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Select Board pens letter to PSB on wind

September 14, 2012

http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120914/NEWS01/709149923

By Lucia Suarez
Staff writer | September 14,2012
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 the certificate that was issued almost five years ago to the Grandpa’s Knob Windpark, now owned by Reunion Power.

Select Board Chairman Nick Notte said in an email that the letter to the PSB was a reminder that the certificate for the two wind measurement towers on Grandpa’s Knob would expire Dec. 12.

“We wanted to make sure that they took appropriate action to remind whoever is responsible for the test towers to get them down and remove them from the test sites,” Notte said.

West Rutland Town Manager Mary Ann Goulette said, “We want to make it clear to the Public Service Board that we don’t want the wind project and we want all activities regarding the project to not be allowed.”

She said the Select Board received a letter several weeks ago from Pittsford resident Derek Saari, who urged them to send a letter to the PSB regarding the project. She said the board discussed it for several weeks before deciding a letter was appropriate.

Saari, who owns property on the Grandpa’s Knob ridgeline, recently spoke out against developer Reunion Power. He had originally signed an easement for the project, but earlier this year pulled out.

Steve Eisenberg, managing director of Reunion Power, called the letter misguided and a prejudgment of a project that does not have an application before the state or even a site plan.

“The wind project is being completely prejudged,” Eisenberg said Wednesday. “It is another reflection of fear tactics (being used) on elected officials.”

The certificate of public good was issued in December 2007 to the Grandpa’s Knob Windpark, at the time owned by Noble Environmental Power. The state’s land use permit allowed for the construction and operation of two wind measurement towers in the towns of West Rutland and Hubbardton.

According to the PSB order, concerns were raised regarding wind farms and the development of natural areas in general, which the PSB determined did not raise significant issues for the temporary towers.

The 197-foot-high towers measure wind speed, wind direction, air temperature and other meteorological parameters frequently every day. The certificate of public goods requires the towers to be removed by Dec. 12.

Eisenberg said Reunion Power has not made a determination to seek an extension of the PSB order, but is leaning toward that.

“(The data) has been helpful,” he said. “It would preferable to continue to study them.”

@Tagline:lucia.suarez @rutlandherald.com

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandy Fink permalink
    September 15, 2012 10:41 am

    Congratulations to the Town of West Rutland. Let’s hope the other 3 towns do the same. All we have to do is look at what’s happening in the NE Kingdom and Georgia Mtn. to see the “fear tactics” Eisenberg talks about.

  2. steven herberg permalink
    September 19, 2012 5:44 pm

    Shame on the Town of West Rutland. I don’t understand what happened to private property rights. Why would anyone be against clean energy?

    • Joy Loso permalink
      September 28, 2012 12:06 pm

      Please explain to me what exactly ‘clean energy’ means to you, and then justify the destruction, devastation, environmental impact, and loss of quality of life that will occur with the erection of these enormous industrial windmills on our tiny ridgelines of Vermont???

  3. Vanessa permalink
    October 3, 2012 2:00 pm

    Mr Herberg: that’s a valid question you raise. Have you looked into big corporate wind and how clean & green these projects are NOT?!? Have you seen what amounts of fossil-fuels are required and natural resources are exploited & expended to clear, drill, blast, build massive roadways on mountains, alter local/rural infrastructure, create collasal concrete platforms, transport turbine parts, erect gargantuous towers, maintain these, replace parts, keep baseload power running constantly ANYWAY and IN ADDITION to the wind power?? Have you looked into WHY they target certain states? Incidentally VT’s not in the nation’s wind corridor. Further, Industrial-scale wind turbines on Vermont ridgelines are not going to offset carbon emissions. And the overwhelming percentage of CO2 emissions in the state are not due to how VT gets its power—its about transportation and other fossil-fueled vehicles and appliances. We will still need our other current sources of power for the baseload demand—wind power in VT will not replace that! Costs to the environment, to natural resources, to property owners, to taxpayers, to local control, community cohesion are the trade-offs and sacrifices for a sort of energy that is inefficient, expensive, environmentally-unsound, at best. Act 250 was created to protect our state and its environment. But Section 248 is developer- and utility-centric and was poorly-thought-out and created to sidestep Act 250. Developers use areas ‘ripe’ with factors that facilitate less risk for their investments. Among these factors are questions these developrs look at: Can these areas AFFORD to protect themselves? Does their government/service board facilitate developers’ ease-of-process? Can officials on various levels be bribed or bought or gifted or persuaded, in order to insure the processes ease? Can campaigns/politicians be contributed to, so to facilitate development? And with regard to property rights: I think that’s the VERY question these property owners in Sheffield, Georgia Mountain, and Lowell are asking themselves now!!!!!! Indeed, look at Lowell and Georgia Mountain. Indeed.

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