General and New Hampshire
About $9 million of mechanic's liens filed in New York against Noble Environmental Power will have no effect on the company's ability to finance its $257 million plan to erect 33 wind turbines on peaks in Coos County and should not worry the people of New Hampshire, according to the company's chief financial officer. ...Christopher Lowe [Noble CFO] said that most of the liens are being settled and that the same issues would not be repeated in New Hampshire.
The company that wants to build 33 wind turbines on forested peaks in Coos County owes at least $6 million to contractors and suppliers who worked on its wind parks in New York, according to liens filed against the properties.
Now, the state committee that is reviewing the New Hampshire project wants to hear more from Noble Environmental Power Chief Financial Officer Christopher Lowe about whether the company has the financial and managerial abilities to do business here.
With more than $2 million in mechanic's liens filed in New York against its parent company, a company interested in developing a wind park in Coos County has state officials asking more questions.
Peter Roth, in his role as an advocate for the public's interest, has asked to recall for questioning Granite Reliable Power's chief financial officer, Christopher Lowe, for additional cross-examination.
Interveners against a wind farm in Coos County and the company representatives proposing it gave closing arguments on the project that, if given the green light, would stretch across more than 15 miles of ridge from Odell to Dixville Peak.
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee heard the arguments Thursday at the state Forests and Lands Building in Lancaster.
Public safety concerns began the first day of hearings yesterday for a proposed 99-megawatt wind park in Coos County. ...In Altona, local firefighters were able to knock down the blaze, fueled by as much as 100 gallons of oil housed within the tower, which snapped in half.
Linowes asked if the company's technicians are equipped with fire suppression equipment. She was told they are not. She also pointed to the remoteness of the proposed North Country turbines and their distance from fire departments.
Opponents of a proposed wind park in Coos County are looking at their federal options to halt the massive project, even as a state hearing begins today on licensing.
Richard A. Roach, senior project manager in the regulatory division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Concord, Mass., said he has received more than a dozen letters from the public regarding Granite Reliable Power LLC's proposal to build a wind electric facility across 15 miles of remote North Country hilltops.
Power generated from a proposed wind park in Coos County will not be designated to stay in the North Country, but could be used just about anywhere in New England.
Granite Reliable Power LLC spokesman Pip Decker said the power would go directly into the New England grid -- it could run a dishwasher in Lancaster or a traffic light on Boston's Boylston Street.
On Monday New Hampshire's Site Evaluation Committee is going to begin evaluating a proposed renewable energy project for Coos county.
Granite Reliable Power wants to put up 33 wind turbines on nine miles of ridgeline across Millsfield, Dixville and Dummer.
The project would go a long way to increasing the state's renewable energy portfolio.
But as NHPR Correspondent Chris Jensen reports, it has a great deal of opposition.
Intervenors in a proposal to build a large wind power project in the North Country say they're worried about what the project will do to the landscape and economy. ...Next week, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee will begin about two weeks of hearings on the $275 million project in Concord. Seven North Country residents and three organizations filed by the Sept. 18 deadline to intervene on the project, which gives them an opportunity to participate in the proceedings.
Executives from Noble Environmental Power said that they can raise the $275 million the project costs but that they have been hampered by tumultuous financial markets, according to testimony filed Tuesday. The company asked the state Site Evaluation Committee to allow it to proceed on the condition it proves its financing plan before construction begins. ...An investment banker testifying for the state Tuesday wrote that he did not believe Granite Reliable nor Noble have a plan to finance the park. The company has not shown how it will find lenders and investors.
After a week that smoothed the path for a proposed Coos County wind farm, a state attorney is asking for closer scrutiny of its financing.
Peter Roth, a senior assistant attorney general, has asked the state Site Evaluation Committee to suspend hearings to license the construction of 33 wind turbines along forested ridgelines. He said Granite Reliable Power has not shown it can pay for the $275 million project, a claim rebutted by an attorney for the company.
Hearings set for next month on a $275 million wind project for the North Country could be halted under a request filed by the counsel for the public.
Peter C.L. Roth, a senior assistant attorney general for the state, filed the request to suspend the hearings, set to begin March 9, saying there was inadequate financial information to determine whether the Granite Reliable Power's proposed wind electric generation park will be viable.
Noble Environmental Power, the company looking to erect 33 wind turbines in the North Country, has postponed plans for a second, larger wind farm in Coos County.
ISO New England, the nonprofit that runs the region's power grid, maintains a queue of proposed generation projects. The company this month withdrew plans for a 146-megawatt project which would be run by its subsidiary, Paris Generation.
Public Service Company of New Hampshire has filed for almost a 10 percent hike in electric rates for next year. ...Part of the increase has to do with both the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, designed to curb carbon emissions, and the Renewable Portfolio Standards, set up to move the state toward getting 25 percent of its power from renewables by 2025. Murray estimated that amount 20-30 percent of the increase can be attributed to those two programs, but indicated those costs haven't been completely determined yet.
"In terms of RGGI, this is all quite new to us," he said.
[T]here are some negatives associated with the increasingly popular form of alternative energy, according to a University of New Hampshire expert.
But the cons - mainly noise and vibrations from the rotating turbines - are generally things people can live with, UNH assistant professor of geography Mary Lemcke said.
In South Berwick, a 300-foot-high ridge across from Marshwood High School is being eyed as a possible location for a wind farm. A Cape Neddick-based alternative energy company is conducting a yearlong wind study there with the hopes a wind farm would be viable.
For Wisconsin resident Gerry Meyer, however, the sound of five 400-foot-tall wind turbines located within three quarters of a mile of his home is simply unbearable.
More wind farms may start cropping up across New Hampshire, but questions remain about how profitable they are.
A new state law pushes energy companies to use more renewable energy, including wind. But how affective turbines are remains largely untested. ...Iberdrola surveyed the Lempster site for five years before building and hopes to be making power by the end of the year.
Even then, it may take a little longer for the wind farm to cut electricity bills.
It's a bit behind schedule, but a $48 million project to bring wind power to New Hampshire via a dozen huge turbines near Mount Sunapee should be up and running by Christmas. ..."We have a love-hate relationship with them. . . . Some people think it spoils the ridgeline," said Lempster Selectman Ed Everett Thurber.
Concern about appearance, and about the effect of the large construction work stretching along about five miles of ridgeline, led several landowners in and around Lempster to file opposition to the project after it was proposed, some four years ago.
Thurber said his only concern was how the turbines would sound when they start spinning.
Drive through Lempster these days and you'll see the progress being made on the state's first commercial wind farm. When up and running, the 12 windmills on Lempster Mountain are expected to produce enough clean renewable energy for about 10 thousands homes. With America increasingly looking for clean energy and independence from oil, wind farms are one possibility. A big one is proposed for Coos County. The project has its fans, but it also has it opponents. NHPR correspondent Chris Jensen has the story.
Representatives for the company looking to build 33 wind turbines on ridgelines in the unincorporated areas of Dixville and Millsfield fielded some tough questions from the more than 120 people who attended a public hearing in Groveton last night. ...Nine parties have applied to intervene in the case, meaning they would become parties to the proceedings and could file briefs, collect discovery and question the applicant. They include wind and anti-wind energy groups, the Appalachian Mountain Club and five individuals.
Parts for New Hampshire's first commercial wind farm are arriving by truck and train.
The 400-foot-tall turbines will be built on a ridge on Lempster Mountain in Lempster ...The parts that sit atop the 12 towers and hold the turbine blades weigh 64 tons each.