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Georgia Mountain Community Wind will be operational by the end of December 2012.


Sunrise: Georgia Mountain Community Wind Farm. Photo credit: Katherine Norris, taken from her home which is located near Lake Arrowhead in Milton. 6:45 am Nov. 23, 2012

Who is Georgia Mountain Wind, LLC?

A rotor being raised on November 20, 2012

Georgia Mountain Community Wind is a partnership between two lifelong native Vermont business owners with a passion for home grown renewable energy: The Jim Harrison family of Georgia, VT owns and operates its own third-generation family businesses of Harrison Concrete Const., and Redi-Mix Corp.  In addition, their Georgia Mountain Maples company is an agricultural maple sugaring operation co-existing where the wind turbines will be constructed.  These family members strongly believe that home-grown renewable energy is important for our future. David Blittersdorf is a life-long Vermonter and CEO of AllEarth Renewables, the manufacturer of the AllSun Tracker, and 1982 founder of NRG Systems, the manufacturer and international supplier of wind resource measurement instruments.  Collectively they employ over 100 Vermonters.

Martha Staskus (Northeast Wind) stands between two turbine blades stored at the on-site staging area.

What is Georgia Mountain Wind About?

This four-turbine, 10 megawatt wind turbine project is being developed by Vermont business owners and employers with a passion for home grown renewable energy. GMCW focuses on local jobs from development and permitting through construction, and is financed by Merchant’s Bank of Burlington, VT.

All of the output of GMCW will go to Burlington Electric Department customers through a long-term stably priced power purchase agreement and meet the needs of more than 4,200 average Vermont households.

Where is Georgia Mountain Wind?

Georgia Mountain Community Wind is located above the Harrison family’s Georgia Mountain Maples sugaring operation, straddling the line between the towns of Milton (Chittenden County) and Georgia (Franklin County), Vermont atop Georgia Mountain.

Two wind turbines are being erected in Milton and two in Georgia. Each 2.5 megawatt permanent magnet direct drive wind turbine will be mounted on an 80 m (262 ft.) tower.  Each will have three 50 m (164 ft.) blades attached at the nacelle.

Two of the Georgia Mountain wind turbines, Nov. 21, 2012

The Project 

Georgia Mountain Community Wind has utilized local services and products whenever feasible, and has created at least 28 renewable energy related business in conjunction with this important project.

Georgia Mountain Community Wind Construction Hotline: (802) 242-1476

Health & Environmental Realities

WIND POWER IS A local, clean, and renewable source of energy that has zero emissions.

  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and other fossil-fuel pollutants cause acid rain, smog, and extreme levels of mercury.
  • 25% of Vermont lakes house fish that exceed EPA standards for mercury.
  • More than half of Vermont’s high elevation red spruce canopy has been destroyed by acid rain.
  • 36 million tons of coal or 110 million barrels of oil each year would be needed to generate the same amount of electricity being supplied by U.S. wind capacity (approximately 44,000 MW).
  • No harmful health effects can be attributed to wind turbines.
  • According to a recent independent study prepared for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection: The noise from wind turbines does not directly cause health problems or disease and there is no association of bad mental health or “psychological distress,” nor pain, stiffness, diabetes, high blood pressure, hearing impairment, heart disease and/or headaches/migraines.
  • Wind power uses virtually no water – unlike other forms of energy.
  • Every year, wind projects will save the U.S. more than 20 billion gallons of water that would otherwise be used in conventional power plants.
  • In other words, 39% of all fresh water in the U.S. is used in the generation of electricity.

Wildlife Concerns

  • The amount of bird fatalities in the vicinity of wind projects is substantially less compared to the casualty rates from: Vehicles, Buildings and windows, Transmission lines  Communication Towers, Toxic chemicals/pesticides, AND Cats (both feral and domestic)
  • It has been shown that the red lights on turbines do not increase collision rates of birds or bats.
  • Sources: AWEA, “Wind Power in New England”, Massachusetts Wind Turbine Health Impact Study (Jan. 2012), VNRC, “Wind Resource Potential” NREL (2010), Sandia National Laboratories, “Wind Turbine Interactions with Birds, Bats, and their Habitats” NWCC citing National Academy of Science (2010).
  • Wind energy helps keep Vermont rivers healthy and clean because thermal pollution is avoided.Thermoelectric facilities discharge heated water that can disrupt and damage sensitive fish and aquatic habitat. (Vermont Yankee has raised the temperature of the Connecticut River up to 13º in the winter and up to 5º in the summer/fall, and discharges up to 543 million gallons of heated water per day.)

Wind strengthens Vermont’s economy by keeping our money in-state, lowering taxes, creating well-paying local jobs, and allowing local businesses to become strong and competitive.

  • Wind projects create local jobs.
  • Searsburg, Sheffield, Kingdom Community, Deerfield, and Georgia Mountain wind projects have already employed more than 260 local workers and businesses.
  • Wind projects help reduce local taxes and contribute to the Vermont education fund..
  • Searsburg, Sheffield, Kingdom Community, Deerfield, and Georgia Mountain wind projects are expected to ANNUALLY contribute to both host communities in tax revenues of more than $1.4 million and nearly $1.2 million to the state education fund.

Future generations of Vermonters will benefit.

  • As Vermonters, we can take control of our energy future. responsibly, and become Energy Independent –strengthening both our state and national security. Wind is a clean and inexhaustible Vermont resource. It is a real solution –a proven technology at a local, national, and international scale with zero emissions.
  • A diverse energy mix, including wind energy, will provide economic security for future generations by reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels, and reducing the amount of pollution that taints our air and land.
Vermont has one of the most extensive and rigorous permitting processes in the country.
  • Under Vermont law, each individual project must be awarded a Certificate of Public Good by the Public Service Board before any construction can begin.
  • This means each project has been determined to be in the “public good” and does not have “an undue adverse effect on aesthetics, historic sites, air and water purity, the natural environment and public safety.” Each individual project is subject to the process (regardless of size) and each individual project has to satisfy multiple stringent standards for approval, and is subject to public hearings in which the general public can voice their concerns about the project. The PSB must consider these public comments before awarding or denying a Certificate of Public Good.

Wind is the lowest cost premium renewable resource.

  • Because wind power is a zero-fuel resource, it is not subject to the volatile world energy prices. The owner of a wind farm can enter into a long-term contract for the electricity generated with a guaranteed, predictable price.
  • Wind power can help keep electricity rates down:
  • Between 2005-2010, electricity prices in the top 10 states with the most wind generation increased only one-third as much as in the states with the least wind generation.
  • Wind helps Vermont continue to lead the nation in energy innovation.
  • Through Efficiency Vermont, a nation-leading program, the state has reduced its energy consumption, saved money, and improved the environment.
  • Wind is an important part of reaching Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan’s goal for 90% of electricity generation to come from renewable sources by 2050.

Vermont has the power to harness a clean, renewable, homegrown fuel source.

  • Vermont has the second highest wind generation potential in New England.
  • Meteorologists and wind energy professionals can accurately predict wind speed and output days in advance because wind speed changes slowly. It takes one hour or more for there to be a significant change in wind speed. Grid operators can thus ensure reliability by using accurate wind speed predictions.

Sources: 30 V.S.A. § 248, EIA, “Technical Assessment of Onshore and Offshore Wind Generation Potential in New England” ISO NE, National Renewable Energy Lab, AWEA.


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