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Swanton Wind project paused, application withdrawn  

Credit:  April McCullum, Free Press Staff Writer | Burlington Free Press | Nov. 27, 2017 | www.burlingtonfreepress.com ~~

The Belisle family has shelved plans for a proposed wind project in Swanton, citing tax and regulatory risks, a spokesman said.

Travis, Ashley and Gerald Belisle were seeking state approval to build seven turbines on a ridge near Swanton’s border with St. Albans and Fairfield. The proposal generated fierce opposition from many of its neighbors.

Swanton Wind LLC withdrew the project’s application at the Vermont Public Utility Commission on Monday.

“At a more predictable time, Swanton Wind will move forward,” said Nick Charyk, who works for the project managers at VERA Renewables in Waterbury. Charyk sent out a statement on behalf of Swanton Wind LLC.

Charyk wrote that federal and state dynamics had created “an unacceptable level of business risk” for the Swanton project.

“Uncertainty around the federal tax policies that drive the economics of independent power projects like Swanton Wind have significantly impacted project financing,” Charyk said in the statement.

“Here in Vermont,” Charyk continued, “the project currently faces a hostile environment from an administration opposed to wind energy, regulators, and monopoly utilities who import a majority of Vermont’s power while opposing many independent local power projects.”

Read Swanton Wind LLC’s withdrawal of its application for a certificate of public good here.

In an interview, Charyk said the “hostile environment” in Vermont included Gov. Phil Scott’s opposition to large wind projects, his appointment of a wind critic to lead the Public Utility Commission, and the commission’s recent rule that will limit sound at future wind projects.

Over the summer, the Public Utility Commission asked Swanton Wind to conduct a feasibility study for the project, Charyk said, and regulatory hearings were placed on hold in the meantime.

Charyk declined to say how much had been spent on the Swanton Wind project during three years of work.

Source:  April McCullum, Free Press Staff Writer | Burlington Free Press | Nov. 27, 2017 | www.burlingtonfreepress.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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