IRASBURG – Renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf swears that he did everything right when he applied for permission to put up two small wind turbines on Kidder Hill, contrary to what his neighbor says.
A hearing officer with state utility regulators wants to know what neighbors, the town of Irasburg and state agencies think about Blittersdorf’s affidavit about where he put one of those residential-sized wind turbines.
It’s one of two investigations into wind projects Blittersdorf has or proposes for his property on Kidder Hill. The other is about the lack of a permit for a wind test tower. He wants to erect two industrial-sized turbines there.
In his affidavit on the small turbines, Blittersdorf said he gave a general indication where they would be located and noted the location of one home within a mile of the sites when he successfully applied for a certificate of public good for them.
He stated that he didn’t use mapping or other technical means to pinpoint the sites. He also said he didn’t note that one neighbor’s shelter is within 700 feet or so from one of the small turbines.
Hearing officer John Cotter with the Vermont Public Service Board gave parties in the investigation, into the siting of the small turbine, until Monday to respond.
Neighbors Robert and Nancy Garthwaite of Connecticut own the property and that small shelter. They have complained about the proximity of one residential turbine, saying it is not where Blittersdorf proposed.
Garthwaite has asked the PSB to revoke the certificate of public good, issued in 2012, for the small turbines.
Cotter opened the investigation in July.
On Aug. 1, he told Blittersdorf to file the compliance affidavit with the following information:
– the proposed locations for the two small turbines;
– the distance between the proposed sites and nearest residences, including the shelter on the Garthwaite land;
– the as-built locations for the turbines;
– the distances between the as-built sites and the locations proposed in the actual application;
– the number of residential structures that are a mile or less from the as-built sites.
In response, Blittersdorf said in his affidavit filed Aug. 25 that he wasn’t required to be specific in the application for a certificate about the exact location of the small turbines.
He noted that the application did not require him to identify those homes or structures within a mile of his proposed turbine sites.
He said he used a Google Earth screen shot with arrows to show where the turbines would be. He didn’t provide exact coordinates. The turbines were installed in the “same general location” before he built his log cabin, he stated.
Blittersdorf said he did not, before the turbines went up, tell Robert Garthwaite that one small turbine would be a mile from Garthwaite’s shelter.
Cotter asked the town of Irasburg, neighbors and the state agencies to comment on the substance of the affidavit by Monday.
“In particular, I am interested in hearing from the parties on the adequacy of Mr. Blittersdorf’s affidavit in addressing the five topics that I set forth …” Cotter wrote.
Blittersdorf, owner of AllEarth Renewables, is also involved in two other renewable energy projects in Orleans County.
He is working with Dairy Air Farm on School Road in Holland to plan for a single industrial-sized turbine there. The town select board has voted to oppose that.
He also has a certificate of public good for a small 500-kilowatt solar project on a hay field off Valley Road in Morgan. The Morgan Select Board has voted to appeal that.