Barre would see big cut in payments, but not adverse impacts with latest Heritage Wind proposal

Posted 26 June 2024 at 9:09 pm


On May 29, Heritage Wind LLC submitted a modification request to the state Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) asking for a 27percent megawatt reduction (173.6 MW to 126 MW) from the current Barre project.

The suggested changes would lessen the total turbine height from 656 to 640, a negligible difference of only 16 feet. All other aspects of the project: number of turbines, access road, lines and so forth would remain unchanged.

The Town of Barre entered into a zero dollar Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) contract. Instead Barre solely contracted a Host Community Agreement (HCA) on the basis of dollars per MW when the nameplate capacity was 184.8 MW. The Town, in doing this, would receive funding that should have directly corresponded with the adverse impact the turbines would place on the community.

However given the new modification request, the adverse impact remains unchanged but the community benefit is significantly reduced. The below chart indicates the $8 million loss to the community if the proposed changes are accepted without the developer being required to provide additional compensation.

This number is a $12.5 million loss from what the Town was led to believe when signing the HCA.

The chart shows the difference between the current modification and past requests for the Town of Barre, which includes $6,750 per MW as agreed HCA and a $0 PILOT.

Barbara Verburg

President of Clear Skies Above Barre