Don and Shirley Nelson of Lowell, Vermont have settled the lawsuit filed against them by Green Mountain Power Corporation. The litigation pertained to conflicting claims of ownership of an area of land at the top of Lowell mountain in the location of the wind turbine project. The lawsuit involved damage claims asserted by Green Mountain Power against the Nelsons and trespass and other damage claims asserted by the Nelsons against GMP.
Under the settlement, Green Mountain Power will pay the Nelsons a total of $1,300,000 to purchase the Nelsons’ Lowell, Vermont farm.
The Nelsons have released a statement noting that if they had fought the court battle to the end and prevailed – as they were confident they would have – they would not have been able to reverse the effects on Lowell Mountain or cause the towers to be removed from the mountain top. They would have received, at best, money damages comparable to what they achieved through settlement but only after a major courtroom battle with the possibility of appeals and with no certainty as to the outcome of the various claims and counterclaims filed by the Nelsons against Green Mountain Power and by Green Mountain Power against the Nelsons.
The Nelsons stated that once the turbines were built, it was clear that they were not coming down and the effect on Lowell Mountain was irreversible. They made the decision that they would not remain in their Lowell Mountain hill farm in the shadow of the turbines. The Nelsons intend to move from their farm to a location well away from the turbines.
As part of the settlement, Green Mountain Power agreed it would not oppose post- conviction relief sought by the citizen protestors who were convicted of trespass for standing on land that the Nelsons claim is theirs. Green Mountain Power acknowledged that the legal status and title to the land was in dispute.
The Nelsons have been fierce opponents of the Green Mountain Power wind turbine project because of its impact on Lowell Mountain, a mountain that Don Nelson grew up with and that both Nelsons dearly love. The Nelson farm has been in the Nelson family for more than 72 years.
The Nelsons expressed their gratitude to their many friends and neighbors who have battled with them to oppose the construction of wind turbines on Lowell Mountain.