STATUS: In progress, with opposition
OPPOSITION: Local residents (Ridge Protectors)
BACKGROUND: Developed by First Wind (formerly UPC Vermont Wind), the Sheffield Wind project is estimated to produce 115,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy locally per year. The wind farm would be located on Hard Scrabble Mountain in Sheffield, Vermont and consist of 16 turbines producing 2.5 MW of power each, for a total rating of about 40 MW. The project is estimated to provide over 200 construction, operations, and maintenance employment opportunities.
In August 2007, First Wind was granted a Certificate of Public Good (CPG); however an appeal was filed by the Ridge Protectors, a NIMBY local opposition group. In February 2009, the Vermont Supreme Court upheld the permit granted by the Vermont Public Service Board (VPSB) for the Sheffield Wind Project. Community members appealed the construction stormwater permit after recognizing that the Agency of Natural Resources was applying the lowest possible protective standards to high elevation streams in sensitive soils.
On August 30, 2010, the Vermont Environmental Court ruled that First Wind does not need to monitor baseline water quality prior to construction at their ridgeline location and is entitled to the final permit needed to begin construction. First Wind broke ground on the project in September 2010.
SOURCES: First Wind: http://www.sheffieldwind.com/sheffield/index.cfm;
Vermont Energy Partnership: http://www.vtep.org/documents/WindPower.pdf;
National Wind Watch: http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2010/08/30/environmental-courts-decision-on-sheffield-wind-project/;
Last updated December 1, 2010