Londonderry ‘s seven member appointed Planning Commission has recently proposed a new town plan. The partial objective of the new plan is to preserve the Glebe Mountain Ridgeline and prevent development on it. This plan is available at the Londonderry Town Office. The town plan is important since the Public Service Board will look to the town plan to determine the standards set by the town in relation to any proposed project.
The Town of Londonderry has passed a town plan that restricts the use of Glebe Mountain for wind farm development. The Select Board has said that they reserve the right to put the question of wind turbines to the residents of the town. If town residents approve, in an Australian vote, the installations of wind turbines, the town plan could then be modified to approve them.
• Catamount Energy has not come back to the town with any new proposal or incentives. However, Catamount is working with Dufresne and Henry to put the project together. To this end, new property has been purchased on Route 11, near the Windham town line which will be Catamount access to the mountain for roads or electrical power. Also, new leases have been established with Magic Mountain for lease of parts of of their lands for wind turbines.
• Because the current Production Tax Credit is to expire at the end of 2007 and because the Public Service Board process could take over a year to complete, we believe that Catamount could submit its construction documents to the town of Londonderry and Windham and the Windham Regional Planning Commission in early 2006.
• Separately, CVPS has sold its holding in Catamount’s wind operations to Diamond Castle Holdings of New York City for about $120 million. While the principal wind project of Catamount is in Texas, these owners will seek to turn over their investment quickly in order to resell it. Also, now that Catamount is an independent company its goals and objectives may change and not be as Vermont oriented.
• Separately, the Windham Regional Planning Commission has challenged the right of Section 248 actions to over ride current Act 250 rulings on the mountain. The Glebe Mountain Group intends to vigorously support the ruling made by the Springfield Regional Commission.
• The Windham Regional Commission sends their recommendations to the Public Service Board.
• Catamount submits their application for a Certificate of Public Good to the Public Service Board for approval. Pre-filed testimony by Catamount, the Glebe Mountain Group, and other parties are submitted to the Public Service Board.
• A hearing is scheduled to take “live” testimony from all parties on the project. This could potentially occur in March of 2006. These are quasi-judicial hearings, but tend to be shorter than an actual trial. Cross-examination of witnesses and experts can be done during the direct testimony.
• The Public Service Board will hear final arguments and could render a decision as early as the Fall of 2006.
Other important links to check out: Public Service Board ( http://www.state.vt.us/psb ), Windham Regional Commission ( http://www.rpc.windham.vt.us ), Town of Londonderry , VT (http://www.londonderryvt.org )
The above is a layman attempt to outline the important steps coming up in the near future regarding Catamount’s proposal and is not intended as a formal or complete procedure for applications to the Public Service Board