This Week: Thank You, Wind Moratorium, Grandpa’s Knob, VEC Vote & More…

Dec 21, 2012 No Comments by

A big thank you to everyone that donated to our “Hire a Lobbyist” fundraising campaign. We saw a great response to our email last week and we are almost there! It is super important that we raise money to hire a lobbyist to represent our members this session.For those of you that haven’t had a chance to contribute, please donate now. Even $1 helps and your donation will be matched until the end of the year.

On Wednesday VTDigger.org published an article highlighting upcoming legislation that would place a moratorium on further utility-scale ridgeline wind development. As part of the many comments that ensued, Sen. Joe Benning wrote in explaining his support for the legislation. The article and his comment are worth a read. This wasn’t the only moratorium talk in the news. The Newport Daily Express reported that the town of Brighton is considering sending a letter supporting the NVDA’s three year moratorium on additional wind projects in the NEK. This position came on the heels of a town-wide opinion poll that favored opposing wind by a margin of 289 to 189.

The Newport Daily Express reported this week that Vermont Electric Coop would take up the issue of a wind moratorium at their next board meeting as well. The meeting is on December 27th at noon at the utility’s Johnston headquarters. VEC members will have the opportunity to express their opinion on the subject. You can get more details about the meeting on VEC’s website.

In the two last pieces of wind related news this week, the Rutland Herald reported that the developer of the proposed Grandpa’s Knob wind project said the projects was, “on hiatus, but still moving forward.” He said the company still hasn’t decided on a date they would apply to the PSB. Earlier this month the MET towers at the site were taken down as their PSB permits expired.

A group of scientists and experts called the Peak Keepers gathered for a conversation on Channel 17 last week. The group discussed how the impacts from ridgeline wind development were in stark contrast with our need to protect and promote Vermont’s mountain ecosystems. You can see the full video here.

There were a couple of positive solar news stories this week. The Rutland Herald reported that Mount Ascutney hospital would be powered 15% by solar going forward. The hospital representative said this move would save the hospital almost $15,000 a year. He said installations like this could help lower healthcare costs in the state. The Herald reported thatstudents at Green Mountain College developed a solar powered and heated garage for their farm’s electric car. The garage will help grow vegetables and keep the car’s batteries at ideal temperatures. Green Mountain Power also announced this week that they would try to build the state’s largest solar facility at the site of the old Rutland landfill. They said they’d get close to 2.4MW on the site.

For those of you on social media, we are going to continue posting stories as we find them on bothFacebook and Twitter. Please like on both to stay in the loop. I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Thanks for your support this year and happy holidays,


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

 

Dec 21, 2012 11:15 am | EV

Reposted here from the Newport Daily Express. BY LAURA CARPENTER ORLEANS COUNTY – Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) is considering a moratorium on industrial wind projects. Dave Hallquist, the CEO of VEC, said in an interview Thursday that if the board of directors decides on the moratorium, it should include solar as well to prevent driving …

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Dec 21, 2012 10:04 am | EV

Reposted here from the Rutland Herald. By Lucia Suarez STAFF WRITER | December 21,2012 The developer of a proposed wind project on the Grandpa’s Knob ridgeline said Wednesday the project “is in a hiatus, but it is still alive.” Project manager Steve Eisenberg of Reunion Power would not elaborate on the next steps the company …

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Dec 20, 2012 01:48 pm | kate

Reposted from The Caledonian Record. WINDHAM — After months spent fighting a potential wind-power project, officials from the town of Windham have a few thoughts on energy generation in Vermont. Their conclusion: The public has been pushed aside in a permitting process that increasingly is weighted toward big developers. A Windham representative lodged that complaint …

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Dec 20, 2012 01:37 pm | kate

Reposted from Rutland Herald. ASCUTNEY — The Mount Ascutney Hospital and Health Center is going green.  The nonprofit community hospital inked a 10-year agreement with HB Energy Solutions of Springfield and Green Mountain Power to operate on solar power. It is the first hospital in Windsor County to incorporate solar power into its energy mix. …

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Dec 20, 2012 01:30 pm | kate

Reposted from Brattleboro Reformer. WINDHAM — After months spent fighting a potential wind-power project, officials from the town of Windham have a few thoughts on energy generation in Vermont. Their conclusion: The public has been pushed aside in a permitting process that increasingly is weighted toward big developers. A Windham representative lodged that complaint and …

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Dec 20, 2012 01:17 pm | kate

Reposted from The Newport Daily Express. BRIGHTON – The Brighton Planning Commission is expected to vote to support the Northeastern Vermont Development Association’s (NVDA) call for a three-year moratorium on industrial wind development in the area. Two industrial wind projects are already operating in Lowell and Sheffield. The draft letter under consideration was suggested by …

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Dec 17, 2012 02:18 pm | kate

Reposted from Rutland Herald. POULTNEY — Cold weather makes electric cars ineffective because their batteries run out quickly, but students at Green Mountain College have built a new garage that should help. Twenty-one students of the Renewable Energy and Ecological Design course on Friday afternoon unveiled a solar-powered garage that will house an electric vehicle …

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Dec 17, 2012 02:06 pm | kate

Reposted from VPR News. Vermont utility regulators are questioning the environmental benefits of a state law that promotes renewable energy development. In a draft report prepared by its staff, the Public Service Board says it wants the Legislature to make changes to strengthen the clean energy program. Under a law passed in 2005, Vermont utilities …

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Dec 17, 2012 01:59 pm | kate

Reposted from Rutland Herald. Green Mountain Power said early on that the former city landfill could hold one of Vermont’s largest solar farms. The utility hopes to drop “one of” from that description. Solar projects in Vermont have topped out at 2.2 megawatts, but GMP vice president for generation and energy innovation Steve Costello said …

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