Developer Presses For Meteorological Tower, Despite Opposition

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The developer of a potential Northeast Kingdom wind project says he’ll respect town residents’ wishes if they don’t want wind towers.

But first he wants to see if there would even be enough wind at the site to make the project viable.

Eolian Renewable Energy of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is considering building 35 turbines in remote northern Caledonia and Essex counties. If built, it would be Vermont’s largest ridgeline wind project.

The town of Newark recently changed its town plan to prohibit wind measuring towers, the first step toward a commercial wind development.

Eolian CEO Jack Kenworthy says the local vote was premature. He says the company first wants the chance to test the wind on the ridgelines, and then design the project.

"In our view, it’s a fair compromise to say look, ‘We’d like the opportunity to be able to present a plan to the town that shows the type of facilities we may propose,’" Kenworthy said, "because of course we’re not even certain that ultimately we’d be making a proposal in each of these towns so that we can talk about what the actual facilities would be, where they’d be located, what they’d look like."

Kenworthy says Eolian also wants the chance to talk to local communities about the money the company would pay towns for hosting the project.

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