HOLLAND – The Holland Select Board objects to some of the testimony filed with state utility regulators by the developer of a proposed industrial-sized wind turbine for Dairy Air Farm.
Developer David Blittersdorf filed a petition Dec. 30 for a certificate of public good to erect a 499-foot-tall wind turbine. The 2.2-megawatt turbine would be located on School Road about a mile from the Holland School.
The select board objects to testimony for Dairy Air Wind about the visual impact of the turbine, shadow flicker impacts, sound impacts and other impacts.
The board’s attorney, Cindy Hill, asked the Vermont Public Service Board to exclude portions of the testimony as detailed in a motion filed Jan. 27.
The developer has until Feb. 13 to respond to the objections. A site visit has yet to be scheduled.
In the motion, the select board objects to an exhibit showing a photograph simulation of what the proposed turbine might look like from near the Holland Congregational Church on Gore Road.
Hill says that information sponsored by Brian Knight, a historic preservation consultant, does not say it was prepared under his direction so it should not be admitted as evidence.
The town objects to and moves to exclude the testimony of Kenneth Kaliski about sound impacts from the turbine. In Kaliski’s case, Hill writes that his sound analysis is not relevant since the developer has not identified the actual turbine equipment that will be used.
She asked the board to exclude it.
The select board also objects to some testimony by consultant Martha Staskus of Vermont Environmental Research Associates (VERA). For example, Hill states Staskus is not an expert in aviation safety involving turbines and her testimony in that area should be excluded.
The same goes for testimony from John Zimmerman, also of VERA.
Zimmerman testifies on shadow flicker from the proposed turbine and ice throw.
“For example … Mr. Zimmerman attests that none of the residences other than the host landowner will ‘exceed recommended maximum cumulative annual shadow flicker hours’ without identifying by whom or where such ‘recommendation’ comes from,” Hill writes.
Zimmerman concludes that the turbine will not have an undue adverse impact on public health and safety due to shadow flicker.
An accompanying map shows that 27 residences would experience 1 hour per year of shadow flicker or less. Three of those homes are on the host farm. Another home on the farm close to the turbine site, where the host family lives, would experience 40 to 50 hours a year of shadow flicker.
In New England and elsewhere, Zimmerman states that the accepted level for shadow flicker and turbines is less than 30 hours a year.
A mail-in survey of voters and property taxpayers conducted last fall found that 314 were opposed to a turbine on a Holland farm, 59 were in favor and 44 were undecided.
Holland along with other towns in the Northeast Kingdom are seeking help to update the town plan to have a say in siting of large renewable energy projects like Dairy Air Wind.
The Northeastern Vermont Development Association opposes any new industrial-sized wind turbines in the Northeast Kingdom. The NVDA board has filed a notice to intervene in the Dairy Air Wind case to defend its regional plan, according to the minutes of a recent NVDA board meeting.
Blittersdorf is also preparing to file a petition for another Orleans County wind project. On Dec. 23, he issued a 45-day notice of intent to seek a certificate of public good for two industrial-sized turbines on his property on Kidder Hill which straddles the Irasburg-Lowell town line. The turbines could be located in Lowell, Irasburg or one in both towns.
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