VNRC Applauds Work of Energy Siting Commission
VNRC has long believed that Vermont can – and must – pursue the twin goals of advancing clean, renewable energy and protecting the natural resources, communities and people that make Vermont unique.
The final report of the Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission, released recently, offers some solid recommendations to adjust how and where energy generation projects are sited to ensure that Vermont adequately avoids the degradation of critical resources while significantly increasing our reliance on clean energy.
The report lays out several helpful recommendations, including outlining a potential “tiered” approach to move smaller-scale projects forward faster, while requiring a more robust public engagement process for larger projects. It also expands the role of regional planning, with the goal of identifying areas in each region that are more or less suitable for energy development. While the details are yet to be worked out, if properly structured, these are strategies could help to address many of the concerns that have surrounded past energy projects.
VNRC was one of the organizations who called on the Governor to create a commission to address some of the issues that concerned Vermonters have raised. We applaud Gov. Shumlin for creating the commission, and we thank the five volunteer commission members and the commission’s staffers for their hard work. The commission’s recommendations provide a solid framework to begin refining our approach to energy siting, allowing us respond to some valid issues while maintaining our commitment to bringing more renewables online. Read the report.