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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.

ISO study warns of precarious energy future; Most scenarios envision emergency actions, including rolling blackouts

A new study by the operator of the region’s power grid warns that without additional natural gas pipeline capacity New England will face a precarious energy future, where emergency actions such as rolling blackouts are likely to become a reality on several days a year. The fuel security study by ISO-New England examined 23 different scenarios for electricity generation during the winter of 2024-2025 and found that in all but the most optimistic case some sort of emergency action would . . . Complete story »

January 17, 2018 • Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, VermontPrint storyE-mail story

D-Day approaches for Northern Pass

CONCORD – Next week Massachusetts’ three major electric distributors and the Department of Environmental Resources will announce which proposals to produce 10 terawatt hours of clean renewable energy over the next 20 years will be selected to negotiate long-term contracts. The 46 proposals present a buffet of options for energy officials and are expected to help meet Massachusetts’s clean energy goals. The Massachusetts legislation emphasizes new renewable energy sources and transmission systems to deliver “clean power” to southern New England. The . . . Complete story »

January 15, 2018 • VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Oversubscribed northern Vermont power grid costing utilities millions

Because wind power can be throttled back to protect the grid when too much electricity is being generated at once, wind generators in the SHEI area sometimes suffer “curtailment,” when New England’s electrical grid authorities force the turbines to produce less power than they’re able. Of the 105 megawatts of wind power that the region can produce, Green Mountain Power owns the largest contributor — Kingdom Community Wind, which generates up to 63 megawatts. This is also by a wide margin the largest in-state source of power in the SHEI region. Curtailments on these and other generators meant that GMP has made several millions of dollars less than the company could have over the last 18 months, said Doug Smith, the utility’s director of power planning. Complete story »

January 10, 2018 • VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Utilities regulators drop probe into wind test tower in Holland

HOLLAND – The Vermont Public Utilities Commission has closed an investigation into the siting of a wind measurement tower on Dairy Air Farm, where a large wind turbine is planned. The Dairy Air Wind Project developer took down the meteorological tower, called a met tower, after it became the source of complaints from opponents. The town of Holland and others said the tower was not located where the developer said it would be, and was raised sooner than it should have . . . Complete story »

ISO-NE proposal would drive state-sponsored renewables into wholesale markets

Dive Brief: ISO New England has proposed tariff changes aimed accommodating state-sponsored renewable resources in the region’s Forward Capacity Market (FCM), while still finding a way to guard its competitive pricing mechanisms. The grid operator’s proposed solution calls for a two-stage Forward Capacity Auction (FCA). The first auction would function largely is it does today, but a second stage would include a voluntary substitution auction. Existing resources that just retained supply obligations in the primary capacity auction and “are willing to . . . Complete story »

January 10, 2018 • VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Swanton Wind: No money being returned

SWANTON – Swanton Wind’s developers are not getting the project’s $100,000 Public Utility Commission (PUC) filing fee back, nor are participants in the PUC’s review process getting their legal expenditures returned. But if Swanton Wind’s developers file a new application in the future, those participants may again argue they’re eligible for compensation. That was the order the PUC issued Thursday. Swanton Wind filed to dismiss its application, without prejudice, on Nov. 27, including a request for the return of its $100,000 . . . Complete story »

January 5, 2018 • VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Georgia Mountain wind sold

The Georgia Mountain turbines have generated considerable controversy. The Public Utility Commission just last month fined Georgia Mountain Community Wind nearly $10,000 for operating the windmills during conditions in the winter of 2016 that could have formed ice on the turbines' blades. State regulators said the fine was justified because if ice had formed on the blades, it could have posed a threat to someone walking in the wooded hillside below. The turbines have drawn ire from neighboring residents. Over the first three years of operation, the state has received 100 formal complaints from people living in four homes in the area, one of which sits more than two miles from the turbines. Complete story »

January 3, 2018 • VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Opponents: Dairy Air turbine fails visual test

HOLLAND – Experts for the state and the town of Holland say the proposed single wind turbine planned for Dairy Air Farm would fail a critical test when it comes to visual impact on the immediate surroundings. Experts for the Vermont Department of Public Service and the town say the turbine would create what’s called an unduly adverse visual impact and fail the so-called Quechee test that is used in reviewing land development in Vermont. Dairy Air Wind wants to raise . . . Complete story »

January 3, 2018 • VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Program to promote renewable energy gets new scrutiny

A program meant to spur renewable-energy development is receiving scrutiny from the state’s top energy regulators, following the Public Utility Commission’s end-of-the-year order calling for a review of Vermont’s “standard offer” program. Supporters of the program say it’s an important tool for putting cheap renewable energy generators on the ground in Vermont. Some critics say the program is easy to abuse, and in need of reform. Regulators say it’s a good time to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. “We . . . Complete story »

January 3, 2018 • VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Vermont’s Georgia Mountain wind system has new owner

The Georgia Mountain wind farm project in the Vermont towns of Georgia and Milton has a new owner. Last month Greenbacker Renewable Energy, based in New York, bought the four-turbine, 10-megawatt Georgia Mountain Community Wind for $25.1 million. The company says it also owns and operates nine solar facilities in Vermont. Georgia Mountain was developed by Vermont energy entrepreneur David Blittersdorf. All the power produced by Georgia Mountain as well as the renewable energy credits associated with that power are . . . Complete story »

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