CONCORD, Mass. – Green Mountain Power, Inc., is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with constructing a wind energy facility along the Lowell Mountain Ridgeline with an electrical transmission line in Lowell, Westfield and Jay, Vermont.
The permit applicant proposes to place permanent and temporary fill material in about 2.35 acres of waters of the U.S. in conjunction with the development of a 63-megawatt mountain top wind energy facility with an associated aerial electrical transmission line in Lowell, Westfield and Jay, Vermont.
The purpose of the proposed project is to construct and operate a wind generation facility in north central Vermont.
The windfarm, consisting of 21 turbine towers, will be located on private property along the Lowell Mountain Ridgeline. Project elements include: upgrade and new construction of approximately 2.75 miles of an access road, the construction of approximately 4.4 miles of a crane path, turbine pads, new substation, maintenance building, and an overhead 34.5 kV electrical collection system.
Approximately 14.5 miles of transmission line within the existing Vermont Electrical Cooperative (VEC) right-of-way (ROW) will be upgraded from 35 kV to 46 kV voltage from the windfarm access road to the Vermont Electrical Power Company (VELCO) 46 kV transmission line in Jay, Vermont. The new line primarily will be built within the existing 50-foot wide right-of-way, with the exception of 4.75 miles that will be re-aligned to address ROW infringements, to reduce lines on private property and to improve maintenance.
To compensate for impacts to waters of the U.S. of the proposed project, the applicant proposes to preserve approximately 178 acres (approximately 160.7 acres of upland and approximately 17.3 acres of wetlands/waterways) on the project site. The wetlands on the mitigation site consist of open water, emergent, scrub-shrub, and forested wetlands. The mitigation site contains 8,700 linear feet of perennial streams and several unmapped intermittent streams that originate on the site.
The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps of Engineers in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the United States; and with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in United States waters, including wetlands.
The Corps public notice, with more detailed information on the proposed project, can be reviewed online at the Corps website http://www.nae.usace.army.mil. Select Regulatory/Permitting and then weekly public notices and search by file number or state.
Public comments on the Corps permit review (File # NAE-2009-2408) should be forwarded no later than May 18, 2011 to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Vermont Project Office (ATTN: Michael Adams), 8 Carmichael Street, Suite 205, Essex Junction, Vermont 05452.
Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Michael Adams at 802-872-2893 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.