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Derby Hears Pros and Cons of Wind Turbine Project

October 26, 2011

DERBY - The proposed Derby Line wind turbines project was discussed at the Derby Selectman’s meeting last week. Some spoke in favor of the turbines while others spoke out against them.
Phil Letourneau, who has looked into allowing one on his farm, said that if landowners want to put turbines on their property they should be allowed to, and what neighbors think about it shouldn’t matter. Others disagreed with Letourneau’s comments, noting that the size of the project would effect others.
“Everybody has got a say in a democracy,” Rick Dubois stated in response to Letourneau's comment. After hearing that the turbines would be 425 feet tall, the same height as the Sheffield turbines, Dubois said he thought they would ruin the look of the landscape and that they would be “an eyesore.”
Page Warthin, who owns property in both Holland and Derby, said she will see both turbines from her property and is concerned about the flicker effect. “I don’t want to see shadows racing across my home,” she said.
Developers have said that a number of neighbors would have a period of flicker effect everyday.
A Holland Road resident said that he favors the proposal and embraces renewable energy sources.
Selectman Laura Dolgin said that she supports the project and that building renewable energy sources sends a positive message to the next generation.
Selectman Karen Jenne, speaking out against the project, said too many questions remained unanswered and she is concerned about the project moving forward before those questions are answered. Jenne said she emailed developers questions and has yet to receive a response. She has concerns over potential health effects due to infra sound, safety issues, and the cost, if any, to the Town of Derby for fire, safety and rescue training.
Chad Farrell, with Encore Redevelopment, who was present at the meeting last week, said the developers would pay for special training, but Jenne said she has seen nothing in writing about that.
Developers want the project built and producing energy by the end of 2012 in order to qualify for federal production tax credits, the same kind of credits that have come into play in the development of the Lowell Mountain wind project.
Meanwhile, project developers are preparing to file for a Certificate of Public Good from the Public Service Board, which could be done as soon as Friday. Farrell said Tuesday that he is waiting on many studies to be completed for the prefiling testimony.
The tax payment to the town has not yet been determined. Farrell said he is in active discussions with the Derby Listers and the Vermont Department of Taxes on the issue, which has yet to be resolved. “This is uncharted territory,” Farrell said about determent the tax payment for singe turbines.
A petition asking the Derby Selectmen not to support the turbine project continues to circulate the town.
The proposed turbines are 425 feet tall at the tip of the blade and each turbine could generate enough power for up to 900 homes, developers say.
The turbines would be located on two Derby Line farms, Grandview Farm, owned by Bryan and Susie Davis, and Smugglers Hill Farm, owned by Jonathan and Jayne Chase. The farmers would lease their land to the developers for the turbines.

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