Wind Projects May Become Subject to Act 250 Review

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas says he wants to explore the idea of requiring an Act 250 review for future large scale commercial wind projects in Vermont. Currently these projects are reviewed by the Vermont Public Service Board in a process known as a Section 248 review.

Speaking Tuesday night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Douglas said the PSB review process may not be comprehensive enough for some of the wind projects that are being considered in different parts of the state:

(Douglas) “I really think that when the Section 248 law was enacted to deal with applications for utility and electricity generating capacities. It didn’t contemplate the kind of commercial scale towers that we’re talking about now. These towers are higher than the Bennington Battle Monument – they’re quite substantial structures and I think it’s fair to slow the process down just a little and decide whether this is, is the way we want to go?”

(Host) Douglas says requiring Act 250 review for large scale projects is one of several approaches that he’s looking at:

(Douglas) “Whether that’s the answer or some change in the Section 248 process – I’m not sure, I want to take a look at that. Over the not to distant future I expect to have something more specific to say about it.”

(Host) Last week, Douglas released a draft plan that would prohibit the development of large scale wind projects on state land. Douglas says he believes that most Vermonters support his position on this issue.

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