Lisa Linowes of National Wind Watch says a project on the scale of Loranger's isn't nearly as bad as some. But if it succeeds, she predicts big companies will try to move in to capitalize on the resource.
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.
After years of warning that New England's electric grid was on the brink of having to impose Third World-style rolling blackouts, top power officials now cautiously predict the region may have enough power for the near future.
Since February, thanks to recent policy changes, proposals for 21 new power plants that could deliver enough electricity for about 3 million homes have come before regional power grid administrators. Those include a $1.5 billion NRG Energy Inc. plan for multiple new generators in Connecticut and a single generator that would burn methane gas from a dump in Westminster, near Fitchburg.
The Holyoke -based organization that runs the six-state power grid and wholesale markets, Independent System Operator New England, plans to discuss the projects in a two-day Boston conference starting today .
He said that although many people are interested in building them [windmills], the reality is that the windmills only make sense in the southwestern parts of the state, north toward the Sunapee region, and in the White Mountains -- areas with elevated, open space and consistently strong winds.
"That excludes a lot of regions where people think it's windy, but (the wind is) not consistent enough," Weissflog said. "People are currently looking for alternatives, and they're really grasping at straws sometimes."
Tapping into a "deep feeling" in northern New Hampshire that the Northern Pass project would mar the region's beauty and undermine its tourism industry, Newt Gingrich said he would withhold his support unless the power lines go underground.
A batch of good news will be revealed to Goshen residents at a public informational session at 7 p.m. Thursday in the town hall. Financing to purchase a new fire truck is in place and the town will also be receiving two large monetary settlements from the Lempster Windfarm project. Neither one will require formal approval by Goshen voters. ..."We have a contractual agreement to receive $30,000 by Dec. 28 to cover Goshen's legal expenses on the windfarm presentation before the state hearing along with background work," Carrick said. The $30,000 will replace funds Goshen actually spent with this effort.
He said an agreement has also been worked out with Lempster Windfarm to provide an additional $50,000 in the future when the project first comes on line.
Several basic issues, though, such as a fear of declining property values, concerns about the aesthetic impact of turbines proposed to be 472 feet high and worries that the town doesn't really have a say in whether the project moves forward, continually pushed to the forefront of the conversation.
"We've been living it every day since the project was announced," said Sean Frost, who, unlike his mother, said his mind is firmly made up. "If the people don't have a voice in an issue of this magnitude, that's a problem."
There's a biomass renaissance going on in New Hampshire and Vern Waters, like other timberland owners, loggers and foresters, hopes to benefit from it. ...Biomass, according to SPNHF Spokesman Jack Savage, is "positive on any number of levels, but first, from a simple forest management perspective, this is essentially like weeding your garden and doing a biomass harvest is going in and pulling the weeds and instead of tossing them you're taking them and you're turning them into electrical power that ideally is replacing fossil fuels."
A way to open up the state's logjam in building renewable energy projects could come out of a proposed 10-state regional greenhouse initiative. According to the Public Utilities Commission, the North Country needs a power line upgrade in the $200-million range to help developers build hundreds of megawatts of future wind farms and biomass electricity plants. Those could meet most of the state's goal of producing 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
Until they win approval or drop out, those projects at the head of the line are blocking plans for a 600-megawatt gas-fired plant somewhere in Rockingham County. The would-be developer is unidentified on the Web site of the ISO-New England electric grid. The federal approval process accepts applicants on a first-come, first served basis.
The problem is the electricity network gets out of synch if the turbines produce more power than is being used at any one time.
So ISO issues an order to ramp back power. It's called curtailment.
"We are seeing those interconnect issues with other wind projects. As we've seen the Dixville project in New Hampshire was curtailed about 50 percent," Hallquist said.
Because the Unitil turbine will be relatively small, Diener said he doesn't feel it will be visually intrusive. He insisted any wind turbine project considered by the town should be on a small scale. "I don't see large wind farms happening in Hampton. I think it would be too massive a project for this area," he said.
By a vote of 25-22, voters approved Article 29, which would require all wind energy facilities that may come to be located in the town to post security in the form of cash or bond, prior to initiating construction, in order to cover the costs of removing all of the facility upon ceasing operations.
Once again this week, dozens of residents from Rumney and surrounding communities gathered at the Russell Elementary School for an informational public hearing about the proposed Wind Power Facility on Tenney Mountain and Fletcher Ridge in Groton.
The three-hour meeting was the second public hearing sponsored by the Rumney Select Board in recent weeks.
On Monday, Thomas B. Getz, presiding officer and vice chair of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, wrote that a comprehensive review has found the application by Iberdrola Renewables Inc. is complete and will proceed to public and adversarial hearings. None have yet been scheduled.
A group opposing several wind power project proposals in the Lakes Region will host a public meeting tonight featuring a pro-wind power speaker who doesn't think the proposed farms, or any wind farms, make sense in the mountains of New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire Wind Watch will host "Issues with Wind Power in New England," a presentation by Benjamin Luce.
Hopes for a renewable energy park to be developed appear to be dashed, at least for now.
The partnership hoping to open the park, which had three options on land in town including a 50-acre parcel owned by the school district, has pulled the plug on those options this week.
The reason, Levine said, is the transmission lines in the North Country are not able to accept the level of power that would be generated from the venture, which had already been given the name Groveton Renewable Energy Park.
Levine said the project is in line behind two wind generation projects in the approval process as well as for connecting to the power grid transmission system in the region.
Granite Reliable Power LLC, the company that plans to build a 33-turbine wind farm in Coos County, asked the state last week to deny two motions for a rehearing.
The motions were frilled Aug. 14 by the state attorney general's office, which serves as counsel for the public, and the Industrial Wind Action Group, which opposes the project.
In his motion, Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Roth argued for a rehearing, stating that GRP does not have the financial capability to carry out the project and there is no "assurance the project will be constructed and operated in continuing compliance with the certificate."
New England is possessed of much talent but looses a considerable portion of it to other states due to the regions relative weakness in providing for a reasonable priced cost of living even though taxes do not appear to be a competitive disadvantage to New England.
"I am very concerned we have a long term energy strategy but like all of us in New Hampshire, I also love the outdoors that is so important to the quality of life. I think the first proposal didn't take that into consideration and could have harmed our travel and tourism economy."
Town officials will hold a public hearing on Monday to decide whether or not to accept a one-time payment of $40,000 from Antrim Wind Energy for "acceptable compensation" for negative visual impacts a wind farm would have had on the town.
In February, the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee voted down a proposed 10-turbine wind farm due to negative visual impacts the turbines would have had on the area and the town.