HOLLAND – Dairy Air Wind on Friday applied for a certificate of public good to erect a nearly 500-foot-tall wind turbine on Dairy Air Farm.
Developer David Blittersdorf, the principal in Dairy Air Wind, is asking state utility regulators on the Vermont Public Service Board to review the project under the board’s simplified procedures for smaller renewable energy projects.
It’s the second wind turbine application Blittersdorf has filed in the past week for an Orleans County project. On Dec. 23, he applied for a certificate of public good for two industrial-sized turbines on his property on Kidder Hill, either in Lowell, Irasburg or one in both towns.
The 2.2-megawatt wind turbine in Holland is planned for a field on the 250-head dairy farm owned by the Champney family on School Road, about a mile from Holland Elementary School.
The turbine would generate enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes.
“We are excited to move forward with the permit application and that our small piece of working landscape can help contribute to Vermont’s renewable energy economy,” said Kim and Brian Champney.
“The support we’ve received from so many neighbors is encouraging. They understand the benefits a single turbine will provide to our farm and in tax payments to our community.
“Just like the milk from our farm boosts our location economy, our vision is to harvest clean energy from the wind that blows across our cornfields to make Vermont more energy secure and independent,” they added in a statement from Dairy Air Wind.
The turbine would generate $20,000 in annual municipal tax payments and $20,000 for the statewide education fund, making it one of the largest taxpayers in Holland.
The select board in Holland is opposed to the project, as is an overwhelming majority of the taxpayers and voters.
A mail-in survey of voters and property taxpayers conducted earlier this fall found that 314 were opposed to a turbine on a Holland farm, 59 were in favor and 44 were undecided.
The survey was conducted before Dairy Air Wind held an information forum on the turbine project, according to a Dairy Air Wind spokesman.
The Holland planning commission is drafting a new energy section of the town plan in hopes that would give the town a say in the siting of the turbine by the Vermont Public Service Board.
Holland selectmen hired an attorney to argue against the project before the PSB.
In a critique of the 45-day notice of intent to seek the certificate, attorney Cindy Ellen Hill talked about the threat of ice throw from blades on nearby homes and roads.
She pointed out that this wind turbine project on farm land is far closer to area residences, businesses, the town office and school and roadways that the ridgeline turbine projects elsewhere in Vermont.
Hill said the PSB should require the developer to address that issue.
Blittersdorf wants to gain all the necessary permits and approvals by the second half of 2017 and break ground a year from now, according to the 45-day notice.
The turbine would be similar in size and design to the four turbines of Georgia Mountain Wind, also a Blittersdorf project. The turbine would connect to the grid through an upgraded power line on School Road operated by Vermont Electric Cooperative and paid for by Dairy Air Wind.
The renewable energy credits would be provided to Vermont utilities. Dairy Air Wind has a 20-year standard offer contract for the electricity the turbine would produce at 11.6 cents per kilowatt hour or less.
The project includes a 1,200-foot spur road off School Road that will initially be 35 feet wide near the turbine site and then be narrowed after construction to 20 feet. The turbine would sit on a one-acre pad.
The parts will be shipped by truck and require special permits for oversize/overweight loads from state and local officials.
The turbine will be near a meteorological tower to measure wind speeds. Dairy Air Wind has applied for that met tower to the PSB, which also drew town opposition.
Correction: Dairy Air Wind Story
A story in Saturday’s edition about Dairy Air Wind in Holland said that renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf also filed a petition for a certificate of public good for two large wind turbines on Kidder Hill in Irasburg or Lowell.
The story should have said he filed on Dec. 23 what’s called a 45-day notice of intent to file a petition for the Kidder Hill project. He has to wait until February to actually petition for a certificate of public good for the Kidder Hill project.
We regret the error.
[January 5, 2017]
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