Holland Selectmen want to make sure that renewable energy developer David Blittersdorf can’t restart his former plan for a wind turbine on Dairy Air Farm.
Blittersdorf announced Jan. 16 that he was dropping the Dairy Air Wind project because the political climate under Vermont Gov. Phil Scott is hostile to wind energy. He urged Vermonters to challenge the governor and change laws to favor wind projects.
The Holland Select Board on Jan. 24 asked the Vermont Public Utilities Commission to dismiss the Dairy Air Wind Project petition for a certificate of public good – with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be restarted.
The selectmen, through their attorney Cindy Ellen Hill, filed a motion requesting that the commission find that the petitioner failed to file a sound model required by the rules governing this project and indicated none would be coming.
“Their evidence being deficient, and having failed to follow PUC rules, dismissal for failure to prosecute – a judgment with prejudice on the merits – is warranted,” the motion reads.
The selectmen in a memo accompanying the motion state that the petition for the Dairy Air Wind project had been on hold because the petitioner had not filed a sound model reflecting the sound levels at all residences in the area.
The developer’s attorney asked for extensions before finally writing a short letter dated Jan. 16 to the clerk of the PUC saying “petitioner Dairy Air Wind LLC will not be supplementing its petition or pursuing this matter any further.”
Holland’s memo states that this letter is not a motion to withdraw or seeking dismissal of the petition, adding “this letter is tantamount to an admission that petitioner has pressed this matter from the beginning without the evidence required to support the petition, and with no intention of complying with PUC rules, …”
“They simply sent a letter saying they were taking their ball and going home,” Holland stated in the memo.
Holland is calling for “involuntary dismissal,” which is found in courts in Vermont when a party doesn’t show up in court, Holland’s memo notes.
Involuntary dismissal by the commission would grant the summary judgment requested by the town of Holland and Northeastern Vermont Development Association, which supports Holland’s opposition to the project, according to the memo.
Blittersdorf had been seeking a certificate of public good for the wind turbine on a farm field in Holland since 2016. It was the last large turbine project under review by regulators in Vermont.
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