Northeast Kingdom Neighbors Pleased with Wind Project
24 August 2012
Colchester, VT… Three groups of Northeast Kingdom residents received a guided tour of Green Mountain Power’s Kingdom Community Wind Project on Sunday, August 19. The reaction of the 180 visitors was overwhelmingly positive. The visitors saw five fully assembled turbines; that number is now up to seven. All 21 turbines will be up and running by the end of the year, producing the most cost effective new renewable generation available to customers of GMP and members of Vermont Electric Coop.
“We are eagerly anticipating the project’s commissioning,” said Dorothy Schnure, corporate spokesperson of Green Mountain Power. “Community members have been engaged in this project since it was first proposed, and it’s an honor to have so many on site to view the progress we’ve made in developing this clean, renewable energy.”
The project has been well received by the Lowell community, where 75 percent of voters at a heavily attended March 2010 Town Meeting voted to support the project. GMP received Public Service Board approval to build the Kingdom Community Wind facility in June of 2011 and broke ground on the project in September. When completed, the 21 Vestas V112 3.0-megawatt turbines will generate enough power to meet the needs of more than 24,000 Vermont homes.
On Sunday, visitors commented favorably on the appearance of the turbines and on the environmental and economic benefit to the community.
Gerry Green of Lowell has hunted the mountain for years. “It was nice to have the chance to get a close look at the project”, he said. “This is going to be great for wildlife. As the cut areas of the mountain grow back, it will provide plenty of nutritious browse. And the 2,700 acres that have been conserved will protect important wildlife habitat from future development. “
Richard Pion of Lowell commented that he appreciated the chance for the public to get more information. He said: “I really enjoyed the tour. It was good to have information presented because now everyone on the tour understands that all the power generated on Lowell Mountain will stay right here in Vermont.”
Marie Raboin of Newport said: “I have a nice view of the windmills from my front yard. I think they are beautiful and I look forward to seeing them spin and knowing that the electricity is being made in Vermont and used by Vermonters.”
Ben Wilkens of Craftsbury observed that the project is an economic boost to the Northeast Kingdom communities. “There are a lot of good jobs from this project. My wife works there. It's really impressive to think about all the local people who are working up there. They are all doing a first rate professional job too!”
The Kingdom Community Wind project has employed more than 200 workers directly in construction, more than two-thirds from Vermont. Over 100 Vermont-based firms and vendors have been involved in some aspect of Kingdom Community Wind. The project will continue to make significant property tax payments to the Town of Lowell, tax payments to the state education fund as well as a Good Neighbor Fund that will support community projects in five surrounding towns.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com) transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the State of Vermont. It serves more than 250,000 customers.
Dorothy Schnure, Manager of Corporate Communications, 802-655-8419