Opponents of wind projects like Kidder Hill reacted immediately Wednesday to the news that it was being suspended.
In Irasburg, which was originally the site for the two Kidder Hill turbines, Ron Holland said the suspension of the Kidder Hill project “is a step forward for Irasburg and Vermont.”
Holland was one of the six original protesters found guilty of trespassing at the Green Mountain Power wind turbine site on Lowell Mountain and has represented the town in opposing it.
“Vermont is moving away from a single-minded focus on carbon reduction to a more comprehensive evaluation of the impact of renewable energy projects,” Holland said.
“Utility-scale ridgeline wind projects, though the most profitable renewable energy, tear a community’s social fabric. That fabric will be necessary for successfully meeting the challenges of the future. Carbon emissions can be reduced without destroying our communities,” Holland said.
Judith Jackson, a member of the Irasburg Ridgeline Alliance, said the Kidder Hill project had become “a distraction from the important work of preparing for Irasburg’s energy future through efficiency and conservation and renewable-energy development that meets our town’s criteria of respect for the environment, sound economics and regard for community values.”
“Frankly, misguided utility-scale wind projects like Kidder Hill Wind threaten to give all renewable energy development a bad name – and that’s not good for Vermont’s energy future,” Jackson stated.
Annette Smith of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, said Blittersdorf alienated the communities where he wanted to develop wind energy.
“Blittersdorf may be the worst thing to happen to renewable energy in Vermont because of his uncompromising attitude: it’s his way or no way,” she stated, adding that he pushed ahead with “poorly sited projects in grid-constrained areas” like the Northeast Kingdom.
She said that Vermonters want renewable energy, but on a scale that fits their communities.
Newark resident Mark Whitworth, president of the board of directors at Energy Vermont, said Blittersdorf’s decision “is welcome news” to those who are committed to “effective climate action.”
“Vermonters have become too well informed to be bamboozled by energy developers who tell us that planetary salvation requires that we pay them to destroy our environment,” Whitworth stated.
At the same time, he said, “we need to get serious about addressing Vermont’s climate challenges: loss of biodiversity, reduced food security, and the increased vulnerability to severe weather events of our property, infrastructure, agricultural assets, and water resources.”
But he said the answer is not what he called “energy sprawl” which he said degrades the natural defenses of the state’s environment to respond to climate change.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding