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Cases Publications

Catamount Energy and the Glebe Mountain Windfarm: Clean Energy vs. NIMBY

Case Abstract


The case presents the arguments both pro and against wind generated electricity, or turbine wind farms. The environmental and economic arguments made in favour of this alternative energy source discuss (1) wind power does not generate water or air emissions, or hazardous waste, does not impact riverways; and (2) once installation costs have been accounted for, the costs of fuel, in this case wind, is free. Critics, in turn, point to (1) the variability in wind energy, which has a 30%-40% efficiency level due to shifts in nature, (2) the high costs of turbines and installation when compared to natural gas powered plants of equivalent scale, (3) the high level of state subsidies to support this energy source, and finally, (4) the negative impacts on migratory bird patterns and views and pristine nature of the environment. This debate is taking place as the state of Vermont considers placement of a wind turbine farm in the mountains of the state.


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