Franklin Planning Commission

February 19, 2019

Town Clerk Office

 

Members Present: Maureen Sodaro (Secretary), Dave Bennion, Peter Kittell, Cyrus Grennon,Rolland Rainville, Dan Larivee, Jordie Fraites, Clark Hubbard

 

Guests: John Ho

 

Meeting Called to Order at: 7:35 pm

 

Approval of Minutes: Dan moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Rolland.

 

Old Business: There were brief discussions regarding water quality in the lake as well as water sources for the Town of Franklin.

 

New Business: John Ho is present to discuss updates and concerns regarding his solar project.The application was submitted to the State of Vermont.There were no comments or objections regarding Johnís project at the time of submission.John also has a 15 kw solar system which is small.The Department of Public Service later brought up a concern which stating that the 150 kw looks like it is connected to the existing 15kw.That raised the question whether or not his project exceeds the 150 kW limit.The Department stated that if the project is 165 kW they need to intervene. These two systems are not connected in any way.Currently, John is in the process of showing the Department of Public Service and Vermont Electric Coop that the two projects are completely separate.Typically the Department follows the decision of the utilities.

The problem that exists for future projects is that Franklin and other neighboring towns (called the Sheffield Interface area) are lumped into the power generated by the Lowell wind turbines.The concern is that too much renewable power could be generated.The concern could theoretically cause the state and power companies to lower the 150kw limit.The Public Utility Commission has the final say with Department of Public Service, and the Vermont Electric Coop.

John feels the concern should be a community concern, because lowering the limit would affect individuals and towns who want to build arrays for their own power.

Clark feels that when we worked on our Town Plan, we were encouraged to look at the areas which would be conducive to solar in order to meet the state goal of renewable in the future. The side of the lake that John lives on is recognized by the State as conducive to solar power. ††John is concerned that if his 150kw project is rejected, it will set a precedent.††

Cyrus feels that the PC needs to communicate our support of Johnís project as well as our concerns regarding state goals and future development in Franklin.The PC agrees.

John feels that the Public Utility Commission needs to be aware that Franklin is a community that wants to meet the future goals of renewable energy as stated by the State.

Clark asked John to send the PC a list of people he has contacted, for the PC to write a letter in support of his project.

 

The response John received also stated that if the project is produced, he would need to put up a safety fence around the project.

A letter will be written by the Secretary of the PC for review by other PC members.It will then be forwarded to John Ho to be and sent to all the appropriate parties.

 

Public Comments:

 

Clark made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:54.The motion was seconded by Dave Bennion. All approved the motion to adjourn.

 

The next regular meeting of the Franklin Planning Commission will be held on March 19, 2019 at the Franklin Town Clerk Office.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Maureen Sodaro, Secretary

February 20, 2019

 

Minutes are not final until approved by the Planning Commission at the next regular meeting.