IRASBURG – The Irasburg Select Board has reacted to the news that David Blittersdorf now has committed to putting up two large wind turbines on the Lowell side of his Kidder Hill property rather than on the Irasburg side.
The select board voted last week to seek an experienced attorney to represent the town if Blittersdorf’s Kidder Hill Wind Project goes forward, as anticipated.
Representatives of Kidder Hill Wind told the Lowell selectmen recently that the two turbines will be placed on the Lowell side of the property.
The petition for Kidder Hill Wind had originally proposed three options: two sites in Irasburg, one in both towns or both in Lowell. But the state regulators on the Public Utilities Commission found the petition lacking information, including specific sites for the turbines.
Nick Charyk, spokesman for Kidder Hill Wind, said last week that the Lowell sites have been chosen.
“The specifics of the location will be shared when the project files with the Public Utility Commission for a certificate of public good. The filing date has not been determined yet,” Charyk stated in an email.
If the turbine sites are close enough to the Irasburg town line, then Irasburg would have a say in the project, townspeople involved in opposing the Kidder Hill project told the selectmen, according to the minutes of the Nov. 27 select board meeting.
In a non-binding referendum, Irasburg voters overwhelmingly opposed large wind turbines in Irasburg.
In Lowell, Select Board Chairman Richard Pion said selectmen are not opposed to the idea.
Lowell voters have shown overwhelming support for wind projects in the past, including for Kingdom Community Wind’s 21 turbines raised by Green Mountain Power. At that time, GMP had stated that the project would only go forward if voters supported it.
Annual tax payments from GMP cover the town’s municipal budget.
Pion said the select board would put another non-binding referendum on the ballot at town meeting in March if voters should petition for such a vote.
When asked if Blittersdorf would ask for a referendum in Lowell on the Kidder Hill Wind Project, Charyk said he could not get into hypothetical questions.
“I do know that Lowell has twice voted in support of wind energy by large margins. Lowell voted by a margin of 75 percent to host the Kingdom Community Wind project, and following its installation, defeated an anti-wind measure 110-27. These votes demonstrate strong support for wind energy,” Charyk said.
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