Wind opponents vocal at NRPC meeting

Regional planners drafting energy plan

By Tom Benton

Staff Writer

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ST. ALBANS CITY — The Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) presented its draft Regional Energy Plan to community members assembled at City Hall Thursday morning.

 

The NRPC has developed the plan over the past year and a half. The plan will apply to all 23 municipalities the NRPC represents in Franklin and Grand Isle counties, but only in terms of regional policy — the NRPC does not have regulatory authority.

 

However, when considering approval of proposed energy projects, the Public Service Board does have to consider how well the project conforms to the regional plan.

 

The plan’s presentation at City Hall followed a presentation in North Hero on Monday. Another will follow next Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Enosburg Falls. Each is part of the NRPC’s continued effort to use public input to shape the plan ahead of its anticipated December completion.

 

NRPC regional planner Taylor Newton led yesterday’s presentation. He began by explaining state goals propelling the plan, first and foremost that renewable energy sources produce 90 percent of the state’s total energy by 2050. Barely more than a minute after doing so, the audience, mostly comprised of the Swanton Wind Project’s core opposition, began providing input.

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