Articles from New Hampshire
If residents were so unhappy with the Select Board's handling of a peripheral $40,000 payment from the developer, how can they be confident their input on a multi-million dollar PILOT will be taken seriously? And how plausible is it that the public hearings would end with a PILOT that differs substantially from the one that was recently voided? The concern for us, and for many others, is that any hearing would be a mere formality.
The issue of whether the state or local boards will have jurisdiction over a proposed wind farm on Kidder Mountain is slated come to a head on Monday , when the state will hold a public hearing on the issue in Concord.
A Hillsborough County Superior Court judge David Garfunkel ruled Monday that town officials violated the state's Right-To-Know law by holding illegal non-public hearings with Antrim Wind Energy and its counsel to negotiate a payment in lieu of taxes, known as a PILOT agreement. As a result of the ruling, the terms of the deal between the town and Antrim Wind Energy has been voided.
In his ruling he wrote: "The court grants the petitioners' request to void the PILOT Agreement ... the Board conducted numerous noticed and unnoticed, non-public meetings while negotiating the PILOT Agreement. These meetings contravened the fundamental purpose of the Right-to-Know law's goal of transparent and open government."
Antrim Town Administrator Galen Stearns said that the wind developer's attorney drafted the motion for rehearing, and it was sent back and forth several times between Geiger and the town for modifications. ...He added that having Geiger draft the appeal was an attempt to speed up the process. Geiger drafted the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement that was also signed by the town.
The appeal and request for a rehearing were crafted by Antrim Wind's attorneys Orr & Reno, according to Select Board Chairman Gordon Webber. Antrim Wind requested the town appeal the decision in support of the LLC's pending appeal, which has to be submitted by June 1, Webber said.
The Antrim Select Board voted to appeal the state ruling that denied a 10-turbine wind project after deciding to accept a $40,000 offer from Antrim Wind in a contentious meeting Monday that led to one resident being escorted out by police and several others walking away in frustration.
The SEC denied Antrim Wind Energy's application based on negative visual impacts the wind farm - proposed for the ridgeline of Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain in Antrim - would have had on the town and its surrounding communities.
Savage said the recent purchases by Northern Pass are contiguous to the anticipated route the company is trying to build, but do not address its fundamental problems of crossing the Connecticut River along Route 3 at the Canadian border, or clearing a narrow passage through conservation land in Stewartstown near the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters.
One point of agreement during a daylong forum on wind energy in Concord last week is that nobody's really happy with the way New Hampshire has been deciding on these projects since Lempster Wind, between Keene and Claremont, was approved more than five years ago.
The Select Board voted Monday night to delay the decision whether to accept a $40,000 compensation from Antrim Wind Energy until after the state committee that turned down the project in February releases its final order. ..."It does look like you're taking a bribe," said Kat Affholter.
In November 2012 our Board took a unanimous position in opposition to the Wild Meadows project, as proposed. We did this after serious and thoughtful consideration of our mission - to protect the environment that supports our local economy and quality of life. ...We do not believe that our need for wind-generated energy is so urgent that we should accept outdated policy and inadequate processes as the framework for decisions with substantial questions and long-term ramifications.
The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee kicked off a summer's worth of work to reform the way the state evaluates proposals for new power plants Tuesday. They heard a whole day's worth of testimony about wind energy.
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.
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.
New Hampshire is merely a conduit for a private, for-profit organization. We sacrifice our land, property values, beautiful scenery, tourism industry, jobs, second homeowners with the money they bring, possibly our health - and PSNH, its officers and stockholders make more money. Isn't it questionable why so many people are supporting something that is so bad for New Hampshire?
Antrim Wind Energy has offered the town $40,000 as recompense for a proposed wind farm's visual impacts to the Gregg Lake area. The caveat is the state's Site Evaluation Committee has already denied the application.
Lori Lerner and her husband purchased a second home on Newfound Lake more than a decade ago and loved the area so much that they moved in for good. Now, she worries the construction of wind turbines on the ridges above the lake might stop others from following in their footsteps. "Who wants to invest their hard-earned money in an area that's being over taken by these monstrosities?"
Instead the Senate voted 23-1 to establish two study committees to review the state Site Evaluation Committee's ability and capacity to do its job and the criteria for siting wind farms.
"We didn't want to make a blanket decision to stop all SEC applications," said Prescott. "We made a decision to stop the filings for wind energy because there are many imminent issues. They are right on our doorstep. The decisions are going to be made soon.