Wind Power News: Vermont
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
SWANTON – Swanton Wind has asked the Public Service Board (PSB) for more time before responding to growing support in favor of a motion that would exclude several pieces of evidence from the project’s PSB application. The PSB must perform an extensive regulatory process before approving, or denying, the project a “Certificate of Public Good,” a document allowing the project’s developers to go forward with construction. Swanton Wind’s developers, Travis and Ashley Belisle, submitted the project’s application to the board on . . .
The Vermont Public Service Board ruled that Georgia Mountain Community Wind operated its turbine facility under icy conditions in violation of its certificate of public good. But the $2,000 fine, out of a possible $80,000, has some wondering if justice was done. “The PSB has sent us a clear message that we may as well stop filing complaints when GMCW is in violation,” said Melodie McLane, who issued the complaint. “This violation occurred almost 10 months ago, and thousands of . . .
SWANTON – The Public Service Board’s review of Swanton Wind faces turbulence before it even takes off: participants in the process cannot agree on a rescheduled date for the public workshop scheduled to kick off the process, while one participating party has filed a motion to exclude testimony on behalf of the project’s developers. The Public Service Board (PSB) originally scheduled a workshop for those considering participation in the process on Jan. 3 at Missisquoi Valley Union Middle and High School . . .
SWANTON – The official process determining whether Swanton Wind can be constructed has been delayed. The process was tentatively scheduled to stretch into October. Now it could be longer before the project’s developers and opponents have any certainty about the project’s fate. The Public Service Board (PSB)’s regulatory process was delayed after the board cancelled a public information workshop scheduled for Jan. 3 in Swanton. The board cancelled the workshop due to inclement weather. The workshop would have kicked off the . . .
MONTPELIER – The Public Service Board (PSB) held its second workshop to gather information regarding industrial wind sound limits in Montpelier on Jan. 9. This time, members of the public dominated the proceeding. The Vermont legislature has tasked the PSB with creating sound regulations for industrial wind facilities by July 1. The PSB held an initial information-gathering workshop on Dec. 2, at which government agencies, specifically the Department of Public Service, dominated the proceedings. Members of the public in attendance criticized . . .
This year, the Vermont House Committee on Energy and Technology will see a change of several members and the impact on future projects could be significant. When it comes to the fate of large industrial wind and solar projects, the rules that make or break a deal start in the House and Senate energy committees. Reps. Marianna Gamache, R-Swanton, and Michael Hebert, R-Vernon, were two of the tougher critics when it came to wind and solar development during last year’s . . .
Vermont’s new Republican governor said Monday he would stick with his Democratic predecessor’s long-term goal of getting 90 percent of the energy needed in the state from renewable sources by 2050. But Gov. Phil Scott, highlighting the construction of a new solar power project in the parking lot of a Montpelier food cooperative, said he believed new technology would be needed to make it happen. “When you look at projects like this and the way we’ve changed over the last . . .
Why is a Vermont developer seeking to blast important ridgeline habitat to install seven 499-foot-tall industrial wind towers near a residential Vermont neighborhood? Why is this developer seeking to build his wind plant when no Vermont electric utility wants to buy his power? The Vermont utilities have said that the cost of the power is too high, they do not need the power, and they will not support a project that the host town opposes (the town of Swanton, Vermont . . .
In Nancy Tips’ Sunday (Dec. 24) commentary on halting wind projects, I agree with most of her conclusions, but the second “no brainer reason” that Vermont has a “tiny carbon footprint” is wrong. Vermont’s per-capita footprint is bigger than you think and getting bigger. By selling renewable energy credits, they can’t be used for credit towards Gov. Peter Shumlin’s goal, noble but probably not obtainable, of 90 percent renewable energy by 2030. In fact, none of the energy from those . . .
For nearly two decades, Annette Smith has played a key part in making sure there is public debate over some of the most high-profile energy projects in Vermont. As executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, the Danby resident has organized communities, testified before government boards and advised residents who felt powerless in the face of state bureaucracies and big business. “Annette listened to us, she understood what we were saying and took our situation seriously,” Richard Carroll of . . .