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Contact: Steve Wright, [email protected]
Vermonters Tell Officials & GMP: “Do More Solar, Not Big Wind”
Representatives from communities across Vermont deliver letter to Gov, GMP, submit comments to DPS in all day rally
Montpelier & Colchester – Over 100 Vermonters are planning to attend an all day rally today to tell administration officials and Green Mountain Power (GMP) that the state should “Do More Solar, Not Big Wind.” The Vermonters are carpooling and even busing in from the Vermont communities facing utility-scale wind developments. For many it will mean a day away from work, but for a chance to make their voices heard they believe it will be worth it.
“We are tired of the State allowing developers to force their inappropriate renewable developments onto the back of our communities and ridgelines. We are taking a stand and sending the message that these utility-scale wind developments and all their impacts to our natural resources will not be tolerated,” said Albany, VT resident Mike Nelson.
The day’s events are planned to start at 11am in Montpelier where speakers will give their vision for Vermont’s energy future. Professor of Sustainability at Lyndon State College Ben Luce is one of those speakers. “We are going directly to the decision making powers to tell them that the destruction that comes with utility-scale wind power on our ridgelines is simply not appropriate or necessary for Vermont to achieve a clean energy future.”
Luce continued, offering solar technology as a part of better path for Vermont, “The cost of solar power is decreasing very rapidly, and should be competitive with retail power prices soon. Solar is also a much larger resource when compared with wind power in the Eastern US. By gradually accelerating the use of solar power, along with much more aggressive weatherization and energy efficiency measures, we can actually reduce greenhouse gas more rapidly and more cost effectively in Vermont than with wind and without ruining our mountains.”
Attendees of the rally plan on delivering their message to elected officials by submitting a letter to the Governor and by handing in cards with their comments on the State’s Comprehensive Energy Plan to the Department of Public Service. Then attendees will then load back up and head to GMP Headquarters in Colchester.
At GMP attendees hope the company will send officials to speak with them and act on their concerns. “We who live in the communities that are to be impacted by the Lowell wind project have known for a long time this project doesn’t make sense. Now it is time that GMP officials hear from all of us at once,” said Lowell resident Nancy Warner. GMP is currently proposing 21 460+ foot tall turbines in the Northeast Kingdom community of Lowell.
Organizers say the purpose of the rally is to draw attention to the people and communities that are impacted by these developments and to propose positive alternatives that will advance the State’s energy portfolio. “This isn’t about saying no, no, no. It is about saying ‘let’s do something that is good for our communities and that we can all get behind’. The cost of solar is dropping rapidly, and it doesn’t have the impacts on our natural resources that utility-scale wind does. We can do renewable energy here in Vermont without harming our most valuable natural assets,” said Pat O’Neill of the Lowell Mountains Group.
Steve Wright, from Craftsbury, VT, is one of the organizers of the event. He said that he hopes the event will make it clear that people in Vermont against utility-scale wind developments are not NIMBYs or anti-wind, but are in actuality driven by a love of the Vermont’s environment and her natural resources. “For us, this is about protecting our state’s highest quality waters, and keeping our habitats connected. Today we hope officials see us as a growing movement that wants to change Vermont’s energy future for the better.”
— Lukas B. Snelling
Director of Communication