This Week: Pawlet Solar, Hubbardton Votes, Scott for Moratorium, Gov. Debates, Rally & More…

Sep 28, 2012 No Comments by

We’re helping to organize the Rally to Protect Vermont’s Mountains on October 12th at 11AM on the State House Lawn. 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. Please come! We’re arranging car pools and transportation from every county in Vermont, so let us know if you need help getting there. Please RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends!

Middlebury College will host a panel discussion on the future of wind energy in Vermont on Tuesday October 9th, from 7-9 pm.  Panelists will include Paul Burns (Director of VPIRG), Ginny Lyons (Chair of the Senate Energy Committee), and Lukas Snelling (Director of Energize Vermont).  A range of topics will be addressed including: the role of wind in Vermont’s clean energy future, economics of wind energy, the PSB permitting process, and environmental/health impacts.  Questions from the audience will be welcomed.  The panel discussion will be held in the Robert A Jones house on the Middlebury Campus.  Please join us for this unique opportunity to learn more about wind energy in Vermont!

Good news on the community solar front. Northeast Community Solar, LLC. has been awarded a Certificate of Public Good from the PSB for a small locally funded 150kw project in Pawlet. The company plans to offer all of the output of the project to local area businesses and residences through group-net metering at competitive rates. They also plan to build the project while maintaining agricultural opportunities at the site. You can learn more about the project in this release from the company.

The Lt. Governor’s race made news this week when incumbent Phil Scott said he supported a moratorium against utility-scale wind development in Vermont. His opponent Cassandra Gekas said she did not, and instead supported the Governor’s position that host towns should be able to vote against projects. VPR reported on this revelation, as did Fox 44. Wind also came up in this week’s gubernatorial debate on WDEV’s Mark Johnson show. During the debate challenger Randy Brock reiterated his support for a moratorium and said towns surrounding projects needed to have a say as well, whereas Gov. Shumlin restated his support for votes for host towns and a desire to see greater renewable development in Vermont. You can listen to the WDEV debate in full and the energy conversation was around forty minutes in.

Away from the campaign trail the town of Hubbardton made news on Wednesday when they voted against the wind project proposed for Grandpa’s Knob. The vote was 94 against the project and 6 for it. Wind also made the news in Orleans County this week over fears that a large land owner is getting ready to propose a project by purchasing additional land. A resident of Lowell has filed a lawsuit to get the town to consider a non-binding article opposing Green Mountain Power’s wind project located in the town. One of the original Lowell six, Dr. Ron Holland offered an opinion on where he explained his actions while protesting the Lowell wind project. Also in the opinions, Allen Mills says in the Rutland Herald that David Blittersdorf is “Giving renewables a bad name” through his actions while developing the Georgia Mountain wind project.

The Agency of Natural Resources approved an Endangered and Threatened Species Taking Permit for the Sheffield wind project. Part of the justification for the permit was that to reduce bat deaths at the site First Wind would have to limit their operations at night for part of the year. This reduction in operation would ultimately reduce their revenue 25%. ANR found this to be sufficient “economic hardship” to issue the permit. You can read the whole rationale and permit here.

Also this week WCAX took a look at “How Biomass impacts Vermont’s forests.”  The developer of a proposed biomass project in North Springfield fought back against criticism from a group in Massachusetts.

Have a great weekend and thanks for your support! I look forward to seeing you on October 12th in Montpelier!




Lukas B. Snelling

Sep 28, 2012 11:24 am | alina

Reposted from Barton Chronicle.   The acquisition of more than 2,000 acres of land by a Nebraska clothing tycoon in three Orleans County towns during the last five years is provoking questions and anxiety among neighboring property owners over what may be coming next. Contiguous parcels of land in Brownington, Charleston and Westmore have been …

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Sep 28, 2012 11:20 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   I recently read David Blittersdorf’s article in the Green Energy Times. He seems to like labels like “environmentalists” for both individuals and institutions. He includes the Vermont Natural Resources Council among them who, as he says, are blinded by their own inaccurate information. He uses the label wind opponents, which …

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Sep 28, 2012 11:18 am | alina

Reposted from Fox 44 News.   MONTPELIER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power is putting up a number of turbines that will generate power to thousands of homes on Lowell Mountain in Vermont. It’s a project Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott supported, but was taken back by it during a recent bike trip.   “I have to …

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Sep 25, 2012 11:52 am | alina

Reposted from Caledonian-Record.   NEWPORT CITY — A Lowell resident wants a judge to force the Lowell Select Board to call a special town meeting to reconsider an article opposing the Lowell wind project.   The non-binding article, which begins “Shall the voters of of the Town of Lowell express their opposition to the GMP …

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Sep 25, 2012 11:48 am | alina

Reposted from VTDigger.   Editor’s note: Dr. Robert Holland is a physician who lives in Irasburg.   On Dec. 5, 2011, I and five other citizens went on property of disputed ownership that has been posted by Green Mountain Power for the construction of the Lowell Wind Project. We were arrested and charged with criminal …

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Sep 25, 2012 11:44 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   WEST RUTLAND — Republican gubernatorial candidate Sen. Randy Brock will discuss industrial wind in the state at a public forum Wednesday night at the West Rutland High School. Brock said he decided to host the forum — or town hall as he is calling it — to listen to questions …

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Sep 25, 2012 11:42 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   NORTH SPRINGFIELD — The developers of the proposed North Springfield Sustainable Energy Project, a 37-megawatt biomass plant, took issue with statements by a group critical of biomass plants that the project was “neither clean nor green.” Dan Ingold, senior technical manager for Weston Solutions Inc., one of the two partners …

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Sep 23, 2012 08:54 pm | alina

Reposted from VPR. The future of wind power in the state has become a key issue in the race for Lt. Governor. Incumbent Republican Phil Scott supports a two year moratorium on all major wind developments in order to study the environmental impact of these projects. But Cassandra Gekas, who is running as both the …

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Sep 23, 2012 08:48 pm | alina

Reposted from WCAX.   With the arrival of fall, it’s prime operating season for Middlebury College’s biomass gasification plant. The $12 million project, located in a see-through building at the center of campus, went online back in 2009. It provides supplemental steam for heating and electricity to the school’s existing power plant, and cuts the …

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