This Week: Biomass Heats Up, Derby & Lowell Wind News, and More

Dec 30, 2011 No Comments by

This week two biomass projects were reported as “still in the works.” In Fair Haven, theRutland Herald reported that Beaver Wood Energy is working their way through the permitting process, and is expecting to continue the Section 248 process in January. In North Springfield, Winstanley Enterprises announced in a press release that they had just filed to begin the Section 248 process with hopes of securing a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) for their 25-35MW wood chip burning electric plant. As this news came out, opposition to the plants expressed concern that the new plants could actually increase home heating costs for Vermonters due to their massive demand for wood.

As usual wind energy in the state had another eventful week. The Encore Redevelopment project in Derby has filed to begin the Section 248 process. They developer announced they were looking for an expedited review of the project, but the nearby town of Holland pushed back, asking for more time to examine the project. The proposed turbines have approximately 510 homes within 2 miles of their location on this side of the border. In Lowell, Green Mountain Power submitted its fragmentation-conservation easements to the Public Service Board and received support from the Agency of Natural Resources. The Towns argued they would need more time to review the parcels, but the Board approved them just barely under the December 31st deadline, effectively allowing construction to continue into next year. You can find the maps of the acreage, which appears to be in neighboring Eden, as well as all related documents on our website.

No shortage of opinions on wind this week either. VEC CEO David Hallquist was quoted in the Caledonian-Record as saying further big wind development in Vermont would come at too high of a cost to compete with other sources of electricity. Bill Holland from Montpelierexpressed concerns that utility-scale wind isn’t an appropriate fit for our ridgelines. Paul Brouha from Sutton urged Vermonters to get involved in the state’s energy future now that we are seeing the full costs of the Sheffield wind project. Michael Gohl expressed concern that utility scale wind projects in Vermont were sprouting up like mushrooms, and this could mean we are sacrificing many of our natural resources. Several other opinions are available on our website.

Have a great new year and stay safe! Thanks for being involved this year in Vermont’s energy future, and please keep up the great work. As always, if you have thoughts or feedback, let me know.

Luke

P.S. If you haven’t already done so, please consider closing out the year with a tax-deductible contribution to Energize Vermont.

Dec 30, 2011 05:03 pm | alina

Reposted from The Newport Daily Express. BY LAURA CARPENTER DERBY – Developers who want to construct two industrial size wind turbines just east of Derby Line applied earlier this month for two Certificates of Public Good (CPG) with the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB). Encore Redevelopment, with its partners, has filed for the CPGs for …

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Dec 30, 2011 05:03 pm | alina

Reposted from the Caledonian-Record.   State regulators gave the all-clear to a plan to conserve nearly 1,700 acres in compensation for loss of habitat from the Lowell wind project. The decision by the Vermont Public Service Board means that Green Mountain Power can continue to construct the Lowell wind project into the New Year.   …

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Dec 30, 2011 05:03 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   The head of Vermont Electric Cooperative says the boom in U.S. discoveries of natural gas will keep electricity prices low and put the brakes on more large wind projects in the Northeast Kingdom. That’s unless Vermont forces utilities to buy more renewable local electricity, says Dave Hallquist, VEC chief executive officer. …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   NEWPORT CITY — The court order that led to the arrest and charges against two Sterling College students near the Lowell wind site during blasting in November was unconstitutional and flawed, their defense attorney says. Kristina Michelsen also said the state won’t be able to prove that Trevor Ring, 21, and …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   Albany and Craftsbury towns say state regulators need more information about new conservation easements for the Lowell wind project before making a decision. The effect of the towns’ comment would be to bring construction of the Lowell wind project to a stop effective Dec. 31 and for some time afterward.   …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources supports the conservation of nearly 1,700 acres near the Lowell ridgeline as part of mitigation for the Lowell wind project. Two separate easements negotiated between Green Mountain Power, the Vermont Land Trust and Echo Forestry in Eden were announced in early December — a critical …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Vermontbiz.   Lead developer Adam Winstanley of Winstanley Enterprises announced today that the company has entered into a joint venture agreement with Weston Solutions, Inc of Concord, NH, and West Chester, PA, for the development of a 25-35 megawatt woodchip-burning electric generating plant in the North Springfield Industrial Park. The companies filed a …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   By Daniel Staples Staff Writer – Published: December 25, 2011   LOWELL — Earlier this year Green Mountain Power began construction on the Kingdom Community Wind Project — the largest wind project in the state — but some activists are saying the project is doing irreparable damage to one of …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Times Argus.   Re: “Support Wind Power” (Dec. 9 Times Argus). Before writing off opponents of 450-foot wind towers on Lowell Mountain as a bunch of NIMBYs, let’s take a hard look at a few facts these tree-hugging troublemakers have brought to our attention: 1. Wind turbines last only 20 to 25 years; …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   I don’t have to wonder what it will be like anymore — now, with 16 wind turbines 420 feet high and their 153 foot long blades rotating, I know. Much of the time their often pulsating roar is like living near an eight lane beltway or next to an …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   Responding to Peter Orgain’s letter of December 17. “Wind power supports local jobs.” — In Cohocton and Locust Ridge, Pennsylvania, residents say that there is about 1 job for every 10 turbines. Jobs are usually filled by large corporations since it takes a certain expertise needed by the developer. The …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   The proposed wood-fueled electricity generation plant and related wood pellet factory in Fair Haven ends the year working through several construction permit processes. Beaver Wood Energy developer Tom Emero said they have filed or are in the process of filing all of the major construction permits required for the project …

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Dec 27, 2011 07:41 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   It is amazing what is happening to our state, right beneath our noses. In addition to the governor endorsing corporate greed and a non-confirmed and rather inexperienced judge, personal land rights appear to be in the hands of those who have the most political influence. You may be considered a …

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