15 Deerfield Wind turbines go online

The 15 Deerfield Wind turbines in Readsboro and Searsburg are in the general area of a project being considered -- but in the very preliminary stages -- for Stamford.

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STAMFORD — An alternative energy developer is considering a 2.2 megawatt wind turbine project in Stamford.

Norwich Solar Technologies would construct the facility if the firm’s yet-to-be submitted permit application to the Public Utility Commission wins approval.

The project is proposed for the same general area as Deerfield Wind and Searsburg Wind in Vermont and the Hoosac Wind wind facility in Monroe and Florida, Mass. — in a region considered favorable to wind power generation.

STANDARD OFFER BID

What the developer has done to date is receive Public Utility Commission approval for its bid under the state’s Standard Offer Program to sell power to utilities for a set price over 20 years.

The proposal was the only large wind project on a list of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower proposals approved in the latest round of bidding by developers.

Reached Friday, Martha Staskus, chief development officer with Norwich Solar Technologies, said submission of the first notice to the Public Utility Commission of a pending permit application is not on the immediate horizon.

“We are in the very, very early stages of this,” she said.

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PRELIMINARY

The company, she said, is still working out many details, like the cost and method of how best to link the project to the grid and other aspects of the extensive requirements for siting a wind, solar or other facility.

“We have to do our work,” she said. “There is outreach and information and data gathering and interconnection assessments, etc., before we can contemplate the process of advance notice of a project to the Public Utility Commission, notifying adjoining neighbors ... .”

The company “also needs to confirm the wind resource,” she added. “Obviously, with the Hoosac Wind project and the Deerfield project and the Searsburg project — all of those are pretty strong indications that it’s windy in this area, but we need to collect wind resource data to be sure that’s the case.”

The proposal also will remain preliminary, she said, until more is known about how electricity generated from the project would enter the power grid.

“There is no sense in talking about it until I know the distribution system will be able accept generation in that area,” Staskus said.

Stamford is in the Bennington County Regional Commission area. James Sullivan, executive director of the Bennington County Regional Commission, said this week he was aware of a proposed wind project in the town but hasn’t heard details.

“I’ve heard only that there is a proposed project in Stamford,” Sullivan said. “In the most recent update to the Stamford Town Plan, they did identify an area that would be preferred for wind energy development — in the high elevation land in the northwest part of town that is distant from most residential development.”

Jim Therrien writes for Vermont News and Media, including the Bennington Banner, Manchester Journal and Brattleboro Reformer. Email jtherrien@benningtonbanner.com

Reporter/editor

Jim Therrien reports for the three Vermont News and Media newspapers in Southern Vermont. He previously worked as a reporter and editor at the Berkshire Eagle, the Bennington Banner, the Springfield Republican, and the former North Adams Transcript.


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