- Associated Press - Sunday, August 16, 2015

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The select board in Bennington, Vermont, has voted to ask state regulators to reject two adjacent solar projects proposed for a 27-acre parcel in the town.

But Town Manager Stuart Hurd tells the Bennington Banner (https://bit.ly/1hC7SEW) the projects may be difficult to stop, because they appear to meet the criteria for state approval.

Hurd says though that he’ll still ask the town’s lawyer to bring aesthetic and other concerns to the Public Service Board’s attention.

Recent legislation increased towns’ say over energy project siting in some ways, including giving cities and towns the automatic right to appear as a party before the board when it reviews projects.

The vote by the selectmen was unanimous after residents expressed their concerns about the projects. They’re requesting the Public Service Board halt both projects due to the “inevitable damage to environmental, historical, safety, visual, and aesthetics of the surroundings.”

A neighborhood association has formed a memorandum of understanding with the projects’ developer limiting construction of access roads for construction, maintenance, and decommissions.

The PSB has visited the site of one project, and it has already had its technical hearing. A technical hearing for the second project is set for Tuesday. The town’s lawyer is expected to file a request to intervene.

Brad Wilson, project developer at Ecos Energy, said after Thursday’s meeting that he’d answer questions about the project and would have flown to Vermont to attend the emergency meeting if anyone had asked him to be there.


Information from: Bennington Banner, https://www.benningtonbanner.com

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