Community Forum: Time is right to learn about solar proposals
This week’s writer is Sen. Christopher Bray, a New Haven Democrat who is chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy and vice chair of the Joint Energy Committee.
Dear Addison County Neighbors,
For over a decade, Vermonters have been supporting efforts to reduce the negative effects of burning fossil fuels. We have chosen to come at this challenge in two complementary ways: burning less fossil fuel, and generating the power we need more cleanly.
On the burning less side, we’re doing this through conservation and efficiency programs for homes and businesses. Programs such as those offered by Efficiency Vermont have already saved Vermonters hundreds of millions of dollars. On average, for each dollar we invest in these programs, all Vermonters save two dollars.
On the cleaner generation side, we’re moving away from fossil fuels and to more renewable energy, including solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels (including wood and bio-methane gas at Cow Power farms).
Although support for these programs in Vermont is very strong, the programs are not without controversy, typically when the generally well accepted “good idea” becomes a “local project.” And in the last year, especially in and around New Haven, solar projects have drawn many people’s attention.
This week, on Wednesday, July 15, we all have the opportunity to learn more about a 2.2MW solar proposal for New Haven and then to participate in a public hearing, conducted by the Public Service Board (the state entity that reviews and authorizes applications for solar projects). Whether you’re for, against, or just curious about this project, I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more.
Here are the details:
SITE VISIT: At 4 p.m., a Public Service Board officer will conduct a site visit of the proposed Next Generation solar project. Please meet at 820 Field Days Road in New Haven and park along the roadside. You’ll need to be dressed to walk about 700 feet uphill through a meadow to the site.
PUBLIC HEARING: At 7 p.m., a public hearing will be held in the Congregational Church in New Haven (91 Town Hill Road, next to the village green). This is an opportunity for the public to ask questions and share their thoughts about the project.
I hope to see you at the meeting, but if you can’t make it, I hope you’ll get in touch with me by email or phone. As your legislator and chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on the best ways for Vermonters to build our cleaner energy future. You can email me at [email protected] or call me at (802) 371-8183.
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