Helter-skelter solar projects
GMP’s plans for Rutland to become the solar capital are developing a common theme, and one that is creating unnecessary controversy.
All the proposals that are being proposed for the region are, with the exception of the landfill proposal, on farm fields with agricultural values, and many of them have wetland and floodplain issues.
Where are the proposals for the already-built landscape? Rutland Town especially has plenty of flat roofs and parking lots that could easily incorporate large solar installations. Why are those areas, which are most appropriate for solar electricity generation, not being utilized?
What we are not seeing is any planning for this new type of energy. GMP has notably been absent from disclosing its plans to the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, which is usually the first stop for big developers. It is fair to say that zero planning for the Rutland solar capital is taking place. In the absence of planning and policies that prioritize appropriate locations, we get what we are now seeing, helter-skelter development.
And then there is the problem that the developers are all planning to sell the renewable energy credits out of state. No, GMP isn’t enabling renewable energy for Rutland or Vermonters, but for Massachusetts and Connecticut.
There is still time to develop policies around solar installations in the Rutland region. If we do not, we will continue to see more opposition and community members who feel they are being shut out of the process.
Vermonters for a