United States

United States

Draft policy lays out siting restrictions on state land in Vermont

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) released a draft policy on wind and renewable energy development last month that effectively restricts the installation of large-scale wind projects on state lands, including parks, forests and wildlife management areas. Although the restriction sounds drastic, ANR also says that only about 1% of the 346,000 acres of state land contains commercially viable wind resources. The remaining acres either have poor resources or legal encumbrances that prevent wind projects. Wind development is "clearly not dependent on this small amount of state acreage becoming available," the draft policy says. "There are ample private lands presently available for such purposes which should be thoroughly explored before looking to ANR lands." ANR says that all the environmental impacts of wind development are not yet fully understood, it also restricts the erection of wind measurement towers, although the draft policy does allow small scale applications for household renewable energy applications. Vermont currently has 6 MW of commercial wind development, not located on state land. ANR will take comments on the draft policy through August 2.

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