Vergennes Wind Turbine Causing Controversy

Vergennes Wind Turbine Causing Controversy

A Vergennes man says a wind turbine is tormenting him because of the shadows and noise it creates.

A Vergennes man says a wind turbine near his home is ruining his life and he’s ready to move out. Tuesday he will bring his case in front of the Vermont Public Service Board on an issue he says has troubled him since 2011.

“You think I want to live like this? I don’t want to live like this,” Michael Mammoliti said.

Mammoliti says a wind turbine operated by Green Mountain Power torments him when the sun sets behind the turbine.

The sun comes down and then this strobe light appears,” Mammoliti said.

“You’re right on top of it and it's changing all the lights.”

Mammoliti says it gives him headaches and makes it close to impossible to enjoy his property.

But Mammoliti says shadows aren’t the only issue. Public Service Board documents show he's had numerous grievances ranging from the sound the wind turbine generates to having a concern about groundwater when this was first installed several years back.

Monday he told us he’s concerned the turbine blades sling pollen and other unwanted substances onto his property.

“We do have one person who has complained about this turbine in Vergennes and we've been very responsive to his complaints,” Green Mountain Power spokesperson Dotty Schnure said.

Schnure says GMP has worked closely with Mammoliti. She says they reached an agreement to shut off the turbine from 7-8 PM during summer sunsets to avoid causing any strobe effect, something she says is extremely rare.

Neighbors are divided on the issue. Some we spoke with Monday take Mammoliti’s side while others have never been troubled by the turbine.

“I am pretty close and it's always going and I never hear. It never bothers me,” Erin Sultaire said.

Sultaire self identifies as pro-alternative energy. Mammoliti says he does too but not for this particular project. Tuesday at the Public Service Board meeting he plans to say as much.

“It’s been two years. I’ve had enough of it. I can’t sleep at night,” Mammoliti said.

The meeting will cover the lighting issues Mammoliti says he has. Mammoliti plans on presenting video evidence he shot that shows the problem with the shadows. At this point, however, he says he just wants GMP to buy out his home.

“They can take the house and sell it to someone else,” Mammoliti said.

But Green Mountain Power says they’re already paying for the process. We asked if any costs of going in front of the Public Service Board get passed on to rate payer.

“There’s clearly a cost to regulatory process so it's important to pay attention to that. We try and streamline everything we do so that we do it as cost effectively as possible. But if there is an issue we need to deal with it,” Schnure said.

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