This Week: CPH Rally, Gov’s Siting Panel, Brighton Talk, Springfield Biomass, and More…

Oct 05, 2012 No Comments by

***EVENT NOTICES***
Middlebury College will host a panel discussion on the future of wind energy in Vermont on this 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!

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!

***THIS WEEK’S NEWS***
On Tuesday Gov. Shumlin issued an executive order to form a five person panel that would investigate ways to improve the siting of energy generation projects in the state. The order requests the panel make its recommendations in April 2013, right at the end of this upcoming legislative session. Most news outlets covered the order, including VTDigger.org,Burlington Free Press, and the Times Argus. Reactions to the order have been mixed, with many concerned it was an election year PR move, while others hold out hope it represents an opportunity to revise or replace the current struggles with the Section 248 process.

The proposed biomass project in Springfield created a bit of a stir the week when a new provision to the proposed town plan included language that would support the plant burning agricultural and municipal waste. Opponents to the project are worried this language would open the door to the burning of highly polluting materials. The Rutland Herald covered the story and the opposition to the possible pollution.

On Wednesday night the town of Brighton held a panel discussion on big wind in Vermont, and closer to home, the proposed Seneca Mountain wind project. The panel had six supporters and six concerned folks set up in two sides. They were both able to present their arguments and respond. They also took questions from the crowd. The proponents of the project, and big wind in Vermont, said projects like the one in question had to be built to respond to the threats of climate change. The folks concerned about the impacts argued that the state can respond to climate change while also preserving our mountains and directly attacking sources of CO2. WCAX covered the lead up to the event, and local press covered the actual discussion. By my estimate between 150 and 200 people turned out for the discussion.

VPR and Burlington Free Press reported that the Public Service Department is taking steps to support the town of Newark in their opposition to the proposed MET towers there. This comes as a result of the town’s vote to approve a revised town plan that specifically states MET towers are inappropriate in the town. In other wind related news the Vermont Property Owners Report reviewed the controversy over wind and its potential to impact real estate in their recent issue. The press also covered Hubbardton voting against the Grandpa’s Knob wind project.

The Burlington Free Press covered the proposed Charlotte solar project’s PSB hearings. TheRutland Herald ran a great article about the Pawlet community solar project and included a reference to Energize Vermont.

Lastly, filmmakers Eric Clifford and Stephen Maas are producing a film called, “The State of Green.” It looks at all the benefits, drawbacks, and struggles of renewable energy development in Vermont. It looks like it will be pretty even handed. They are raising money on Kickstarter to finish off the film. Consider supporting them here.

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

Luke

 

 

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

Oct 05, 2012 10:20 am | alina

Reposted from VTDigger.   The Shumlin administration is reassessing how regulators involve the public in the permitting process for electricity projects. On Tuesday, Gov. Peter Shumlin issued an executive order to form a five-person commission charged with evaluating and proposing ways to streamline the state’s permitting process for commercial energy generators and exploring how to …

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Oct 04, 2012 12:02 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   PAWLET — A 150-kilowatt solar initiative is taking shape north of town — one that its developer, Northeast Community Solar, hopes will be the first of several in the area. “We are excited about it,” said Gene Bertsche, president of Northeast Community Solar (NCS). “The goal is to allow local …

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Oct 04, 2012 12:00 pm | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   SPRINGFIELD — A new provision in the proposed town plan has some residents who oppose the proposed biomass plant very concerned. Bob Kischko, chairman of the North Springfield Action Group, said Tuesday wording included in the proposed plan would open the door to other materials being burned at the proposed …

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Oct 04, 2012 11:56 am | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   Vermont’s increasingly clamorous debate over the siting of renewable energy projects — particularly mountaintop wind turbines — took an unexpected turn Wednesday. Gov. Peter Shumlin issued an executive order creating a five-person commission to study changes in the way new electrical generation facilities are sited, reviewed and approved in …

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Oct 04, 2012 11:53 am | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   The state Public Service Department is poised to oppose a developer’s first step toward constructing a wind energy project in the town of Newark after townspeople voted overwhelmingly against accepting turbines in their community. Public Service Department Commissioner Elizabeth Miller, whose department represents the public in cases before the …

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Oct 04, 2012 11:17 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   To Reunion Power:   Reunion Power is invited to a gathering on my property upon the ridge in Pittsford where you are planning on developing, Grandpa’s Knob Windpark. Of course, my property is no longer part of this development proposal, and I have been extremely busy since terminating my easement …

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Oct 04, 2012 11:15 am | alina

Reposted from Times Argus.   MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin has set up an independent commission to review the siting of electric power generating projects including wind farms in Vermont. The five-member commission will compare Vermont’s methods for approving projects with the process in other states, particularly those in New England, following growing concern about …

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Oct 04, 2012 11:12 am | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   Opponents to the Charlotte Solar Farm project and representatives for the project made oral arguments Wednesday to the Public Service Board. The project needs a certificate of public good from the board before it can go ahead.   The 2.2 megawatt solar array would be built on the north …

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Oct 04, 2012 11:10 am | alina

Reposted from Rutland Herald.   SPRINGFIELD — A new provision in the proposed town plan has some residents who oppose the proposed biomass plant very concerned. Bob Kischko, chairman of the North Springfield Action Group, said Tuesday wording included in the proposed plan would open the door to other materials being burned at the proposed …

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Oct 04, 2012 11:08 am | alina

Reposted from WCAX.   BRIGHTON, Vt. – Supporters and opponents of a proposed commercial wind farm around Seneca Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom will square off at a public meeting Wednesday night in Brighton. The proposed wind farm would be located on ridgelines in the towns of Newark, Brighton and Ferdinand, and could include up …

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Oct 02, 2012 04:33 pm | alina

Reposted from VPR.   Critics of a proposed wind development there say they’re pleased that the Shumlin Administration has taken notice of their opposition. Governor Peter Shumlin is on record as saying he won’t support a wind development if a town votes against it. That’s what happened recently in Newark, when voters overwhelmingly approved changes …

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Oct 02, 2012 04:25 pm | alina

Reposted from Vermont Property Owners Report. Wind energy projects proposed or under construction around the state have continued to draw public opposition, to the point that a July 15 Rutland Herald editorial concluded that “the wind is starting to shift against wind. ” Demonstrators have objected to a 21-turbine wind project being built in Lowell, …

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Oct 02, 2012 12:03 am | alina

Reposted from Burlington Free Press.   Could a recent conversation with a friend have revealed a possible solution to the deep concerns about industrial wind turbines on 200 miles of mountain ridgelines? Although my friend was angered by Gov. Shumlin’s part in the Sheffield and Lowell “done deals,” she thought Shumlin deserved some credit for …

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Oct 01, 2012 04:39 pm | alina

Reposted from VT Today.   HUBBARDTON — Residents voted to prohibit the construction of commercial wind on the town’s ridgeline at a special town meeting Wednesday night. By a vote of 94 to 6, Hubbardton residents voted against the article on industrial wind, a measure by town officials to strenghen its position against the construction …

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