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United States

Arrests at controversial Vermont project

UNITED STATES: There have been arrests among protesters campaigning against the delivery of Vestas towers to the site of a community wind farm in Vermont.

Despite its green reputation, Vermont's only wind farm is the 6MW Searsburg plant. The project was constructed in the 90s
Despite its green reputation, Vermont's only wind farm is the 6MW Searsburg plant. The project was constructed in the 90s

Two activists were arrested earlier this week at the 65MW Kingdom community wind farm, near Lowell. The protesters were attempting to obstruct the delivery of a V112 3MW turbine tower.

The Kingdom project is being developed by Green Mountain Power. Although the project has roused a lot of opposition among Lowell inhabitants, a ballot in 2010 revealed 75% were in favour of the wind farm. However, residents in nearby communities were not consulted.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly in 2010, Jared Margolis, an attorney representing the opposition Lowell Mountain Group, said the main concerns relate to aesthetics and noise issues. "There’s always a balance," Margolis says. "There’s a societal issue with clean energy. But there are also the people that are directly impacted. Those people have a right to make sure that their investments in their homes are going to be stable."

Kingdom is due to come online by the end of the year. It will be one of the first projects in the US to use the V112 turbine.

According to the latest Windpower Monthly Windicator, Vermont has a capacity of 46MW, one of the smallest in the US. Green Mountain Power owns the 6.1MW Searsburg project, the first utility-scale wind farm to be built in Vermont.

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