Wind energy is off the table in Vermont, thanks to the Scott Administration. The rules regarding sound from wind turbines, which Governor Scott supported, were the latest roadblock for wind energy in Vermont. Prior to that rule, there were just three projects under consideration in Vermont. Today, there is just one – a single turbine on a farm in Holland – that has been proposed. At the beginning of March, a proposal for a two turbine project on Kidder Hill in Irasburg was withdrawn.
This is in stark contrast to our neighbors. According to a recent ISO New England report, there are 8,600 MW of proposed wind projects in New England – 4,430 in Maine alone. It’s not surprising that our neighbors are making the investment: a report by Lazard (widely considered to be the gold standard in estimates of the cost of new generation) last November found that it is cheaper to build new wind projects than it is to maintain and operate existing coal or nuclear plants.
The Administration continues to pretend like everything is fine, saying that we’re meeting our Renewable Energy Standard, which requires 55% renewable electricity by 2017 increasing to 75% by 2032 – mostly with out of state energy. But they are ignoring legislation (that Governor Scott voted for as a state senator no less) saying Vermont should get 25% of its energy from in-state renewables by 2025.
We cannot meet that commitment without wind power. Governor Scott continues to say he supports our clean energy commitments, but the reality is that we have only moved backwards under his watch.