SWANTON – The Town of Swanton Selectboard approved a letter asking a Massachusetts energy department not to purchase power from Swanton Wind, a new security system for the local railroad museum and considered a proposed zoning change at the board’s Tuesday evening meeting.
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MADER) received about four-dozen bids for additions to the state’s renewable energy portfolio by mid-August. Swanton Wind is among those bids.
But the selectboard’s letter to the MADER warns that the project “faces broad and deep opposition from Swanton, surrounding communities and state officials,” and says that Swanton Wind will have a “profoundly negative impact” on residents of Swanton, St. Albans and Fairfield.
The board’s letter also contains skepticism as to whether the project will meet the timetable it proposed in its application to the MADER, a timetable in which the project will have completed Vermont’s regulatory process and received preliminary approval by March 2019.
The board wrote that it is skeptical Swanton Wind will meet that deadline, due to the Public Utility Commission’s refusal to reconsider an order mandating Swanton Wind complete a system impact study before the commission’s regulatory process resumes.
“Please do not buy the power from this poorly planned project that we believe is fraught with procedural, technical, systematic and environmental shortcomings, and thus lend support to its harmful and unwelcome outcomes,” the letter says. “Our community is committed to fighting this project.
“In our opinion, proposing to site this project on a rural mountaintop that serves as an important visual international gateway is as impertinent as proposing to site it on Boston’s Beacon Hill.”
The selectboard unanimously approved a motion to sign and send the letter.
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