This Week: Newark Vote, CEDF Money, Biomass, Mountain Rally & More…

Sep 21, 2012 No Comments by

During a special meeting on Monday night the residents of Newark voted to amend their town plan to make it clear they opposed the development of utility-scale wind in their town. The vote was 169 to 59 in favor of amending the town plan. Earlier in the year Eolian wind, the developers of a proposed project in the area, claimed the town plan supported their type of industrialization. Now, the revised language makes it very clear utility-scale wind development isn’t supported in the town. After the vote, the town released a press statement and sent a letter to Gov. Shumlin requesting that he tell the PSB to honor their position on the proposed project. The developers responded with a release of their own, saying essentially they would ignore this opposition and continue pushing their project along. VPR,Burlington Free Press and the Caledonian-Record covered the story.

Over in Windham, where the community already has a clear position in their town plan against utility-scale wind development, the developers of the proposed project are claiming that the ban shouldn’t stop them from erecting MET towers. The Brattleboro Reformer covered the exchange currently in front of the Public Service Board.

The two proposed biomass plants continue to be controversial. WCAX did an in-depth look at the different sides of the biomass issue in Vermont. The Rutland Herald reported that the Partnership for Policy Integrity conducted an analysis of the proposed biomass plant in North Springfield and came out against it over concerns of pollution and CO2 emissions.

In Charlotte where the PSB has provided a proposed decision for a Certificate of Public Good for the solar project in a rural residential community, the neighbors have filed a brief with the Board that does a great job of explaining their concerns on why the project isn’t well sited. In the brief they ask, “If this project is approved in an area of high scenic value, in a rurally zoned, pristine open meadow in active agricultural use with primary agricultural soils, in a town where the citizenry has taxed itself an additional $.02 to conserve land and its rural characters since 1996, over the objection of the local planning commission, is there any place where an industrial-sized solar facility can’t be located in Vermont?” Many have asked similar questions, wondering if any community or natural resource concern can trump the “public good” of utility-scale renewable energy development.

Some good news for renewables in Vermont this week as well. In Rutland the city officials have calculated that the solar city initiative could bring them over $100,000 a year in tax revenue. Also, this week the Clean Energy Development Fund announced they had $1.25 million available to help support the installation of renewables throughout the state.

Lastly, I wanted to make you aware we’ll be holding a Rally to Protect Vermont’s Mountains on October 12th at 11AM on the State House Lawn. You can see the flyer for the event orRSVP for it on Facebook.  We’ll award a Certificate of Public Harm to the Shumlin Administration, The Public Service Board, and The Department of Public Service for their support of utility-scale wind on our mountains. We’ll also demand an optimal, not irresponsible, response to climate change. Let me know if you can make it. We’ll also be arranging car-pools, so don’t worry if transporation is an issue. We’d love to have you there!

Quick reminder, our annual meeting is tomorrow! I look forward to seeing everyone that can make it. It should be a great discussion of how to grow our organization and advance community energy solutions in Vermont.

Have a great weekend and thanks for your support!




Lukas B. Snelling

Sep 21, 2012 12:42 pm | alina

Reposted from VermontBiz.   The Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) announced today that the Clean Energy Development Fund Board has approved the allocation of an additional $1.25 million to support the installation of solar photovoltaic, solar thermal and small wind energy projects for home owners, communities, and businesses across Vermont through the Small Scale Renewable …

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Sep 21, 2012 12:39 pm | alina

Reposted from VPR.   The town of Newark has amended its town plan to make clear that it does not support industrial wind development. During a special town meeting on Monday, voters approved an advisory resolution 169-to-59. It called for the select board to approve a new plan that identifies specific ridgelines, highlands, and bodies …

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Sep 21, 2012 12:34 pm | alina

Reposted from Brattleboro Reformer.   WINDHAM — State regulators are “not required to defer to” this town’s ban on commercial wind power as they consider whether to allow construction of three test towers, a developer argues. On the heels of Windham officials’ contention that large-scale wind is “expressly forbidden” by the town plan and in …

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Sep 20, 2012 11:31 pm | alina

Reposted from WCAX.   BURLINGTON, Vt. – The McNeil Power Plant in Burlington’s Intervale has produced power from wood chips for going on three decades. When it went online in 1984, it was state of the art. For John Irving, who helped design the plant back in the 1970s and has been its manager ever …

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Sep 20, 2012 11:28 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   The solar city initiative could mean more than $100,000 a year in tax revenue for Rutland. Brennan Duffy, executive director of the Rutland Redevelopment Authority, offered that estimate to the city’s Community and Economic Development Committee this week.   The committee also endorsed a resolution of support for Green Mountain …

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Sep 20, 2012 11:23 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   NEWARK — A large turnout of residents at a special town meeting Monday swiftly gave a message to the developers of a hoped-for wind project here: by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, the voters amended the town plan, stating the majority of residents do not want to play host to an industrial-scale …

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Sep 20, 2012 11:20 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   The U.S. Constitution was written 225 years ago but remains the nation’s most relevant document. In the Northeast Kingdom, headlines this year have captured vividly how the Constitution has figured in the protests and the resulting court cases revolving around the Lowell wind project.   For many, it’s been a front-row …

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Sep 18, 2012 10:54 pm | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   The last wind turbine component destined for the Lowell ridgeline rolled through Orleans County Monday afternoon. The turbine tower section that had been damaged in a roll-over accident in July and was sent for repairs returned and made it to Lowell in a truck shipment by 4 p.m., Green Mountain Power …

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Sep 18, 2012 10:51 pm | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press. Note – This article contains incorrect information about Unified Town and Gores. In those areas no vote has taken place, rather a straw poll was held and only 40 members of over 400 participated.   A special vote Monday night in the town of Newark delivered an unambiguous message to …

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Sep 18, 2012 10:47 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   NORTH SPRINGFIELD — The proposed North Springfield Sustainable Energy Project is neither clean nor green nor economical, according to a report by a Massachusetts-based group that studies biomass plants. The Partnership for Policy Integrity said in an analysis submitted to the Agency of Natural Resources, that earlier reports and analyses …

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Sep 18, 2012 10:41 pm | alina

Reposted from VTDigger.   The local and statewide issue of industrial wind turbines on our ridgelines needs to be addressed by the Vermont Legislature. We need legislators who will bring this issue forward during the next session. A complete and immediate moratorium for industrial wind power must be implemented. The moratorium must last until the …

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Sep 14, 2012 07:37 pm | EV

Reposted here from the Rutland Herald. WEST RUTLAND — Town officials hope to block two wind measurement towers on the Grandpa’s Knob ridgeline from receiving an extension of their certificate of public good. In a letter to the Vermont Public Service Board dated Sept. 10, town officials asked the board to deny any extension to …

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