Telecom and Renewable Energy Projects

Under state statute (30 V.S.A. § 248a), Vermont municipalities do not have zoning and permitting authority over utility-scale renewable energy projects and telecommunications facilities.  Instead, these projects are subject to state and federal regulation through the VT Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The VT PUC reviews and permits utility and telecom projects.  Telecom licenses and standards are set by the FCC.  More information about the PUC's regulatory process and opportunities for public input may be found here.

However, the town can communicate its concerns and make recommendations to the PUC regarding the local impact of proposed utility-scale renewable energy projects (such as wind towers and solar arrays) and telecom facilities (such as cell towers and broadcast antennas), based upon each project's conformance with policies as spelled out in the Municipal Plan, and the standards for such projects defined in the Charlotte Land Use Regulations (LURs).  These standards can be found in Section 4.16 and Table 4.3 of the LURs. The full text of the LURs can be found here.

In 2019, Charlotte's town Energy Plan was approved by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.  This provides the town with more leverage to influence PUC project reviews for utility-scale renewable energy projects. For example, Charlotte is eligible to request interested party status in PUC regulatory proceedings, such as energy projects seeking a Certificate of Public Good, and can request the PUC hold a public hearing in town on the project, to give residents the opportunity to ask questions and make statements on the record.

If you’re interested in being notified about PUC review for any pending project, there’s a form you can complete to sign up to receive automated updates on that project, through the ePUC web portal. Go to the following link to create an account, and register to receive these updates:

 The Planning Commission coordinates the town's review and input into PUC proceedings, with input from the town Energy Committee, Selectboard and residents.  If you sending the PUC comments or a statement regarding a telecom or renewable energy project in town, please copy us here

The following links provide information about current and recent projects proposed within Charlotte which are under review (or have been approved) by the Vermont Public Utilities Commission:


Proposed telecom tower upgrade @ 3425 Spear St.: