Letter: Good work by town on energy plan

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the Bennington Planning Commission and our Select Board. I say this because of the work done and time spent by the Planning Commission on drafting one of Vermont's first certified energy plans under Act 174. Thank you to the Select Board for its unanimous approval of this plan.

When this plan is made part of the official town plan, our town will have a say regarding placement of solar panel fields. As it presently stands, the town can merely make comments to the Public Utility Commission, formerly the Public Service Board, regarding this issue. The PUC could take action or ignore these comments and recommendations. Jim Sullivan, executive director of the Bennington Regional Commission, says he knows of no other community as far along as Bennington in this process.

In my opinion, this is especially important as a large percentage of the power generated by these solar fields does not supply electricity to Vermont residents or businesses. It is sold down country, mainly to Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Some time ago I read in the Boston Globe a comment from a Massachusetts highly-placed elected official when asked why there are very few solar fields in that state, I paraphrase the answer to be, why should we mar and deface our landscape when we can buy solar electricity from Vermont?

Let's follow through with this plan and "get her done."

Ron Alderman



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