STATUS: In progress, with opposition
OPPOSITION: Forest Watch, Save Vermont Ridgelines, Wilderness Society, Center for Biological Diversity, Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources, Local residents
BACKGROUND: Deerfield Wind is proposed to be built on U.S. Forest Service land, near the existing Searsburg wind project, in Readsboro and Searsburg. The project is a 15-turbine project that would produce 30 megawatts of clean electricity for about 14,000 homes.
Environmentalists and residents oppose the project because of aesthetic and environmental concerns. Forest Watch urged the U.S. Forest Service to postpone its decision on the project until it addressed the presence of the black bear habitat. Comments on the Environmental Impact Statement by the Wilderness Society and the Center for Biological Diversity argued that the project has not adequately addressed the potential impact on bears and bats in the area. Save Vermont Ridgelines, a grassroots organization, worries that the turbines will produce shadow-flicker that will disturb wildlife and believes that the national forest is a protected area that should not be industrialized.
As of September 2010, Deerfield Wind has received a Section 248 permit from the Vermont Public Service Board. The project continues to work towards the satisfaction of all outstanding permitting conditions and requirements. Construction is expected to begin in 2012.
SOURCES: Comments by the Wilderness Society and the Center for Biological Diversity: http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/wilderness-society-center-biological-diversity-deis-deerfield-wind-comments.pdf;
Project Main Page http://www.iberdrolarenewables.us/deerfield.html;
Forest Watch http://www.forestwatch.org/content.php?id=276;
Deerfield Valley News: http://www.dvalnews.com/pages/full_story/push?article-ANR+bears+down+on+wind+project%20&id=241274;
Vermont Biz: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/september/central-vermont-public-service-purchase-deerfield-wind-power
Last updated December 1, 2010