IRASBURG/LOWELL – Wind developer David Blittersdorf filed a petition Tuesday with the Vermont Public Utilities Commission for a certificate of public good for two industrial-grade wind turbines on his Kidder Hill property.
The turbines would have a name-plate capacity for 2.5 megawatts of electricity. He wants to raise the 475-foot-tall turbines on his 645-acre property off Kidder Hill Road that straddles the Irasburg-Lowell line on the Lowell Mountain range.
The developer is asking that the Public Utilities Commission accept the petition and open a review of the project.
The petition contains three different scenarios: putting both the turbines in Lowell, both in Irasburg, or one in either town.
The town of Irasburg and Northeastern Vermont Development Association are opposing the project. Lowell selectmen have said they would welcome another wind project in Lowell, which is already host to 21 wind turbines owned by Green Mountain Power.
The project would either connect with Vermont Electric Cooperative or GMP, according to the petition.
The utilities are actively opposing this project and the other wind project by Blittersdorf, a single wind turbine project on Dairy Air Farm in Holland which is in the review stage before the Public Utilities Commission (formerly the Public Service Board).
The VEC board of directors voted in January not to buy electricity from Kidder Hill turbines because the cooperative has enough renewable electricity until 2024.
Kidder Hill Wind has notified the area towns and planning commissions within 10 miles and adjacent landowners in December that the petition has been filed.
The project should be reviewed under temporary standards for sound levels, the developer notes.
The state is considering a new sound level that would be among the lowest in Vermont, but that would not apply here.
A sound study of the three options states that the closest residence of someone other than Blittersdorf is approximately 1,870 feet to the east and another is 2,300 feet to the south. The distances are approximate because of the three different locations proposed for the turbines, according to the analysis by RSG.
There are two camps to the north at 500 and 1,250 feet.
Blittersdorf’s own cabin would be located between the two turbines.
Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, was critical of the petition Thursday.
“It is hard to understand why David Blittersdorf continues to force his projects into communities that do not want them, in areas that are grid-constrained where the utilities object, that may result in curtailment of other renewables.
“His behavior shows a basic disrespect for people and the energy system he proposes to impact,” Smith stated.
The Northeast Kingdom has more electricity than demand, and that has caused curtailment of existing wind projects here.
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