Friday February 15, 2013

GRAFTON -- A panel discussion regarding an industrial wind project under study for Grafton and Windham is scheduled for Grafton Elementary School this Saturday.

The event is set to last from 1 to 4 p.m.

Speakers in opposition to commercial-scale wind power will include Ben Luce, an independent expert who is on the faculty of physics and sustainability studies at Lyndon State College, Annette Smith and Luke Snelling. Smith is the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment while Snelling holds the same position at Energize Vermont.

Paul Broucha, a resident of Sutton who lives next to a wind turbine project, will also be a panelist in opposition, as will be Andres Torrizo of Watershed Consulting.

Speaking in favor of wind power will be Paul Burns of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, David Blittersdorf of All Earth Renewables, Robert Dostis from Green Mountain Power, Jeff Nelson from VHB and Kerrick Johnson of Velco.

In addition, the Town Administrator and a member of the Board of Selectmen from Lempster, N.H., will comment on a wind power project in their neighborhood.

Representatives from Iberdrola and Meadowsend Timberlands Limited will also be in the audience. Iberdrola, operating as Atlantic Wind, formally asked the state’s permission to erect three test towers on land owned by New Hampshire-based Meadowsend Timberlands.

The discussion will consist of personal introduction of each panelist and a brief explanation of their credentials, a presentation on the benefits of wind energy in New England and a rebuttal of those benefits.

There will also be a clarification on the benefits and a presentation on concerns of wind energy in New England followed by a rebuttal and clarification on the concerns.

A question-and-answer portion limited to Grafton residents, taxpayers and registered voters will be held from 3 to 4 p.m.