Smallish Vermont Project Epitomizes Community Wind

Editor’s Note, June 5:

When I see comments like the one below by Annette, I take it seriously. I read the article she points to, which changes my opinion on this project. If it’s community wind, the "community" should be involved and neighbors should not only be notified, but should desire the project. I’m not in favor of large turbines near homes, and hate the idea of cutting trees to make way for them on hills and mountains. 

by Wind Energy Weekly 

A smallish wind power project, nestled between two New England towns, epitomizes what community wind is all about.

The 10 megawatt (MW) Georgia Mountain Community Wind (GMCW) project – which features local ownership, local financing, local jobs, and local power for a nearby community-will be operational by December, developers say.

Located between the towns of Milton and Georgia, the project consists of four 2.5 MW turbines and will produce an estimated 27 million kWh annually.

GMCW is being developed by the Harrison family, a group of local business leaders, and David Blittersdorf, a local and national leader in the renewable energy business.

Jim Harrison, his wife Janet and their children Kevin and Kathy are life-long Vermonters and third-generation local owners of concrete businesses serving northwestern Vermont – Harrison Concrete Construction, Inc. and Harrison Redi-Mix Corp. In addition, the Harrison Family has developed Georgia Mountain Maples, an agricultural maple sugaring operation co-existing with the wind turbines.

Output from the project, which is located on the Harrison family’s maple sugar operation lands, will go to the city of Burlington’s Electric Department through a long-term, stably priced power purchase agreement. GMCW’s electricity will meet the needs of more than 4,200 average Vermont households.

"We are thrilled to be moving this project forward," says Jim Harrison. "We’ve been an employer in the community for the last three generations and feel strongly that local renewable generation is critical for our future."

"This is an exciting project," says Blittersdorf, CEO of AllEarth Renewables and founder of NRG Systems. "The wind is local, the energy will be used local, the financing is local, and so much of the jobs benefits are local. This is a great example of a community wind project."

GMCW has hired local Vermont expertise, including project managers, contractors, landscape architects, archeologists, historic preservationists, financial advisors, legal and engineering services, economists, loggers, foresters and environmental scientists. GMCW will use Goldwind turbines with American-made blades, towers and other U.S. domestic content. It has received local financing from Merchants Bank.


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Comments on “Smallish Vermont Project Epitomizes Community Wind”

  1. Annette

    Quite the spin, too bad it isn’t true. See this article which tells the story of how the neighbors are being treated. No community in this one, it’s all about money. David Blittersdorf owns 80% of this so-called community project. Using Chinese turbines, treating the neighbors rudely, and it’s going to be a nightmare for the hundreds of neighbors who live nearby once the turbines are operating and the noise fills the atmosphere. Yes, proof that the wind spin continues, and truth is hard to find.

  2. Use Less

    Burlington Electric Dep’t customers will soon be feeling the effects of all the “long term stably (HIGH) priced power purchase agreements” they are signing for intermittent, unreliable, environmentally destructive wind power.

  3. AMTK54

    Use Less – BED customers voted for the use of 100% renewable power a few years ago. BED is a public utility, so this is the choice of Burlington residents, not some distant corporation. While wind power is intermittent, provided that there are other sources available for a base load, that’s not an issue. With the widespread deployment of smart meters, energy use can also be more easily shifted to the times when large amounts of renewable energy is being produced.

  4. Use Less

    In reply to AMTK54-
    If BED customers and Burlington residents are gullible and naive enough to vote for 100% renewable energy let them build it it their backyard, not on undeveloped mountains in Milton/Georgia, the NEK and NH. Why should rural residents and wildlife be made to sacrifice so BED can have their useless, expensive, “green” symbolism?
    Will BED customers with their “smart” meters do their laundry, and run their air conditioners, etc. only when the wind is blowing on some distant mountain?
    Get the facts about this Enron scam.

  5. Edwin698

    Seriously?! The editor is too easily swayed by anti-wind lobbying comments. A professional anti-wind lobbyist simultaneously accuses the project of “spin” and quite effectively spins the whole story to fit her agenda-driven narrative!

    This is a project that will produce a great deal of renewable power in a small area without burning fossil fuels, and the fact that a few trees have to be cut (last I heard, they grow back!) and a minority group of people oppose it because of misinformation and scare tactics does not change that fact.

  6. Annette

    There’s way more involved with wind development on a mountain than cutting trees. And this project has a lot of neighbors who have already been treated rudely by the developers, so what’s going to happen to them when the noise is a problem? Denial, as is typical with wind developers? Buying people out, making them sign gag orders? Sorry, it’s not a happy story and the power generated is not worth the damage that is being done to the community. This area has a fabulous site for a large solar array, including on the Husky plant right across the street. A real shame that the appropriate technologies are not being used to generate much more valuable electricity than these huge wind machines.

  7. Edwin698

    More professional anti-wind spin that ignores the big picture, not to mention the studies for this project that have already been completed, scrutinized, and approved by the public service board. This editor might have bought the message you’re being paid to promote, but the majority of the public is not.

  8. Annette

    So you want to defend the PSB process? The PSB approved what has to be one of the worst setbacks from neighboring property lines in this country, 155 feet. For 400+ foot tall machines. The site is so constrained there really isn’t room for the wind turbines. The blades will extend over the neighboring properties.

    You want to talk about the big picture? How about the big picture of wind developers continuing to claim there is “zero” noise? How about some honestly? I work as a community advocate and this issue terrorizes the citizens who live around the mountains that are being destroyed so ivory tower types can see their big pictures carried out in the real world. It’s a very sad story around every mountain. Lots of victims being created, just ask the people of Lowell who are shoveling out their homes from all the sediment that ran off the mountain last week in a 5 – 10 year storm event that created unprecedented damage downhill? Any of you pro-wind folks offering to go help with the clean-up? Oh right, instead, the response will be to say “prove it”. I fail to understand the lack of compassion for fellow humans (and creatures) being exhibited by wind developers.

  9. Barbara Durkin

    Take heart. The truth about industrial wind turbine noise, economic and publicly-funded environmental damage is outing.

    Wind turbines are causing a “Public Health Crisis” News, Australia, watch it here:

    There will be no extension of the Production Tax Credits at least before the Presidential election states the WSJ today. Tax credits lure the Enron gang to your beautiful mountains they damage on your dime.

    Goldwind of Xinjiang will do you no favors as “Goldwind USA” an office employing 8 in Chicago, mostly First Wind execs.

    “China is slowing the growth of its wind-power industry through a stricter project-approval process as grids struggle to carry electricity.”

    Keep up the good fight against the industrial carpetbaggers!


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