HOLLAND – Dairy Air Wind has three weeks to respond again to a motion by the town of Holland for summary judgment, which if successful would stop the development in its tracks.
The select board in this small border town filed a motion for summary judgment in March that says the plan for a single large turbine for a Holland dairy farm field cannot be considered for a certificate of public good by the Vermont Public Utilities Commission.
Holland is supported by Northeastern Vermont Development Association, acting as the regional planning commission, and several neighbors of Dairy Air Farm on School Road where the 499-foot-tall turbine is proposed.
Thomas Knauer, hearing officer for the commission, said the response filed by Dairy Air Wind to the motion for summary judgment didn’t provide the back-up materials to dispute the motion.
Knauer stated in an order issued last week that he had the option of asking for a more detailed response from Dairy Air Wind or he could have taken up the motion for summary judgment without considering Dairy Air Wind’s arguments against it.
Knauer said the discrepancy between how Holland based its arguments and how Dairy Air Wind responded made it unreasonable for the commission to determine whether or not there are disputed facts that must be heard at a hearing.
He gave Dairy Air Wind until Aug. 22 to respond again.
The Dairy Air Wind case is at a critical stage, moving forward on several tracks.
A hearing is expected on the sole issue of how the wind turbine would affect the grid in this part of northern Vermont. The question is whether it would increase the curtailment of other renewable energy projects like the 21 wind turbines on Lowell Mountain.
This decision could determine whether the project goes forward at all.
Meanwhile, the commission’s officer is looking at the motion for summary judgment.
The motion for summary judgment addresses the issues of shadow flicker and ice drop or throw from the turbine blades and any impact on nearby roads and residences, and the project’s impact on regional plans and orderly development.
Other issues raised by Holland are about the level of sounds inside and outside of residences.
Dairy Air Wind rebutted these arguments but Knauer wants that rebuttal with more information.
If the grid issue doesn’t end the project and the motion for summary judgment is denied, the project would be considered by the commission
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