GRAFTON—A public information meeting on wind power will be held at Grafton Congregational Church and Chapel, Main Street, on Monday, Nov. 26, at 6 p.m.
Organized by Friends of Grafton’s Heritage, this is the first public information meeting in Grafton about the Stiles Brook Wind Project, a proposed large-scale industrial wind farm.
Pizza and other refreshments will be served.
Iberdrola Renewables, operating as Atlantic Wind LLC, has requested Vermont’s permission to erect three test towers — two in Windham and one in Grafton on land owned by New Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands Limited.
Iberdrola Renewables, LLC. is the U.S. division of parent company Iberdrola, S.A., the world’s fourth-largest energy company.
A number of residents say they worry the test towers are a step toward developers erecting the first commercial wind turbines in Windham County, a move they oppose.
In a recent letter to The Grafton News, resident Lisa Kissel wrote, “[T]the potential wind project in Grafton/Windham would represent the most far-reaching, permanent change to the region in modern times. The complex issue requires the full attention of townspeople, the Selectboard and the Planning Commission.”
State Rep. Carolyn Partridge, D-Windham, will facilitate the program that includes a presentation by Ben Luce, faculty member of physics and sustainability studies at Lyndon State College, and an independent expert on wind power.
The meeting also will give attendees a chance to hear a panel discussion from residents of communities which already have wind power installations, with a question and answer period to follow.
Maps will be provided that show the parcel of land where three test towers and potential turbines could be located, as well as a timeline of events.
Friends of Grafton’s Heritage, a nonprofit, is made up of Grafton residents and property owners who describe themselves as dedicated to preserving Grafton’s valuable natural environment. They say they are concerned about the potential harm of a potential large-scale industrial wind installation on Grafton/Windham ridge lines, and ask if there are better ways to meet Vermont’s energy needs.
On Nov. 12, Friends of Grafton’s Heritage addressed Grafton’s Planning Commission, seeking to amend language in the town plan regarding test towers and wind turbines. Kissel informed the Commission that they have gathered five percent of the town’s voters to agree to sign the petition once specific language is crafted.
State statutes allow for a petition by five percent of town voters to amend the Town Plan. The town of Windham has filed its opposition to the towers based on its town plan. The decision is made by the Vermont Public Service Board, which must give due consideration to the town plans.
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