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Irasburg: time frame for windmill siting probe expands

IRASBURG – A state utility regulator has given renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf more time to explain how the locations of two small wind turbines on his land match up with state permits.

And the expanded schedule also allows those involved to decide whether Dec. 15 is a good date for a site visit to the Kidder Hill property where Blittersdorf has a cabin. The property is also where Blittersdorf wants to erect two industrial-sized wind turbines.

The two small windmills are subject of an investigation by the Vermont Public Service Board into whether Blittersdorf put them where he said he would. A neighbor has complained to the board that one turbine is too close to his cabin.

Blittersdorf received a certificate of pubic good for the wind mills. PSB hearing officer John Cotter had asked Blittersdorf to file an affidavit of compliance earlier this month swearing that the location of the wind mills is where he said they would be.

Cotter found that Blittersdorf’s first response was not specific enough and asked him for more details. That affidavit was supposed to be filed earlier this month but now is due Dec. 8.

The extension gives all the parties, including the state Department of Public Service and Agency of Natural Resources, the town of Irasburg, and neighbors Robert and Nancy Garthwaite of Connecticut, more time given the pending Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The comments and questioning about Blittersdorf’s affidavit and followup will stretch into February at least, based on the new schedule.

Blittersdorf has yet to file a required 45-day notice of intent to seek a certificate of public good for the two large turbines on his Kidder Hill property.

Meanwhile, Blittersdorf is also being questioned why he did not get a certificate of public good for a meteorological measurement tower on the property. He argued that he didn’t need a certificate for a test tower for research in general. Opponents argue that he should have applied, which would have given the town a heads up that he was interested in industrial-sized wind turbines on Kidder Hill.

While the probes continue over the Irasburg property, Blittersdorf is moving ahead on plans in Holland.

He filed a 45-day notice last week with the PSB that his company, Dairy Air Wind, will apply for a certificate of public good for an industrial-sized turbine on Dairy Air Farm.

Holland taxpayers and voters overwhelmingly opposed the idea in a mailed-in survey, with 314 opposed to 59 in favor.