Lowell Wind opponents accept $1.3 million from GMP for farm

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The state's largest utility reached a $1.3 million settlement Monday with two Lowell landowners in a property line dispute over construction of a ridgeline wind farm.

Don and Shirley Nelson, two vocal opponents of Green Mountain Power's 63-megawatt wind turbine project on Lowell Mountain, own a 580-acre farm abutting the project. GMP will purchase the Nelsons' farm and allow the landowners to stay in their home for two years, according to the settlement.

The Nelsons in 2011 allowed protesters of the project to camp near the construction site along a disputed property line. The project was completed in 2012, but the landowners and the utility remained in a legal dispute over the location of the property line.

The landowners will keep 35 acres in Albany, but the Nelsons plan to move away from family farm that has been in the family for 72 years, according to a statement.

"They made the decision that they would not remain in their Lowell Mountain hill farm in the shadow of the turbines," a statement from the family reads. "The Nelsons intend to move from their farm to a location well away from the turbines."

GMP said in a statement the company supports the settlement.

"The agreement meets the needs of the Nelsons as well as those of our customers," a spokesperson for the company said. "We believe that this settlement represents an opportunity for both to move forward and we are pleased to have reached agreement."


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