PROCTOR – While it’s not clear how much, if at all, the project would be visible from town, the Select Board decided to formally oppose the Grandpa’s Knob Community Wind project.
The single-turbine project, floated by its developers as a tribute to a historic wind tower built on Grandpa’s Knob in the 1940s that no longer stands there, would be sited in Castleton and visible from there, Hubbardton, Pittsford, West Rutland and Rutland Town.
The company has a website – grandpasknobcommunitywind.com – where it posts information on the project, including its latest visual impact simulations. Representatives from the company have said it’s at least a year away from filing for a state permit.
Proctor Selectman Bruce Baccei said he doesn’t think the latest models show the project being visible from town.
The town’s Planning Commission doesn’t support the project, noted Selectman Tom Hogan. The town plan also opposes industrial wind.
All town plans in the affected townships are against industrial wind projects. The Rutland Regional Planning Commission has stated that the project doesn’t conform with the regional plan.
Baccei said he’s attended recent meetings and gets the sense the project isn’t being well received.
Town Manager Michael Ramsey said that Sam Carlson, who’s been giving the informational presentations to potentially impacted towns, has been saying this isn’t an industrial wind project.
The board unanimously agreed to send a letter out expressing its disapproval of the project.
According to the developers, current plans have the lone turbine tower at 275 feet with blades sweeping 143 feet above that. They argue that its impacts will be minimal, as it’s not far from an existing 310-foot high communications tower. They also claim the roads accessing the site wouldn’t need to be upgraded.
The developer behind the project is Dave Blittersdorf, who has said he’d like to put half of its annual net profits into a fund to be divided up between the impacted towns, per some agreement they would reach with each other.
In 2012, another developer proposed a 20-turbine project along that same ridgeline, drawing a great deal of local opposition. Those who opposed that project also oppose this one, citing a number of environmental and aesthetic concerns.
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