FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2016
East Burke, VT
Contact: Mark Whitworth
Energize Vermont launches The Vermont Center for Turbine Impact Studies
Therrien family property in Sheffield will serve as a laboratory and classroom
Energize Vermont is establishing the Vermont Center for Turbine Impact Studies. The Center will promote scientific research into the impacts of industrial wind development on Vermont’s citizens, wildlife, and environment. The Center will also investigate the effectiveness of state regulators in defining, monitoring, and enforcing the operational and environmental standards for industrial wind turbines.
Energize Vermont has entered into agreement with the Therrien family under which the Center can make the family’s Sheffield property available to researchers and educators as a laboratory and classroom. The Therrien property abuts Vermont Wind’s turbine complex of 16 418-foot tall turbines. Vermont Wind is owned by a subsidiary of the bankrupt Sun Edison.
The Sheffield turbines began operation in 2012 and have never met expectations (current production is about 70% of what promoters promised). The turbines, no longer supported by their manufacturer, are failing mechanically. As repair parts become more difficult to scavenge, production will continue to drop and the turbines will become louder and more even more problematic for neighbors. The Center will monitor, record, and document the deterioration of the Vermont Wind facility.
The Therriens abandoned their Sheffield home in 2014 because of the adverse health impacts attributed to turbine operations. Energize Vermont President Mark Whitworth said, “The fact that the Therriens abandoned their home of 20 years tells us that this property is a good location from which to observe, measure, and record the effects of turbine operation and maintenance activities.”
Whitworth continued, “We had been discussing launching the Center for Turbine Impact Studies with researchers, educators, and funders when the Town of Sheffield announced that the Therrien’s home would come up for tax sale. The Energize Vermont Board of Directors quickly approved an agreement with the Therriens under which back taxes would be paid, access to the property would be ensured, and the Therriens could retain ownership of the property. Energize Vermont’s members have answered the call and have enabled us to raise over half of our initial fundraising goal in less than a week.”
Board member Luke Snelling said, “Vermont Wind’s Sheffield project represents yet another instance where Vermont’s reckless energy development policy has served big corporations at the expense of Vermonters. The Center will help us measure and document the impacts of industrial wind. It will enable us to observe and document First Wind’s violations of their permit conditions. The more Vermonters learn about Big Wind, the more they say ‘No.’ The Center will give Vermonters an opportunity to learn the truth about Big Wind by experiencing its effects firsthand through on-site seminars and ‘turbine listening events.’”
Energize Vermont will begin soliciting research proposals for the Center immediately.
The mission of ENERGIZE VERMONT is to educate and advocate for establishing renewable energy solutions that are in harmony with the irreplaceable character of Vermont, and that contribute to the well-being of all her people.
We achieve our mission by researching, collecting, and analyzing information from all sources; and disseminating it to the public, media, community leaders, legislators, and regulators for the purpose of ensuring informed decisions for long term stewardship of our communities.