By Guy Page
Homes near ridgeline wind power generating plants are selling for lower-than-expected prices, and aircraft warning lights at the Lowell wind facility are still blinking all night long despite promises of a radar-activated system, a February 19 report by Vermonters for a Clean Environment said.
Many Vermonters have never heard of Vermonters for a Clean Environment. Its staff and budget are tiny compared to the well-funded ‘environmental’ groups, some of which receive funding from pro-ridgeline wind industry organizations and individuals. Inside the Statehouse, however, VCE is known and respected for spearheading the effort to protect Vermont’s mountains from environmental and human health damage inflicted by wind-powered energy generation and other industries.
Founder and Executive Director Annette Smith lives off the grid in Danby, Vermont. She has long been an independent, utterly fearless, fact-based advocate for protecting both people and the environment from potential abuse by many different industries. The Burlington Free Press named her 2016 Vermonter of the Year, calling her a “citizen advocate, a vocation as old as Vermont itself.” Once a burr under the saddle of the nuclear power industry, she is also no friend of the fossil fuel industry. She is best known as perhaps the most influential Vermonter opposing environmental damage caused by the wind power industry. VCE Director of Regulatory Affairs John Brabant was an analyst at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources for 25 years before joining VCE in 2016.
VCE recently published an update on the status of wind power developments in Vermont. The report was prefaced with both a promise and a caution: “VCE remains vigilant and knows that the industry will return if there is a change in the Governor from one who wants to protect our mountains to one who wants to save the planet by destroying it.”
The report below appears verbatim from the February 19 VCE newsletter:
- Paul Brouha continues his years-long effort to get the Public Utility Commission to hold Sheffield Wind (owned by Terraform Power) accountable for nuisance noise. Schedule here.
- David Blittersdorf continues to pursue one big wind turbine in Holland, most recently proposing to reduce it from 2.2 MW to 1.5 MW, in part to address neighbor complaints.
- Two homes have finally sold around the Sheffield (listed for $1.6 million in 2008, listed in 8/30/18 for $675,000 and sold in Dec. 2018) and Lowell (listed for $200,000, house and 27 acres, sold in 2/19 for $155,000) wind projects, both at what most people would agree are “distressed” prices.
- Green Mountain Power has yet to implement the radar-activated lighting. The Lowell wind project went on-line at the end of 2012. Seven years later, the lights are still blinking red all night long. VCE filed a complaint with the PUC, which is now requiring GMP to submit reports every six months.
- Deerfield Wind’s quarterly noise report has recently been submitted, and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources recently reported on the multi-year bear study.
For more information about VCE, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.