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NE Grid Again Orders Wind Plants Off Line

Georgia Mountain Community Wind

The owner of a northwest Vermont wind project says the operator of the New England electric grid ordered the turbines off line Sunday night despite strong winds blowing across the Green Mountains.

David Blittersdorf of Georgia Mountain Community Wind is frustrated with ISO New England, which runs the regional transmission grid.

Blittersdorf said ISO told the Georgia project to shutdown for about six hours, even though the wind was blowing and the four turbines were producing at their maximum capacity of about 10 megawatts.

Blittersdorf wants ISO to reimburse his company for the lost revenue. He said he’ll send the organization a bill for $5,490. "We're going to force the issue by sending out an invoice asking ISO to pay us," he said. "...I'm not going to roll on these things anymore."

He said the bigger issue is that polluting coal and gas plants were allowed to run while renewable energy generators were cut back.

“The point we’re trying to make is: 'Look, we have a carbon problem. Why would you take out clean generation and run carbon-based fuels instead?'” he said.

ISO did not immediately return a call for comment. The organization last summer also curtailed wind projects around the region. ISO said at the time that the cutbacks were necessary in order to balance the electric grid and avoid outages or other system failures.

Bittersdorf’s project was not the only wind development ordered off line this week. Green Mountain Power confirmed that its Lowell Mountain wind project was also cut back for about six hours Sunday night.

John worked for VPR in 2001-2021 as reporter and News Director. Previously, John was a staff writer for the Sunday Times Argus and the Sunday Rutland Herald, responsible for breaking stories and in-depth features on local issues. He has also served as Communications Director for the Vermont Health Care Authority and Bureau Chief for UPI in Montpelier.
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