General and New Hampshire
The big source of alternative energy in New England is wind power, but it's usually located far from the cities that use the most power, which means expensive power lines must be built to take advantage of the wind. Offshore wind power is even more powerful than wind onshore, and also carries the need for expensive power line construction. This is the first of two stories looking at the state's electrical grid.
Opponents of a plan to build 33 wind turbines in Coos County have filed an appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Construction on the Winnacunnet High School turbine began Monday, Dec. 21, the first day of winter. ...while the Skystream is capable of supplying the school with 1.3 million kilowatts of power a year, the single wind turbine will only make a small impact in reducing energy costs. However, its implementation is as much about education and community awareness as it is about Winnacunnet's electric bill, said SAU 21 Superintendent James Gaylord.
The Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) voted three to two to rehear the application for a height variance for the meteorological (met) tower Eolian Renewable Energy has already erected on Tuttle Hill. At Tuesday's meeting, chairman John Kendall said putting the met tower in place was legal, and that unless the ZBA reversed its decision to allow the height variance as a result of the appeal, that it would remain.
Wind power is immensely attractive in more than a few ways. Like tidal power, it's seemingly benign and non polluting, and doesn't involve exporting our energy dollars abroad year after year.
But wind power isn't all that simple. For example, it doesn't work just anywhere. Despite the best intentions of the city of Keene, which is known widely for environmental innovation, two studies have found that local wind patterns aren't strong or steady enough to justify investments in turbines.
The dozen twirling towers atop Lempster Mountain can be seen from the high school in Newport, 12 miles away.
Some call them "majestic." Others have said "striking," "unreal" or "in your face," depending on their perspectives. Anyway, there's no way to camouflage these 256-foot-tall towers and their 139-foot blades. ...The turbines look like they're churning out electricity, but just how much? And is it enough to make a difference, or are they just striking symbols of the goal of energy independence?
The wind turbine being set up this week next to the fifth green of the Mountain View Grand golf course won't be considered a hazard for golfers on the fifth hole, but when it's put into operation later this fall, it will provide as much as half of the power needed for the hotel's needs.
Crews began laying out the three sections of the 121-foot tower yesterday morning, which will be put in place over the next day or so next to the 128-foot water tower.
As tensions around a proposed meteorological tower on Tuttle Hill boiled over Tuesday, the property owner spoke out about the divisiveness of the issue. ...Resident Mark Schaefer echoed the caveat of all other abutters and residents in opposition to the tower by saying he is entirely supportive of renewable energy, but not in a rural conservation district.
"I've raised four children under that ridge," said Schaefer, who said he moved to the area 25 years ago specifically for its rural appeal. "It would take away everything we've moved up here for."
Saying it acted without adequate financial information, the state's Counsel for the Public has asked for a rehearing of a decision to approve a wind park for Coos County.
Peter Roth said the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee approved Granite Reliable Power Company's request for site and facility of a 99 megawatt wind park without necessary assurances that the company can come up with the money to build the $275 million facility.
Granite Reliable Power already has state approval to move forward with its plan to put 33 wind turbines on peaks in Coos County. But can the company afford its project?
That question is at the heart of several motions for rehearing, including one from the company itself, filed Friday with a subcommittee of the state Site Evaluation Committee. ...Throughout the approval process, Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Roth, who is representing the public, has questioned whether the company has the financial resources or will be able to attract investors in a tough economy.
The residents are the first to take advantage of a newly approved town zoning ordinance. The Small Wind Energy Systems Ordinance, which was approved during the March 10 election, is intended to complement recent New Hampshire legislation, which established a process of review for small wind energy projects. ...According to Goodman, the noise produced by the turbine will be 54 decibels from 100 feet away.
Granite Reliable Power will have to wait several more weeks to get the final order and certificate of site and facility for its proposed 99 mega-watt wind farm in Phillips Brook. ...While the SEC order is a big step for the project, Granite Reliable Power must still get permits from the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineering and the Federal Aviation Administration.
A 33 turbine wind farm on land in central Coös was given the green light by the state Site Evaluation Committee on Wednesday, June 10. The SEC voted unanimously, 7 to 0, to issue the needed state permit - a Certificate of Site and Facility - to Granite Reliable Power.
Although a very significant step, gaining the SEC's approval is by no means the final hurdle over which GRP must jump.
A plan to put 33 wind turbines on forested ridgelines in Coos County won unanimous approval yesterday from the state panel charged with reviewing new renewable energy facilities. Members of the Site Evaluation Committee added a long list of conditions to its approval, many regarding the environmental impact.
After a sorely disappointing eight-month trial period, the town of Kittery, Maine, is shutting down the 50-kilowatt wind turbine it installed at the Transfer Station last fall. Real-time data from the 124-foot turbine shows that it generated less than 15 percent of the electricity expected between October and May.
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The wind farm proposed for central Coös County has cleared another hurdle.
The seven-member Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) voted unanimously on Wednesday afternoon that constructing and operating the 33-turbine 99-megawatt wind farm would not have unreasonable adverse effects on the natural environment, water and air quality, and public health and safety.
Several hurdles remain regarding the proposed St. Lawrence and Cape Vincent wind farms and their future connection to the regional electrical system.
One of them is a route to the grid. Acciona Energy North America, developer of St. Lawrence Wind Farm, has taken the lead on a possible route that would follow the abandoned New York Central Railroad corridor. But that corridor also contains the regional water line operated by the Development Authority of the North Country.
Committee member Don Kent of the Natural Heritage Board said he felt the pre-construction bird studies were inadequate and indicated he will seek a year of additional bird studies as a condition of the permit.
The committee requested more information on the collapse of a wind turbine in Alton, N.Y, owned by GRP's parent company, Noble Environmental. Also requested was an onsite habitat assessment of the land proposed as mitigation in the settlement agreement.
Vermont Public Power Supply Authority based in Waterbury wants to build three turbines on an old Air Force radar base in East Haven. The project would provide renewable power for approximately 4,000 homes.