A disagreement has broken out between the Coos County Commissioners and Brookfield Power-which owns the Granite Reliable Windpark--over what was expected for that payment. The County was expecting a payment of $495,000, while the windpark only submitted $249,175.
County administrator Jennifer Fish said a payment of $495,000 is due, and Brookfield has paid $249,175, with a deadline of February 1 to pay the remainder. "Brookfield notified the county on December 3 that the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) should be $249,175, based on the amount of megawatts that they were allowed to generate," she said.
But Brookfield is arguing the PILOT payment is based on what Granite Reliable Power is permitted to produce. The company said ISO-New England, which manages the power grid, curtailed its output to 45.835 megawatts. At $5,000 per megawatt, Brookfield said it owes the county $249,175 for its 2013 PILOT.
The court found that not only had the NRC followed proper procedure in overriding the ASLB, but that the representations by SAPL and the others in support of the possibility of wind power replacing nuclear power "proved to be untrue."
A bill that originally would have allowed Public Service of New Hampshire to build a wood-burning plant in the North Country has morphed into fast-track legislation for all small renewable energy projects.
Now a House committee is grappling on how fast that process should move and whether environmental safeguards will remain in place.
Senate Bill 140 would give the Site Evaluation Committee - the multi-agency task force that sites energy plants - 120 days to make a decision on renewable energy plants, such as those that are powered by geothermal sources, wind, solar, and biomass.
A state government committee will decide in February the future of a proposed wind farm in the northwest part of town.
Antrim Wind Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Portsmouth-based Eolian Renewable Energy wants to build 10 wind turbines on private land near Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain.
The chief sponsor of HB 580 said he and his fellow lawmakers on the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee chose to "retain" the bill because the legislation wasn't prepared well enough to withstand a debate on the House floor. ...Reilly said he is confident HB 580 will be brought before the full House for a vote.
In averting the "fiscal cliff"' last week, Congress also extended tax credits for wind energy development for the next year, but while the news is good for the industry, several developers say they aren't the deciding factor when looking at New Hampshire projects.
At the end of an almost two hour informational meeting on a proposed payment-in-lieu-of taxes agreement with Granite Reliable Power, selectmen asked how many in the crowd of about 30 support that approach. Only three people raised their hands. The majority said they favored the town annually appraising the wind farm property based on its ad valorem or fair market value.
Within six months of the turbines being set in motion, Marshall suffered a stroke and a heart attack, he said. He felt stressed all the time and couldn't sleep. The culprit, he thinks, was the low-frequency noise emitted from the spinning turbines.
"We were told that none of this would happen," Marshall said. "These things were supposed to be whisper quiet."
Marshall's experience is troublesome to Lawrence Mazur, a Rumney resident watching closely as the neighboring town of Groton moves toward hosting a 24-turbine, 48-megawatt wind farm along the Tenney and Fletcher mountain ridges overlooking the Baker River Valley.
Nationally, demand for electricity is leveling off as residential power use falls, experts say, reversing a long upward trend. More efficient lighting and electric devices are partly credited for the change. New homes also are being built to use less electricity and government subsidies ...help older homes use less power. Rourke said the weak economy also has contributed to reduced electricity use.
In two or three years, the region should have a fledgling renewable energy industry in place and enough Internet capacity to attract call centers and other firms that need first-rate communications, they say. ...Both energy firms believe the existing Public Service of New Hampshire transmission lines, thought to have 100 megawatts of remaining capacity, can handle the extra current after a relatively small private investment. Patch has told lawmakers Noble will spend between $10 million and $15 million to tighten the power lines. Bartoszek confirmed his company would spend a tiny part of its $100 million project cost on transmission improvements.
Legislators in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic passed a number of bills applying to the electric power industry, with several states committing to emissions reductions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other states making broad organizational changes to their regulatory processes.
Aternative energy, much-talked about on local, county, state and national levels in recent years, has become an issue in the Souhegan Valley in recent months, with different communities taking vastly different roads on the issue. Amherst, which actively opposed wind turbines last year, has changed its tune and now is proposing a zoning ordinance allowing some, if not all, alternative energy systems. Milford planners are considering regulatory measures regarding wind power, while in Hollis, building and planning officials have embraced the idea. Brookline officials have not had to deal with wind towers.
Under the agreement, ISO New England will project regional power needs three years in advance and hold annual auctions to buy power resources, including new and existing power plants. Incentives would encourage private operators to respond to power system emergencies, and operators that don't make extra capacity available would face penalties.
The proposed ordinance applies to wind turbines that have an energy-producing capacity of 100 kilowatts or less and that will be used primarily for on-site energy consumption. ...The systems cannot exceed 30 feet above the average tree line closest to it.
A newly released state Public Utilties Commission report says that, under current federal regulations, New Hampshire can expect no fiscal help from the rest of New England to upgrade power lines in Coos County.
The power lines would required to fulfill the supply created by several proposed renewable energy power plants in the region.
According to the report, it would take a change in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rules to make Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and the rest of the ISO-New England power grid share the cost to beef up the closed transmission loop that runs through Littleton, Berlin and Whitefield. Any change in policy at that level would take years to effect, if it is even possible
Fickle as the wind
November 3, 2011
by Jessica Camille Aguirre
in Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Residents will finally get a chance to weigh in on the future of local wind energy development Tuesday, culminating an information war waged by campaigns aimed at dispelling confusion over two controversial ballot items proposed by the Planning Board.
The company proposing a controversial wind farm on Lempster Mountain has filed its application with the state Site Evaluation Committee.
The action marks the first step in the evaluation process for what could be the first major source of wind power in New Hampshire and one of the first new wind power sources in New England in more than decade.