A project aimed at importing low-carbon, hydroelectric energy into New England from Québec reached a significant milestone yesterday with the filing of a Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The TSA details the terms for the commercial use of the proposed transmission line.
The plans by Hartford-based Northeast Utilities to string a $1.1 billion transmission line through New Hampshire to bring in low-cost power from Canada is on hold until all sides can agree on an acceptable route.
Biologists for Fish and Game said the project of Granite Reliable Power LLC to build 33 turbines in the Dixville Peak and Mount Kelsey area would permanently bisect habitat of at least four wildlife species and will have "severe and unmitigated adverse effects on the natural community," which is host to about 60 others.
AMC has filed as an intervenor on the project, expressing concern about the siting of half of the 33 turbines for the same reasons.
One concern about the wind turbines was that the wide roads needed for construction - where none had been before - would make it easier for predators like coyotes and fox to get up high.
That means they could compete with the Marten's food. Or, use the Marten as food.
"Canines have a predilection for roads and wider paths."
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.
More Than Half The Voters Sign Petition
The $1.1 billion Northern Pass Project will see a 140-mile-long transmission line built on structures ranging from 90 to 135 feet tall from Quebec to Franklin. The utility will need to acquire a new right of way through Coos County -- 45 miles from the Canadian border.
One year to the day after Granite Reliable Power filed its application for a 99 megawatt wind power plant in Coos County, the state's Site Evaluation Committee yesterday approved a certificate for wind operation on the private land.
The 60-page decision, still subject to appeal in the state's Supreme Court. will still require a federal permit.
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.
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.
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.
A portion of the wind energy generated from newly installed wind turbines located in PEI was wheeled through PEI and New Brunswick and sold to the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) via the international interconnection node in Keswick, N.B. The renewable energy certificates (RECs) that were generated from this transmission were sold separately to independent buyers located in the NEPOOL.
"The negative consequences of this industrial wind farm development far outweigh the benefits. We the people want this stopped to protect our homes, our land, our communities," states the petition, which was written by Grafton resident Erin Darrow.
An application to place 24 wind turbines on Tenney and Fletcher Mountain ridge lines west of Plymouth has been submitted to the state for review.
The $120 million Groton Wind Project would produce 48 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 20,000 homes.
The application was filed Friday with the state Site Evaluation Committee, which must give an up or down vote in nine months.
Houses at Eagle's Nest on Plymouth's Tenney Mountain would be the first residential area to be affected by wildfires from the park, said Fire Chief Casino Clogston.
Clogston said not only was it his responsibility to protect lives and property but also to ensure that his responders can do their jobs as safely as possible.
Small windmills will likely start popping up around the Seacoast as Unitil Corp. tests new ways to produce energy.
The local power company installed its first windmill two weeks ago off Route 101 near Hampton Beach as part of a pilot project to assess the effectiveness of wind energy.
The company is now looking to place as many as 10 to 15 additional windmills atop utility poles around the Seacoast and in Massachusetts, said Unitil CEO Robert Schoenberger.
Northern Pass, a different entity than PSNH, cannot simply assume ownership of those easements, Savage said. He pointed to a legal opinion the forest society recently requested on the state's eminent domain law. The opinion, written by attorneys with the Ransmier and Spellman law firm in Concord, concludes that Northern Pass cannot use the power of eminent domain.
Goshen officials are concerned about the power lines coming through their town from the proposed Lempster windmill project and have filed a petition with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee for limited intervening status.
“We’re trying to protect the appearance of the village,” Goshen planning board chairman John Wirkkala said Tuesday.
Community Energy Inc. and Lempster Wind LLC, (collectively known as CEI) have proposed 12 electric generating windmills constructed on a 35-acre lot owned by resident Kevin Onella.
If the windmills are constructed as planned, transmission lines will run along route 10 from Lempster through Goshen and into Newport where the electricity generated will tie into the power grid.
“We’re asking for an alternative site for the lines or to bury the lines,” Wirkkala said.
While paper mills close and Cabletron spins off its remnants out of state, power plants from the Seacoast to Whitefield enjoy the perks of a poorly understood, $100-million subsidy program just for energy producers. It has a bureaucratic name: the forward capacity market. ...An unidentified 600-megawatt, gas-fired power plant project somewhere in Rockingham County is blocked behind half a dozen North Country renewable energy projects in the ISO-New England regulatory queue. The waiting list policy is first-come, first-served. A plant like that would typically pay its host community $4 million or more in property taxes, with few smokestack emissions. But those wind- and wood-fired projects at the front of the line are all in limbo. The Public Service power lines in the region are too small. Most of the players can't even bid into the upcoming ISO auction, because yet-to-be-built plants have to ante millions of dollars as a sort of performance bond. And the ISO doesn't make forward capacity payments for transmission line upgrades.
This extended news piece addresses efforts to bring renewable generation to northern New England.