Articles from New Hampshire
A moratorium on Big Wind Farms in New Hampshire, makes absolute sense. I applaud Representative Harold "Skip" Reilly (R-Grafton) for his forward thinking on this matter. Reilly has proposed legislation calling for a moratorium on all wind power construction until the state updates its energy plan. (HB-580 and HB-484). Get back to basics and start asking important questions.
"Proper siting involves a multitude of considerations, including environmental impacts," the statement read. "We felt strongly that this proposed project failed the ‘proper siting' criteria. Clearly, the SEC agreed."
"Recently we have seen a number of proposals for new energy facilities, specifically wind farms and transmission lines, that will have an important and lasting impact on our state," Arnold said. Arnold said the Legislature should act quickly on a bill giving the SEC a broad range of authority in considering proposed facilities.
"The committee deliberated for three full days after hearing more than 11 days of evidence and ultimately decided the project would cause an adverse effect to the aesthetics of the area primarily because of the visual impact," SEC attorney Michael Iacopino said. The project's nearness to the New Hampshire Audubon-held Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary played a part in the decision, as well as the opposition voiced both in testimony and written statements.
Woody Miller, a realtor at Coldwell Bank and Old Mill Properties in Bristol, said the Groton wind farm has likely already slowed the sale of one of his properties in neighboring Rumney. "I would argue that wind farms here will have a substantial effect on fair-market property values. If you eliminate even a few of the pool of potential buyers for a particular property, it hurts property sales and therefore values."
Sustainability is not, or should not be, a political issue. Real conservatives recognize the need to husband resources and live within their means. Real progressives understand the cannibalizing of nature can only lead to "death by a thousand cuts." These truths are relevant to the current gold rush by energy corporations to cover New Hampshire's landscape with long-distance, high-voltage power lines and wind farms.
The Portuguese company that previously received permission from the Zoning Board to build a meteorological tower to determine whether it then wants to build a fullscale wind farm, was back before the board on Thursday evening for a rehearing.
Grant Bosse, the editor of New Hampshire Watchdog, said the move by RGGI has little to do with lowering carbon emissions. He said the economic collapse and slow recovery meant fewer emissions, fewer producers purchasing permits, which meant a loss of projected revenue for the nine states. "This has everything to do with revenues and nothing to do with the environment. This is driven by a desire for more state revenue."
We are presently at a critical point in New Hampshire. Foreign wind farm companies are rushing to construct huge wind turbine projects along NH's ridgelines, in ways that will forever change the landscape of our state, unless we act now. We need to institute an immediate state-wide moratorium on such projects, before we reach the point of no return.
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee rejected approval of a proposed 10-turbine wind project late Thursday, but the company behind Antrim Wind Energy said it is still considering the options following the highly anticipated ruling.
County administrator Jennifer Fish gave the news to the Coös Delegation, which gathered for its quarterly meeting in Lancaster on Monday. The full PILOT agreement was for $495,000, and as of January 31, Brookfield Renewable Power had paid only $249,175, or about half of the total payment.
In a reversal of its earlier position, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group last Thursday paid Coos County the balance of its 2013 payment in lieu of taxes for its 99-megawatt wind park in the unincorporated places of Dixville and Millsfield.
The operators of the New England grid are restricting the amount of electricity being accepted from the three operating wind projects in the Northeast Kingdom and the North Country of New Hampshire. And there's no indication that the restrictions, called curtailments, will end anytime soon.
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.
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.
Dalton selectmen were told by a Public Service of N.H. official that the utility feels it has a favorable legislature and court system and most communities are too financially stressed to be able to put up a credible defense. The message being put out by utilities is the communities do not have the resources to withstand the "onslaught and should settle for whatever terms are offered".
Is wind part of the answer to our need to diversify our energy sources? Yes. Is the Tuttle-Willard ridge the best place for wind power? No. There's too much at stake. Our insatiable appetite for energy shouldn't be a tradeoff for healthy forests and wildlife habitat. As the SEC discusses Antrim Wind Energy's plan, the wind will be blowing on Tuttle Hill. Let's hope the wind keeps blowing through that spruce.
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.
In 2008 three Coos County Commissioners approved a deal under which - instead of taxes - the county expected to get payments of about $495,000 each year for a decade. But now Brookfield says it only owes the county half of that, says Jennifer Fish, the Coos County Administrator.
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.