Developers say wind energy has no future in Vermont

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(Host) A Vermont wind energy developer says the Douglas Administration has effectively killed the commercial development of wind energy in the state.

Speaking Wednesday on VPR’s Vermont Edition, Matthew Rubin cited a recent Public Service Board denial of a permit for his project in East Haven – and the Public Service Department’s decision not to support a proposal to erect wind turbines in Sheffield. Rubin said the message to people wanting to see wind power in Vermont is clear.

(Rubin) “Vermont’s over. Over, finished and done. Even given that New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas, California and other states want wind turbines. Vermont has taken the other position that we don’t want them. The administration has.”

(Host) Rubin says the state has decided against making renewable energy a significant future source of energy and instead will rely on more expensive out-of-state power.

Public Service Commissioner David O’Brien denied that claim. O’Brien says the construction of large wind turbines on Vermont’s ridgelines has to be balanced with their benefit.

(O’Brien) “If you were to do five East Haven projects a year for the next ten years. You would essentially be able to accomplish something on the order of 14 percent of Vermont’s need. That would be building 200 turbines over the next ten years. I’m not aware of Vermonters out there that want to see 200 turbines out there up and down the ridgelines of Vermont. But even if you did, that’s still only going to meet 14 percent of our needs.”

(Host) O’Brien says the Governor favors smaller scale wind projects. Matthew Rubin says small projects aren’t economically feasible and won’t generate enough power.

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