Library from New Hampshire
...town officials say that the zoning code mandates that no building be taller than 35 feet. They have barred him from erecting his turbines, which could reach 121 feet. Hebert argues that his wind turbines are not buildings and therefore not subject to the zoning code's height restrictions. He has appealed the decision to Hillsborough County Superior Court. Neighbors, too, are up in arms. They say Hebert clear-cut a large swath of his land to make way for the turbines without consulting them. The trees had acted as a noise buffer from nearby highway traffic. Moreover, they say, Hebert's property, wooded and at a relatively low elevation, is unlikely to have the sort of gusts necessary for the wind turbine.
"Are you ready for a windmill in your neighbor's backyard? They're coming," Planning Director Karen White said at a recently Planning Board workshop.
The lack of necessary infrastructure means that Coos County won't see ground-breaking anytime soon on hundreds of megawatts generated by proposed wind farms and wood-fired power plants. According to Public Service of New Hampshire officials, the utility's big loop of transmission lines from Littleton to Berlin and back can handle only 100 megawatts more of production before somebody has to pay big bucks to boost the capacity. Nobody knows who will fund that infrastructure, and the uncertainty has thrown off the financing for some of the dozen New Hampshire power plants lined up for future review by the state Public Utilities Commission.
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.
HAMPTON -- Unitil is planning to construct a single wind turbine in town in hopes of "offsetting" the company's energy costs, according to Senior Vice President of Customer Service and Communications George Gantz.
New England's electricity rates, among the highest in the nation, will continue to depend almost entirely on the price of natural gas over the next two decades -- no matter what policies state leaders adopt for conserving energy and approving new kinds of power plants, according to a study being released today. The report, by Independent System Operator New England, which runs the six-state power grid and the region's $10 billion wholesale power market, offers no hope rates will drop significantly unless the price of natural gas plummets. That's an outcome few energy investors are banking on. Since 2000, as New England has grown more dependent on cleaner-burning natural-gas power plants, average homeowners' electric bills in Massachusetts have roughly doubled, along with an equivalent jump in the prices for wholesale natural gas. The ISO's "scenario analysis" examines 52 approaches to meeting demand for electricity through 2025, but takes no position on which are best. They include launching massive conservation efforts, building nuclear generators at existing nuclear plants, and making a huge regional push into cleaner-burning coal plants. Regardless of which scenario is pursued, 90 percent of the time in 2020-2025 the price of gas would determine the price of electricity, the report says.
A Connecticut company testing for wind power potential and impacts on the 24,000-acre Phillips Brook property in Coos County said it is looking at developing a 100-megawatt windpark by 2009. The 33 to 67 turbines - each about 400 feet high - would be spaced just over 1,000 feet apart. Meanwhile Tillotson Corporation, owners of The Balsams Grand Resort in Dixville Notch, is looking at a smaller field of wind turbines to the north of Phillips Brook on its North Sanguinary Ridge, said Richard Harris, spokesman. "The primary interest is in being self-sufficent," said Harris. In June, the state approved its first wind turbine facility in Lempster, near Lake Sunapee. It will produce about 24 megawatts of power for the firm Iberdrola.
LANCASTER - Initial test results are favorable for plans to create a 100-megawatt wind farm at the Phillips Brook property. Noble Environmental Power officials presented an update on their project to the Coos County planning board Wednesday night. "The indications from the data collected so far are very good," said Martha Staskus, vice president of Vermont Environmental Research Associates, which is consulting on the project. Pip Decker and Charles Readling of Noble provided an overview of the company and outlined the project proposed for the 24,000 acre Phillips Brook tract owned by GMO Renewable Resources. Readling said the project will likely consist of 33 to 67 wind turbines with a maximum height of just under 400 feet. The company erected two wind measuring towers earlier this year and has permits to put up two more this summer. In addition to evaluating the wind speed and direction, data is being gathered on birds, visual impacts, wetlands, and other environmental impacts. "We're not done collecting all the data," said Staskus.
LEMPSTER, N.H. --Construction on New Hampshire's first commercial wind farm project is expected to begin by the end of the summer now that the developer has received final state approval. After three years of planning and permitting, developer Iberdrola received the last of the required state approvals this month. The company hopes to begin producing electricity sometime next year, said project manager Ed Cherian.
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.
LEMPSTER, N.H. --New Hampshire is a step closer to getting its first commercial wind farm. A 14-member committee representing environmental, forest, economic development, health utility and other interests, approved the project in Lempster on Thursday.
AMHERST - In March, 1,444 voters agreed with people in more than 160 other New Hampshire towns that reducing greenhouse gases is a good thing. That was the theory. On Tuesday, the town's zoning board will face the reality in the form of solar panels and wind turbines, both of which face big legal obstacles. "The fact that it's alternative energy doesn't make any difference," said town planner Charlie Tiedemann. "The zoning (laws) are still in effect."
These public comments were filed with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee in reference to the Lempster Wind proposal (NH SEC Docket 2006-01 - Lempster, NH). Ms. Martin's comments were prepared following interviews she had with residents living near the Mars Hill, Maine commerical wind project. The Mars Hill wind project went on line in early 2007; problems of noise were reported as early as December 2006.
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 portion of the wind energy generated from newly installed wind turbines located in PEI was wheeled through PEI and New Brunswick and sold to the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) via the international interconnection node in Keswick, N.B. The renewable energy certificates (RECs) that were generated from this transmission were sold separately to independent buyers located in the NEPOOL.
CONCORD (AP) - Gov. John Lynch has signed the proposal that promotes expanding renewable energy in New Hampshire, a move that's expected to reduce pollution and expand the alternative energy industry. The legislation requires electric utilities to buy a growing percentage of their energy from sources such as wood-fired plants, wind farms and hydro power. The goal is to have 25 percent of the state's electricity coming from renewable sources by 2025. As he signed the bill on Friday, Lynch said the plan will help lessen the need for foreign oil and expensive natural gas, build a stronger state economy and protect the environment.
Several state lawmakers say they support the possibility of locating windmill turbines off New Hampshire's coast to generate electricity, though with some reservations.
New England Energy Alliance Survey Finds Consumer Concern about Future Electricity Supplies, Desire to Choose Electricity Supplier and Support for Addressing Global Warming
New Hampshire's Senate has voted unanimously to pass a bill to promote greater development of renewable energy, a move that's expected to reduce pollution and grow the alternative energy industry in the state. The legislation requires electric utilities to buy a growing percentage of their energy from sources such as wood-fired plants, wind farms and hydro power. The goal is to have 25 percent of the state's electricity coming from renewable sources by 2025. The bill passed the House and has Gov. John Lynch's support. The legislation is expected to encourage investment in alternative energy in New Hampshire, which supporters say could shore up the logging industry, create new jobs and improve the state's environmental quality.
The New Hampshire House's passage of a renewable energy bill April 5 might spur even more wood-fired power plant projects, such as Public Service of New Hampshire's 50-megawatt facility at Schiller Station in Portsmouth and several projects recently proposed in the North Country. One of those North Country projects involves Laidlaw Ecopower, which hopes to buy the mothballed 11-story boiler in the former Fraser Papers mill in Berlin and construct a 50-megawatt wood-chip-burning power plant around it. The other, proposed by North Country Renewable Energy, involves plans for a similar renewable energy park in Northumberland that would make ethanol from wood chips and operate a biomass power plant in the 45- to 75-megawatt range.