This Week: RPS Bill, Wind Wise Radio, Biomass Debate, and More…

Feb 24, 2012 No Comments by

On Sunday night at 7PM I’ll be appearing along with Steve Wright and Geoff Goll on a new radio show called Wind Wise Radio. The show is produced live online and encourages people to call-in. I hope you will participate and listen. If you miss it, don’t worry, you can listen to it later in the archive.

A couple of interesting debates played out in the media this week. First, CEO of Green Mountain Power Mary Powell appeared on VPR to discuss wind in Vermont as well as the CVPS merger. She sidestepped pretty much every tough question thrown at her on either issue, but that didn’t keep the comments on the VPR website from getting pretty divisive. You can listen and read the comments on the VPR site.

Mid-week an Associated Press story went out across the wire quoting both Tony Klein and Margaret Cheney from the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee saying that since Vermont wasn’t going to meet its intended renewable energy goals, they would have to re-asses whether attempting to set new goals this session with an renewable portfolio standard (RPS) was worthwhile. For folks following the RPS this seemed to signal that it wouldn’t get done this session, but then later in the week WAMC and other outlets covered another change, suggesting the earlier report was incorrect, and that his committee will likely press on with some version of an RPS. Where it stands now is unclear.

New developments from two proposed biomass plants in Vermont drew some debate this week. Seven Days covered opposition questioning the true environmental benefits promised from the proposed Fair Haven plant while the Rutland Herald covered the formation of a group intended to oppose the proposed North Springfield biomass plant. Concern over biomass generally relates to its inefficiency at generating electricity, its ability to sustainably source fuel, and the air emissions from the burning of that fuel.

Also this week, debate up in Derby on the wind project continued, a hydrologist warned about flooding from the Deerfield wind project, and Small Dog Electronics opened a solar array.

In response to First Wind’s claims last week that their Sheffield wind project caused no impacts to area streams, we put out a press release detailing how the selected data was insufficient for conclusion. I also wanted to point out an editorial from the Valley Reporter calling out the Sierra Club for using incredibly divisive language in their support for wind projects in Vermont. It is a worthwhile read if you have a free moment and is an example of how the wind debate in Vermont gets (unnecessarily) heated.

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Thank you for your continued support and have a great weekend,


Lukas B. Snelling

Feb 24, 2012 12:13 pm | EV

Energize Vermont’s Lukas Snelling will appear on the Wind Wise Radio show on BlogTalkRadio on Sunday night February 27th at 7PM. He will be joined by Steve Wright and Geoff Goll as well. The show encourages call-ins. If you miss it you will also be able to listen to the archive. Below is  the show’s description, you can learn …

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Feb 24, 2012 11:19 am | alina

Reposted from The Valley Reporter.   The Vermont chapter of the Sierra Club issued a press release last week affirming its support for “well placed wind farms” and arguing that wind farms, as part of the state’s renewable energy portfolio, would boost tourism in the state.   In particular, the press release notes that potential …

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Feb 24, 2012 11:13 am | alina

Reposted from VPR. (Host) A hydrologist hired by opponents of a wind project in the Green Mountain National Forest says the installation could increase the danger of flooding. VPR’s Susan Keese has the story. (Keese) Andres Torizzo of Watershed Consulting Associates, told officials in Wilmington that their town – which saw heavy damage in Irene …

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Feb 24, 2012 11:10 am | alina

Reposted from The Valley Reporter.   Last Thursday, February 16, Governor Shumlin and Small Dog Electronics COO and CFO Hapy Mayer cut the cord on a recently installed solar photovoltaic farm outside the Waitsfield headquarters. The solar energy harnessed will provide the power needed to run the retail store in South Burlington as well as …

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Feb 23, 2012 11:54 am | alina

Reposted from Newport Daily Express.   DERBY – Controversy continues to mount over the proposed Derby Line Wind Project. Vicky and Daniel Lewis live on Whittier Road, about one mile from where one of the turbines would be located. The Lewises came to the Derby Select Board’s regular meeting, Monday evening, prepared with information and …

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Feb 23, 2012 09:33 am | alina

Reposted from WMAC.   MONTPELIER, VT (WAMC) – The Associated Press had reported that the chair and co-chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, Representative Tony Klein and Margaret Cheney, said the state will not meet it’s 2017 renewable energy goals and that they were also scaling back a 2025 30-percent renewable goal. …

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Feb 22, 2012 11:21 am | alina

Reposted from WCAX. The Interview:

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Feb 22, 2012 11:13 am | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   DERBY – Two determined Derby residents have talked Select Board Chairman Brian Smith into considering the idea that Derby should participate in the state hearing process over the Derby Line wind project. Whether a majority of the board will want to intervene will be decided next week.   Smith, a supporter …

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Feb 22, 2012 11:09 am | alina

Reposted from Brattleboro Reformer. MONTPELIER — Two key state lawmakers said Tuesday that Vermont won’t meet its goal of getting 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2017, and they’re withdrawing their support for setting a new goal of 30 percent renewable power by 2025. Reps. Tony Klein and Margaret Cheney, the chairman …

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Feb 21, 2012 12:56 pm | alina

Reposted from Seven Days Blog.   The debate over burning forests for electricity is heating up again as a wood-fueled power plant moves closer to construction in Fair Haven. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation issued an air quality permit last week to Massachusetts-based Beaver Wood Energy to construct a biomass generation plant and accompanying …

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Feb 21, 2012 12:50 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   NORTH SPRINGFIELD — A group of North Springfield residents have formed a group to fight the proposed wood-fired power plant in North Springfield. Calling themselves NoSAG, for North Springfield Action Group, members believe that the public is in the dark about the 25-35 megawatt facility, which is proposed by Winstanley …

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Feb 20, 2012 11:20 am | alina

Reposted from Orleans County Record.   There is gathering opposition to utility-sized wind projects. We endorse it, and we hope that the movement spreads. The northeastern side of Vermont with its ridges and low population density makes it prime real estate for wind farm entrepreneurs hoping to make a killing on taxpayer subsidies for “green,” …

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