The Vermont Department of Public Service, acting in its consumer watchdog role, wants wind developer David Blittersdorf to explain why his two small wind turbines on Kidder Hill aren’t where he said they would be.
And the department wants to know why Blittersdorf didn’t notify state utility regulators about the difference in location and the proximity to nearby residents.
The questions being posed during an investigation into whether Blittersdorf violated his 2011 certificate of public good for the two small turbines on his property in Irasburg.
It’s the same area where he plans to erect two industrial-sized wind turbines – either in Irasburg or on the Lowell side of the property.
He issued a 45-day notice for the two 500-foot-tall turbines and could file a petition with the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) for a certificate of public good any day now. As of recently, he was still seeking a buyer for the electricity those turbines would produce. Both Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative say they have enough renewable electricity and didn’t want to buy it.
Abutting property owner Robert Garthwaite alleges that one of the wind mills is in the wrong location and too close to his seasonal camp. Last year, Garthwaite asked the PSB to revoke the certificate of public good for the wind mill.
The PSB officer hearing this case held a site visit in mid-December to see where the small turbines are located and the proximity to residences.
The parties involved have until the end of March to question Blittersdorf and others about the situation.
In early statements, Blittersdorf was not specific enough and was asked for more details.
As part of a deposition, the department’s attorney is asking several critical questions of Blittersdorf.
The department wants to know when Blittersdorf learned that the turbines were installed in locations different than what he indicated in his 2011 application to the PSB and why it happened.
The department also wants to know why Blittersdorf didn’t notify the PSB of the change, why he didn’t identify other residences that are within a mile of the small turbines and why he didn’t address the visibility of those residences.
And the department has asked if Blittersdorf or any company managed by him has ever been penalized in connection with development activity.
This probe is in two phases: the first is to determine if there is a violation, and the second phase is to determine if there should be a penalty.
Blittersdorf is facing another investigation involving the property, as the town of Irasburg is challenging why he did not get a certificate of public good for a meteorological testing tower, called a “met” tower, on his land.
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