Information

Information on taxes and property values:
ira_windinfo

Friends of Windham Newsletters:
friends-of-windham-newslter-v1
friends-of-windham-newsletter-v2
friends-of-windham-newsltr-v3
newsletter-4-version-2
friends_of_windham_newsletter_5

Link to the Public Service Board Temporary Noise standard:
http://psb.vermont.gov/statutesrulesandguidelines/proposedrules/temporaryrulesonwindgenerationsound

The NorthWest region does NOT need any more renewable power. See this information from Vermont Electric Coop:
http://www.vermontelectric.coop/content/Co-Op_Life_-_Winter_2016.pdf

t’s not about global warming – so, why are the wind developers stating that they are ‘saving the planet’?
http://watchdog.org/243691/energy-plan-not-about-global-warming/

Who is looking out for the average Vermonter? Right now – nobody!
http://vtdigger.org/2015/11/11/greg-marchildon-whos-looking-out-for-ratepayers/

The CEO of Vermont Electric Coop says there is NO room for more renewable energy in the Northern part of the State.
http://watchdog.org/246069/vermont-green-energy-plan-doa/

Here are the comments sent to Swanton Wind by the Regional Planning Commission in response to the 45-day notice:
http://townofswantonvermont.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/0/3/12032471/2015_0918_nrpc_45_day_letter.pdf

https://picasaweb.google.com/114098560210816181304/LowellGMPOpenHouseJuly32013?authkey=Gv1sRgCPWZ2KiIl6DV2wE

These photos were taken on one of the GMP Lowell Open Houses. Look at photos 120 to 125. That is sedimentation running off into a level spreader. See the water running over the level spreader. That is the picture of a failed level spreader.


Impact of Wind Farms on Communities:

http://www.nomercerwind.com/


Environmental Concerns

Here are some environmental concerns about the proposed Swanton Wind project:

1. Stormwater, especially given that this ridge ultimately drains into Lake Champlain, which already has big water quality issues.  Construction of roads and pads will create large areas of impervious surfaces (i.e. where water can’t soak into ground), and blasting may alter

2.  Wetlands – there are lots of wetlands on and along this ridge, and I note that Arrowwood has mapped some of these and also many vernal pools as well. The concerns will be with filling and/or draining wetlands and/or altering their hydrology (the water flowing into and out of them) as well as any associated natural communities (e.g. different types of swamps and marshes, etc.).

3. Large habitat block – this ridge is included in a large forest habitat block, so there will be concerns about forest fragmentation.  It appears that this area is encompassed in a 4,500-acre forest block, which is fairly significant, especially over in the Champlain valley. Fragmentation of this block, especially if used by black beer and other large-ranging wildlife, could be a significant.

4. Possible deer wintering yard in southern part of project area (mapped by Arrowwood). These areas are necessary and critical habitat for white-tailed deer.

5. Bears?  Are there many beech trees along the ridge?  If so, that would be important to note and protect, as beech trees are considered necessary and critical habitat for black bear.

6. Do raptors (hawks, falcons, etc.) migrate along the ridge?  If so, that could be important.

7. Do bats roost in trees on this ridge?  This could be very important, especially if there are areas of older trees with shaggy bark.  Many bats are now listed as threatened and endangered species due to white nose syndrome.

8. Introduction of invasive species during construction and operation (both plants and animals, especially pest insects).

9. Possibly rare or uncommon natural communities. The ridge is mapped as Cheshire Quartzite bedrock. Given the amount of heavy logging, there may not be many intact natural communities (that is, assemblages of plants), but there may be and it should be looked into.

The proposal for this wind project was presented to the Swanton Selectboard on March 17, 2015 by Travis Belisle. You can find the minutes here: http://townofswantonvermont.weebly.com/selectboard-2015.html

(Click on the March 17 button to see the minutes. The wind project was discussed in Section 4.B.)

The location for this proposed wind project is on a ridge to the East of Rt 105 right near the Swanton/Saint Albans border. Access to the wind project site would be from Rocky Ridge Rd (which is almost directly across from Sholan Rd). Looking from a wide angle, this ridge is bordered by Rt 105, Pond Rd, Fairfield Pond and French Hill Rd.

This wind project plan is being prepared for the permitting process to the Public Service Board. The plans state that they would install seven turbines and they would look similar to the Georgia Mountain site except that these would be taller than the Georgia Mountain turbines

Travis held a meet and greet regarding the potential wind project on Saturday, June 20th. All neighbors within a 1 mile range were invited. At the meeting, there was a picture of the ridge taken from two miles away with two wind turbines added to it. It was commented that two was just for the picture; the actual project could be up to seven industrial wind turbines.

When asked how close these wind turbines would be to houses, we were told the closest houses would be 1,200 feet from the turbines. When asked how close the closest house was to the Georgia wind turbines, we were told 3,600 feet (actually, the closest house there is 3,400 feet which is still much farther away than 1,200 feet).

When asked how about the size of these turbines, it was said that these wind turbines would be bigger than the ones in Georgia – 300 feet tall with larger blades than Georgia (The Georgia blades are 164 feet each). Based on what we were told, the total height of the Swanton wind turbines could be 600 feet tall to the tip of the blade (compared to 440 feet for the Georgia wind turbines).

When asked who was buying the power, they said that Burlington Electric was approached and turned them down because they don’t need it. They had not yet approached Green Mountain Power.

 

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