Wind Turbine Project Causing Border Animosity

May 17, 2012

A Quebec town is fighting plans to erect wind turbines close to the border in Vermont.

Encore Redevelopment has submitted a plan to the Vermont Public Service Board to place two 2.2 megawatt 427 foot tall wind turbines on the Grand View Farm and on the Smugglers Hill Farm near Derby Line, Vermont. Company CEO Chad Farrell says it’s a project intended to benefit the farmers without undue impact to human health or the environment.

The trick with this plan is that the turbines would be placed very close to the Canadian border. Derby Line, Vermont is split by the international border. Some of its buildings straddle the two countries.  Quebec requires that wind turbines be a certain distance from homes, and the Canadian homeowners in the area are demanding that those rules be followed. Derby Line Selectboard member, Village Clerk and Treasurer Karen Jenne is opposed to the turbines, along with her Canadian counterparts.

The dispute has gotten so rancorous that the Mayor of Stanstead, Derby Line’s Canadian counterpart,  threatened to cut off that water supply to homes on the American side. Derby Line’s Karen Jenne says she meets regularly with Stanstead’s mayor and says it was an attention-getting strategy.

Wind developer Chad Farrell says the acrimony has caught him by surprise.

Stanstead, Quebec has been granted intervener status in the Vermont Public Service Board’s review of the wind project.