HOLLAND – About three dozen people braved a cold north wind and rain Monday morning to again check out the proposed site for the Dairy Air Wind Project.
Those gathered on School Road walked the planned access road to the site of the base for a 499-foot-tall wind turbine intended for Dairy Air Farm. Walking the muddy cornfield were state officials, Holland selectmen, representatives of the developer and area residents, some of whom are active participants in the regulatory review of the project.
Dairy Air Wind, by developer David Blittersdorf, has filed a petition for a certificate of public good for the wind turbine with the Vermont Public Utilities Commission. Parties in the year-long review have filed testimony from their own experts and responded to other witnesses’ testimony.
The commission’s hearing officer, Tom Knauer, welcomed everyone to this second site visit. The first was in June 2017 but opponents successfully argued that a second visit was necessary, saying that field where the wind turbine would be erected was not marked to show the exact turbine base location and other features.
The cornfield was marked with stakes and flags. Ian Jewkes, civil engineer for the developer, pointed out details of the property on a map that participants in the site visit would see as they walked up to the high point of the field.
Knauer reminded everyone that the commission would not take any evidence during the site visit. He also urged anyone who had questions about the site to wait until everyone was within hearing distance.
The crane pad and power poles are indicated on the site, Jewkes said.
“This is an opportunity to see what they’ve submitted in their plans and discussed in their testimony,” Knauer said. “It’s not a good opportunity to advocate for or against the project. … Save your arguments for the hearing room.”
The commission was lucky that the site visit was possible at all Monday. Parts of the town of Holland were socked in with heavy fog at the time of the site visit, which would have made observations difficult.
Technical hearings are scheduled for mid-May. A pre-hearing status conference is scheduled for May 8 at the commission’s hearing room in Montpelier.
The Town of Holland has asked for a continuation of all or part of the issues before the commission, and has filed a motion for summary judgment. The hearing officer has set deadlines for responses to these issues and others that need to be resolved before the hearings start.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding