Contact: Nancy Tips
Telephone: 802-875-1555
Email: ntips@vermontel.net


At it’s June 20 meeting, the Town of Windham Selectboard voted 2 to 1 to send a letter in response to a request from the Spanish wind developer Iberdrola that the town negotiate the terms of a proposed 20-turbine installation.

The Selectboard letter, read by Chair Frank Seawright, states “Given the marked unsuitability of the Stiles Brook Forest for an industrial wind installation, we ask that you suspend your involvement with this project immediately.” The letter, also signed by the Town of Windham Planning Commission, further states “We are unwilling to subject any of our town’s property owners to the unknown short- and longterm effects of exposure to turbine noise, vibration, infrasound, and shadow flicker,” citing the proximity of 200 Windham homes to the proposed turbine installation and the fact that the proposed turbines “are the largest deployed for onshore use.” The letter also states that the proposed wind installation would be at the headwaters of a river that regularly floods the neighboring town of Grafton, and expresses the Selectboard’s unwillingness to place “our downstream neighbors at increased risk for flooding. We take an ethical and moral stance in relation to our neighbors in Grafton, Saxtons River, and Cambridgeport, and we abide by the dictum proposed by Wendell Berry: ‘Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.’”

Besides the three members of the Selectboard, fourteen people were present for the discussion of the response to Iberdrola, which approached the town over four years ago and, disregarding the Town Plan, placed wind-measuring devices in 2013. Two years later the corporation delivered its proposed turbine layout to the town, causing heightened controversy as many property owners came to realize the close proximity of their homes to the proposed installation.

In response to the single dissenting Selectboard member, who based his refusal to sign the letter on the assertion that Iberdrola was using “sound business practices” in requiring the town to negotiate a deal, a member of the group Friends of Windham asked: “How is it sound practice to knock on the Town of Windham’s door and say ‘We demand to buy your house, which isn’t on the market, and we insist that you negotiate a sale price?’ The proper answer is ‘Go away!’”

Click here to read the letter from Jenny Briot and Iberdrola.

Click here to read the letter from the Windham Selectboard.