WINDHAM — A company that wants to set up three wind-testing towers in Vermont says the state’s opposition relies on “unpersuasive and troubling” logic.
Atlantic Wind requested a certificate of public good from the Department of Public Service to erect three meteorological testing towers — two in Windham and one in Grafton. The towers could be the precursor to Windham County’s first commercial wind turbine site.
The department said the construction was contrary to local regulations.
The Brattleboro Reformer reports Atlantic Wind said the department’s recent decision could impede development of energy across Vermont by giving towns too much authority in the permitting process.
Windham’s town plan bans commercial wind turbines.
WINDHAM — The Vermont Department of Public Service is opposing construction of wind testing towers in Windham as contrary to town regulations.
The Brattleboro Reformer reports that the agency’s objection does not end the process. The state’s Public Service Board must rule on the Atlantic Wind LLC’s proposal.
Atlantic Wind requested a certificate of public good from the state to erect three meteorological testing towers — two in Windham and one in Grafton. The towers could be the precursor to Windham County’s first commercial wind turbine site.
Grafton officials have not taken a position request, but Windham officials have argued that the town plan prohibits wind development. Atlantic Wind argues the plan is advisory only.
HUBBARDTON — Residents voted to prohibit the construction of commercial wind on the town’s ridgeline at a special town meeting Wednesday night.
By a vote of 94 to 6, Hubbardton residents voted against the article on industrial wind, a measure by town officials to strenghen its position against the construction of industrial and commercial wind turbines on the ridgelines east of the town.
Select Board Chairman Mike Wetmore said in a phone message the special meeting had a pretty good turn out for such a small town and that they are pleased with the results.
The town’s vote against wind project comes several months after the Hubbardton Select Board voted against the proposed 20-turbine wind project proposed by Reunion Power on the Grandpa’s Ridgeline.
Although the town officials from the other three towns — West Rutland, Castleton and Pittsford — included the proposed project site have also voted against the project, the town of Hubbardton is the only one to hold a townwide vote on the issue.
MONTPELIER — A developer considering a wind power project in a remote area of Vermont’s Essex County says it will drop its plans in any community that votes against the project — after it has a chance to present its proposal.
Jack Kenworthy of New Hampshire-based Seneca Mountain Wind says Seneca will honor the vote if it happens after the company has made a detailed presentation of its plans for the town.
Kenworthy tells the Burlington Free Press Seneca has leased hilltops that could accommodate up to 35 turbines. It currently is seeking state approval to set up wind-measuring towers.
Communities under consideration are Newark, Ferdinand and Island Pond. Some residents have supported the wind farm, others are petitioning against it.
NEWPORT — A lawyer for six protesters convicted of trespassing after they blocked a road leading to a Vermont wind power project has asked a judge to overturn the verdict.
A Newport jury returned the verdict earlier this month. The protesters were accused of lining the path to prevent workers and trucks from reaching the area where Green Mountain Power Corp. contractors are building the wind energy project on Lowell Mountain in Lowell.
The protesters said the wind turbines will mar a pristine mountain for no environmental benefit.
The Caledonian-Record reports defense lawyer Kristina Michelsen filed a motion saying the prosecutor intentionally disregarded the judge’s rulings during the trial. She also challenged the judge’s instructions to the jury and a lack of evidence about who has a deed to the property.
Posted in Court, Crime, Wind
WINDHAM — Officials in the Vermont town of Windham want to stop a commercial wind power project, saying their town plan and zoning regulations forbid it.
A subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables wants to place two test towers in Windham and one in Grafton on land owned by New Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands Limited.
The Brattleboro Reformer reports Windham officials sent a letter to the state. It says the project is inconsistent with the views of its planning commission, selectboard and residents.
Jenny Briot, a senior business developer with Iberdrola, said the company will respond formally within permitting proceedings. She said Iberdrola respects the town plan. She added that town officials and residents have been invited to tour the company’s 12-turbine Lempster wind project in New Hampshire.
SHEFFIELD — The owner of a commercial wind project in Vermont has been issued a special permit for migratory bird monitoring.
The permit was sought by First Wind, which has a 16-turbine wind development project in Sheffield.
The Caledonian-Record reports the permit was issued in July by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It authorizes the company to “collect, transport and temporarily possess carcasses and partial remains of migratory birds,” except threatened or endangered species, to monitor bird mortality.
The company is seeking another permit in connection with any possible fatalities of the little brown bat, an endangered species.
GEORGIA — A wind power developer in Georgia has dropped a court order against property owners who moved within a safety zone as construction work was scheduled on a project.
Georgia Mountain Community Wind recently got the order blocking the landowners from accessing their own land that lies with the blasting zone for the project. The landowners oppose the project.
WCAX-TV reports extra crews have been brought in to expedite the blasting process and they are able to work on the project without requiring the restraining order.
The company originally said the order was needed for safety purposes for make sure people stay outside the blasting safety zone for the four-turbine project.
GEORGIA — A wind developer in Georgia has obtained a court order blocking private property owners from accessing their own land that lies within the blasting zone for the project.
Georgia Mountain Community Wind pursued the order after opponents of the project moved within the 1,000 foot safety zone and delayed a scheduled blast.
Ritchie Berger, a lawyer for the wind power company, tells Vermont Public Radio the order was needed for safety purposes to make sure people stay outside the blasting safety zone for the four-turbine project.
Luke Snelling of Energize Vermont, a group opposed to large-scale wind projects, says it’s unusual for a court to bar people from using their own property.
A court hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 30.
NEWPORT — Six people accused of blocking a construction road leading to the top of Lowell Mountain and a wind power project are expected in court.
A trial is scheduled Wednesday for the six, who are accused of lining the path to prevent workers and trucks from reaching the area where Green Mountain Power contractors are building the wind-energy project. The trespassing arrests happened on Dec. 5, 2011.
The trial was expected to last the day.
The protesters believe the wind project will forever scar a pristine ridgeline without offering any significant benefit to the environment.