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The board voted 6 to 1 Tuesday to ask the SEC to take jurisdiction of the proposed Antrim Wind project, located on the Tuttle Hill ridgeline and Willard Mountain. The board has declined to take an official stance on the project.
Brookfield Power has three wind turbines about 400 feet high that are along one of the ridgelines. Mill said they are in agreement with Brookfield on a plan to develop side by side and making good progress on state permitting.
Voters in Orange overwhelmingly voiced their opposition in a 117-7 Town Meeting vote this month. Orange voters also approved an article to require companies proposing to build wind facilities in the town to post a bond sufficient to cover costs of removing and disposing of the facilities and remediating the landscape if they were to close. Similarly, Dorchester voters expressed their opposition to the project in a 36-3 vote at their Town Meeting this month.
“(Nemeth's) remarks appear to be a standard wind industry tactic to try to quiet an increasingly vocal, well-educated and well-informed opposition. The voters couldn't be more clear in our message to (EDP): Your 29 50-story turbines are not wanted here. Not this year. Not next year, not ever.
Residents at Town Meeting this week expressed overwhelming opposition to a proposed wind tower project near Cardigan Mountain. Orange residents voted, 117-7, on Tuesday to oppose the so-called Spruce Ridge Wind Project.
Although needed approvals for the project will come from state and federal reviews, the town is busy seeking to influence the process. One ballot item in Orange would, simply, oppose the project. Another would extend a thumbs down to “the development of an industrial wind turbine project along the mountain ridge lines visible from the Town of Orange, and any such project located within the Town of Orange or surrounding towns.”
Eolian is seeking Site Evaluation Committee approval again
“We got a pretty strong response,” [planning board Chairman Steve] Spafford said. “We will likely add some wording on this for the master plan, and now we have something to tell the SEC when (EDP) files for this new project. According to our vote, the town is against more wind projects.”
Antrim Wind Energy is hoping to resurrect a plan to build a wind farm in Antrim, nearly two years after the project was rejected due to aesthetic concerns.
The Spruce Ridge project hasn’t yet been formally submitted to the committee, according to Timothy Drew, an administrator with the permitting unit of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, who sits on the SEC. This will be the first major project considered by the SEC since it was reformed in June by Senate Bill 245, an act of the state Legislature.
The SEC does not normally regulate projects smaller than 30 megawatts, but the town of Antrim petitioned the state to take jurisdiction of the decision saying it did not have the "requisite expertise" to evaluate the project.
Believing the county commissioners were not looking after the best interests of Millsfield residents in supporting the Granite Reliable Power wind farm, Millsfield residents Luc Cote and Wayne Urso said the property owners individually signed agreements with the Granite Reliable Power to protect themselves from huge property tax increases.
Under the agreement, GRP — so long as the Pilot with the county is in place — agrees to pay the property owners not less than $2,500 and not more than $5,000 per year; the property owners in turn agreed to “fully support and cooperate with the developer in the permitting, development and operations of its Wind Farm ...” and also to maintain confidentiality.
“We recognize there’s a lot of people opposed to projects like this, but we hope there’s a compromise,”he said.Whitlock said his company is aware that strong local opposition likely played a role in the decision by Iberdrola Renewables of Spain to drop its proposed Wild Meadows wind farm project in March. They are “hopeful” that EDP will have better success with area residents, he said.
If approved by the council, Hawk and Weathersby will become two of the first public members to sit on the recently reorganized SEC which sites and permits commercial-scale energy projects in New Hampshire. The Legislature voted this year to winnow down the committee from 15 members to nine, and to add public representation to the panel, primarily made up of state agency officials.
The planning board defended its handling of the Jericho Power wind project at its monthly meeting last Thursday.
As more wind farm proposals became more frequent, however, attitudes toward wind energy, in general, soured. ...Growing weary of wind development, local residents began to consider wind turbines a pock against the region’s natural beauty.
Approval won’t cost any state dollars, but the vote still brought out opponents. “First of all, federal tax dollars are our money. That does come out of our pockets as well, so even if it doesn’t cost the state of New Hampshire something, it’s going to cost us something,” Cindy Kudlick from Grafton told the councilors.
Wind and solar developers are seeking exceptions to Solano County's moratorium on wind and solar developments in unincorporated areas. ...The moratorium is in response to possible impacts to Travis Air Force Base resulting from new commercial-scale wind energy.
Gov. Maggie Hassan is not expected to ask the Executive Council to vote Wednesday on her two nominations to the Site Evaluation Committee, which decides on major utility projects such as wind farms and the Northern Pass transmission project.