feet east of School Road, or a football field away.

The location is 560 feet from forest to the east, 760 feet from the nearest property boundary and 800 feet from the nearest structure on the farm.

It’s estimated that the met tower would only take one to two days to install and remain in place for less than three years.

VERA officials have told town residents that the met tower will still be collecting data on wind speeds when the Champneys apply for a certificate of public good for their large wind turbine.

They estimated it will take some months to conduct studies of the environmental and other impacts of the wind turbine on the area before the Champneys can apply for a certificate.

Meanwhile, a majority of the select board in Holland has voted to oppose the wind project, with one member saying he would wait for a town-wide referendum to make his decision.

The town planning commission is reworking the town plan on energy and land use in light of the single-turbine project.