The Belisle Family—Project Owners
As local businessmen and longtime job creators, doing the right thing for the environment and the business bottom line is not new to the Belisles, the Swanton family proposing Swanton Wind.
Travis Belisle was born and raised in Franklin County, Vermont. He and his wife Ashley, a local real estate agent and former Registered Nurse at Northwestern Medical Center, live in Travis’s father’s previous home at the base of the mile-long hilltop where the seven-turbine Swanton Wind farm will be located. Travis maintains a 12,000 tap organic maple sugaring operation on the hill; he knows its working landscape well.
As a former owner of the Sticks and Stuff home centers, Travis pioneered the production and use of clean energy biodiesel in Vermont, fueling the company’s truck fleet and fulfilling some of its heating needs with biodiesel made from recycled restaurant oils. This innovation improved the company’s bottom line, helped other local businesses that would have otherwise paid to dispose of their used oil, and helped the environment by cutting down on waste and use of fossil fuels.
Travis currently owns Rocky Ridge Construction, LLC, where he works to build new and affordable housing in northwestern Vermont.
Gerald Belisle, Travis’s father and his neighbor at the base of the project site, is partnering with his son to help bring zero-fuel, locally-produced, and stably-priced energy to his home region. Gerald grew up on a dairy farm in Highgate and went on to be an entrepreneur in the building trade. He transformed and expanded the previous City Feed and Lumber into the highly-successful Sticks and Stuff, the home center with four locations and more than one hundred employees throughout Vermont. Gerald has sought to enrich the community through his involvement with many civic and charitable organizations including the United Way, the Bakersfield Fire Department, the Abenaki Association, the Missisquoi Amateur Hockey Association, and the Highgate Arena.
With deep roots in the community and a strong connection to the land, the Belisles are committed to making a contribution to Vermont’s clean energy future with Swanton Wind.
VERA Renewables—Project Managers
Vermont Environmental Research Associates (VERA) is a small wind and solar power consultancy that has been helping New England transition to a cleaner, more secure energy future for over 35 years. Working with renewable energy project owners, government agencies, and electric utilities, VERA blends business and project management skills together with technical and analytical capabilities to provide a full spectrum of renewable power development skills to meet clients’ needs effectively and efficiently. Located in Central Vermont, VERA serves clients across the New England region.
Vermont permitting laws for wind farms require project proponents to conduct extensive project-specific studies on a range environmental, economic, public health, historic preservation, and aesthetic issues involved in constructing and operating a wind farm. To complete these studies and help ensure compliance with applicable standards during all phases of project development, Swanton Wind has assembled a strong team of local, regional, and national experts:
|Arrowwood Environmental, Huntington, VT||Identifying and mapping important natural features such as wetlands and wildlife habitat to ensure project avoids or minimizes impacts|
|Krebs & Lansing, Civil Engineering, Colchester, VT||Designing on-site road improvements and stormwater management to protect wetlands, vernal pools, and downstream water quality|
|Landworks, Middlebury, VT||Assessing the aesthetic effects of the project on the surrounding landscape and its consistency with town and regional plans|
|Legal Counselors & Advocates, PLC, Castleton, VT||Representing Swanton Wind in the Certificate of Public Good process at the Vermont Public Service Board and other related permitting processes|
|Northeast Archaeology Research Center, Inc., Farmington, ME||Working to provide appropriate historic preservation of archaeological resources in the project area|
|Northern Economic Consulting, Inc., Isle La Motte, VT||Analyzing how the project will contribute to the orderly economic development of the local area|
|Resource Systems Group, Inc., White River Junction, VT||Studying ambient sounds of the project area, modeling project’s sound profile, and monitoring post-construction sounds to ensure compliance with public health standards|
|Stantec Consulting Services, South Burlington, VT||Studying local and migratory populations of birds and bats in the project area to assess and minimize impacts|