This Week: Blittersdorf Sues, Rutland Talks Solar, PSB Reform Rally & More…

Aug 24, 2012 No Comments by

This was a crazy week for wind in the press. The big news was that wind developer David Blittersdorf, the majority owner of the Georgia Mountain Community Wind project, sued neighbors of the project for being on their own land while workers were blasting. We issued apress release after hearing this news, and WPTZWCAX and the Burlington Free Press all reported on it. Then two days later it was revealed that the wind project’s Certificate of Public Good (CPG) required them not to blast or work on state holidays. The day Blittersdorf and GMCW alleged the neighbors were a nuisance was August 16th, Bennington Battle Day in Vermont. The neighbors filed a motion to dismiss the case, and we issued another press releaseWPTZ reported on this twist in the case, and the latest news says the suit has been dropped by the developer.  Neighbors still have concerns about flyrock on their property and the abuse they have had to face as the project rushes to capture tax subsidies by the end of the year. The story also took an interesting political turn when John McGovern a candidate for Senate running against Bernie Sanders accused Sanders of unjustly supporting the projectbecause Blittersdorf made $7,000 in campaign contributions.

The Lowell wind project couldn’t stay out of the news this week either. The Caledonian-Record reported that the Public Service Board has rejected GMP’s proposed noise compensation plan, saying that it required neighbors to do far too much to be compensated. The board asked GMP to submit a new plan, and must have one approved before operation can commence. In other wind news, wind advocacy group Renewable Energy Vermont along with wind developer Eolian Renewables trumpeted the results of a non-binding poll in the United Towns & Gores of Essex County in the Northeast Kingdom. Out of 500 potential voters, 40 voted, with 24 approving of “wind in Vermont” and 16 opposing it. The press aptly pointed out the incredibly small turnout and vague question. Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm in Westfield also authored a wonderful opinion on the Lowell wind project on VTDigger.

Solar in Rutland continues to be a hot topic with GMP pushing to make Rutland the solar capital of New England. The Rutland Herald covered GMP awarding a contract for their latest solar installation to a local Rutland company. The Rutland Herald outlined in an editorial about how great GMP’s work on solar in Rutland will be for the area. The Rutland Board of Alderman also voted to approve a power purchase agreement from a solar project off of Woodstock Ave at the former poor farm. This news comes from Rutland while over in Charlotte folks are struggling to deal with how solar should be appropriately sited and scaled. The Burlington Free Press covered how the town’s zoning intentions are being challenged by a proposed utility-scale installation in a former farm field. This is the same project that the town decided not to participate in the PSB process for due to its potential cost to taxpayers.

The developer of the North Springfield biomass plant unveiled suggested changes to the proposed plant to the community this week, and faced significant and intense scrutiny for the plans. Over 70 turned out to question the developer about noise, traffic, efficiency, pollution and more.

Several good opinions worth reading this week in the papers:

Reminder! Tomorrow is the Mountaintop Justice Rally to unite all those working towards PSB reform. Please consider attending this event in Wells. There will be many speakers and we should have great weather. Learn more here. I look forward to seeing you there tomorrow.

Thanks for your support and have a great weekend!

Luke

 

 

Lukas B. Snelling
802-778-0660
luke@energizevermont.org

 

Aug 24, 2012 11:19 am | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   Owners of a wind turbine project straddling Milton and Georgia have dismissed a suit against neighbors who had violated safety guidelines by camping within a blast zone, according to a statement released Thursday night from Georgia Mountain Community Wind. GMCW dropped the suit in part because the blasting phase …

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Aug 24, 2012 11:17 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   Green Mountain Power came to Rutland on Tuesday to press ahead with its efforts to turn Rutland into the “solar capital” of New England. Mary Powell, CEO of GMP, made it clear that Rutland is only the beginning. As other communities in Vermont have noticed publicity about GMP’s plans for …

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Aug 24, 2012 11:15 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   The revised proposal for the biomass plant in North Springfield is an improvement over the original, but is still a bad proposal. It is not worth the 30 permanent jobs it will bring to Springfield.   The problem with using wood to generate electricity is that it is still doing …

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Aug 23, 2012 10:10 pm | alina

Reposted from WPTZ.   BURLINGTON, Vt. — A new twist on two fronts in the legal dispute surrounding the wind project now under construction on top of Georgia Mountain, and it involves, of all things, Bennington Battle Day. Project developers are pushing to complete installation of four industrial turbines at the summit of the 1,250 …

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Aug 23, 2012 10:05 pm | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   Republican U.S. Senate hopeful John MacGovern on Thursday called on Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to give back $7,000 to David Blittersdorf, a Sanders campaign contributor and wind energy developer engaged in an ongoing property rights squabble with landowners in Milton. “The hypocrisy that is so blatant in Blittersdorf’s pay-to-play …

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Aug 23, 2012 10:03 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   State utility regulators sent Green Mountain Power back to the drawing board over its plan to compensate neighbors whose land cannot be fully developed because of potential noise from the Lowell wind project. Neighbors like Don and Shirley Nelson and Kevin McGrath objected to GMP’s proposal that would require them to …

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Aug 23, 2012 03:18 pm | EV

Neighbors Fight Back Against Restraining Order and Suit, File Motion to Dismiss MILTON, VT – New details were revealed today in the legal dispute between Georgia Mountain Community Wind LLC. (GMCW) and neighbors of the project that show GMCW violated its Certificate of Public Good (CPG). In a motion filed in Vermont Superior Court neighbors …

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Aug 22, 2012 10:31 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   Two solar projects made progress through the Board of Aldermen this week. The board voted Monday to approve a power purchase agreement for the proposed 139-kilowatt array on the city-owned former poor farm property off Woodstock Avenue.   Green Lantern Development will run the collectors for the city, which will …

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Aug 22, 2012 10:28 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   For its first solar project in Rutland, Green Mountain Power decided to buy local. The utility announced Tuesday it had awarded the contract for the Creek Path Solar Farm, to be located off Cleveland Avenue, to Same Sun of Vermont. Steve Costello, GMP’s vice president for generation and energy innovation, …

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Aug 21, 2012 11:13 pm | alina

Reposted from VPR.   A wind developer 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 went to court last week after opponents of the project moved within the 1,000 foot safety zone and delayed a scheduled …

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Aug 21, 2012 11:10 pm | alina

Reposted from WCAX.   MILTON, Vt. – Dan Fitzgerald says he’s served his country in the military, served Milton on the select board for 10 years and recently got served by Georgia Mountain Community Wind. “I see no community in this whatsoever,” Fitzgerald said.   The four-turbine, 10-megawatt project started in May. The Fitzgerald family …

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Aug 21, 2012 11:06 pm | alina

Reposted from WPTZ.   GEORGIA MOUNTAIN, Vt. – A Vermont judge has issued a restraining order against a Milton family ordering them to stay away from the last thousand feet of their own land, at least for the next few weeks. The property owned by Jane FitzGerald and her son, Dan, abuts the Georgia Mountain …

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Aug 21, 2012 11:00 pm | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   Another Vermont wind energy project is under fire from adjacent landowners upset about its impact on a remote, forested area, and this time the fight involves a site near the northern tip of populous Chittenden County.   Georgia Mountain Community Wind, with state permits in hand, is in the …

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Aug 21, 2012 10:51 pm | alina

Reposted from WAMC.   Renewable energy advocates are praising a vote by a rural consortium of towns in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom supporting wind development. But opponents say the sample is too small to be of consequence. At the annual meeting of the Unified Towns and Gores of Essex County, voters supported wind projects by 24 …

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Aug 21, 2012 10:45 pm | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   The American love of electric- and oil-based convenience from ever-larger pick-up trucks, multiple cars and power-gobbling household machines is as much a part of the fabric of life in Vermont as it is elsewhere.   It remains to be seen if the drought and Sahara-like temperatures of the summer …

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Aug 21, 2012 10:39 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   CASTLETON — A recently suggested townwide referendum on the proposed wind project has been postponed until at least Town Meeting Day. Planning Commission Chairman John Hale, who proposed the vote, and the Select Board compromised to move it to next year. Doing so would allow residents to further learn about …

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Aug 21, 2012 09:52 am | EV

Gets Restraining Order, Seeks Damages For Being Present on Their Own Property MILTON, VT – On Friday, Georgia Mountain Community Wind LLC. (GMCW), a company whose majority owner is David Blittersdorf, filed a series of legal actions against project neighbors. The company requested from the Vermont Superior Court and received a temporary restraining order against …

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Aug 20, 2012 10:54 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   SPRINGFIELD — Changes to a wood chip-burning power plant proposed for the North Springfield Industrial Park were unveiled this week. But even after the presentation by representatives of the North Springfield Sustainable Energy Project (NSSEP), town officials and local residents still had plenty of questions about plant operation.   Up …

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Aug 20, 2012 10:51 pm | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   I traveled to Sherbrooke, Canada from Burlington recently. I decided to drive through Vermont via Newport so I could see some of the beautiful Vermont countryside that I so love. Driving up Vermont 100 past Eden, I was looking forward to traveling Vermont 58 from Lowell to Irasburg. The …

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Aug 17, 2012 02:21 pm | EV

Reposted from the Rutland Herald. By Gordon Dritschilo Staff Writer | August 17,2012 Green Mountain Power plans to bring government officials and solar developers together next week. The utility has announced it will hold a “solar summit” from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at Rutland Regional Medical Center. While the event is not closed, space …

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