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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint House Resolution

J.R.H.  6

Joint resolution relating to public sector ownership of industrial wind farms 

Offered by:  Representative Obuchowski of Rockingham

Whereas, one of the most-promoted alternatives to fossil fuels that has been proposed to meet the state’s imminent need for new electric energy resources is the construction of industrial-scale wind farms, generally defined as four or more wind turbines, with common ownership and control, located in the same general area of the state and with a maximum design capacity of more than 200 kilowatts (AC) each, and

Whereas, although in July 2004, Governor James Douglas issued an executive order establishing a commission on wind energy regulatory policy, the commission’s report did not address adequately all of the regulatory and environmental questions that must be answered before the state of Vermont authorizes the construction of large commercial wind farms, but it did recommend that these facilities not be built on state-owned land, and

Whereas, the construction of an industrial‑scale wind farm on a mountainous ridgeline would possibly threaten an area’s vistas, would possibly discourage tourists from visiting the state, and might cause local property values to decline, and

Whereas, research has shown that wind turbines that turn on a vertical axis rather than the standard horizontal axis could prove to be more efficient, and, as an added advantage, their smaller profiles pose less of a threat to aviation, and

Whereas, the state’s mountain ridgelines and viewsheds belong to the people of Vermont, and if the wind along these ridgelines is to be harnessed for electric energy generation, Vermont should consider the siting and ownership of industrial wind farms by public sector legal entities which would receive and maintain control and ownership of the wind farms, and

Whereas, the conflicting values, economic consequences, and environmental impacts of industrial wind farm construction and operation are extremely significant and merit very careful examination before irreversible decisions with long-term consequences are made, now therefore be it




Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly requests the public service board, in consultation with the public service department and other state agencies and departments and the public, to examine the public good issues related to requiring that any industrial wind farm applications filed or to be filed with the board provide for public sector ownership and control, and be it further

Resolved:  That the public service board’s examination of wind power also examine the possible benefit of requiring industrial wind farms to be equipped with wind turbines that rotate on a vertical axis instead of a horizontal axis, and be it further

Resolved:  That the public service board submit a report of its findings to the General Assembly on or before May 1, 2007, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Public Service Board Chair James Volz and Commissioner of Public Service David O’Brien.




____________________________              Attested to:

Gaye R. Symington

Speaker of the House


____________________________              ____________________________

Brian E. Dubie                                             Donald G. Milne

President of the Senate                               Clerk, House of Representatives



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont