Seneca Mountain Wind pulls the plug

Editor’s note: This article is by James Jardine, of the Caledonian-Record, in which it was first published Sept. 27, 2014.

Seneca Mountain Wind has removed its MET wind measurement device from its Ferdinand location.

The company also confirmed it has not started construction or site preparation at any of the other three MET sites authorized under a certificate of public good (CPG) issued to Seneca Mountain Wind by the Vermont Public Service Board.

In a letter dated Thursday, Karen Tyler, an attorney with the Burlington law firm of Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel and Hand PLLC states, “SMW (Seneca Mountain Wind) no longer plans to either pursue its MET Tower project at a later date, or seek permission from the Board to transfer the CPG to another person or entity.”

The letter continues, “In light of these developments, [SMW] now agrees with the Appellants that their appeal of the Board’s order in Docket No. 7867 is moot.”

The MET tower in Ferdinand cited by Seneca Mountain Wind was previously constructed by Matthew Rubin when Rubin was planning a wind farm in East Haven several years ago. When Rubin canceled his plans for a wind farm, he left the MET tower in place.

Previously, Seneca Mountain Wind has argued before the Vermont Supreme Court that the certificates of public good issued by the Vermont Public Service Board have value even if Seneca Mountain Wind has canceled leases it holds on the land on which the towers are to be located. Seneca Mountain canceled a lease on land in Newark owned by Scott and Sarah Williams, Guilford, Vt., according to Newark Town Clerk Joan Bicknell. Seneca Mountain Wind also canceled a lease on land in Ferdinand and Brighton owned by Daniel Ouimette, Colebrook, N.H.

The Vermont Supreme Court, on Aug. 12, remanded Seneca Mountain’s lawsuit back to the Public Service Board, telling the PSB, “to consider, given  the current circumstances whether appellant’s CPG should be revoked or declared void with respect to the towers located in the Town of Newark and the Town of Brighton.” The remand continues, “If the Board either revokes or declares void Seneca’s CPG for those towers, then the appeal will be dismissed.”

Now that Seneca Mountain Wind has confirmed it will no longer pursue its MET tower project at a later date and will not seek permission to transfer its authorizing certificate to another person or entity, anyone hoping to build a commercial wind farm in Newark, Brighton or Ferdinand will have to start from scratch.

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