Library from New Hampshire
New Hampshire Wind Watch, which opposes new wind projects in the area, said EDP should have learned from votes taken at area town meetings in recent years that overwhelmingly opposed the plant.
The network was formed as wind power companies from Spain and Portugal propose new wind power plants near Newfound Lake. Communities in the area, which voted overwhelmingly to oppose such projects, found that they had little or no control under state law, as the authority over large energy projects belonged to the state’s Site Evaluation Committee.
Antrim Wind Energy officials announced recently that they’ve filed an application with the state agency to build nine wind turbines on the Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain ridge line.
Antrim Wind Energy has until Jan. 24, 2016, to submit its next full application to the committee, which will have the final say on whether the farm can be built and, if so, what mitigation might be required.
A sub-committee of the state’s SEC has voted 5 to 2 that this was enough of a change to get a second-hearing. However, in its order, the committee writes “whether the differences in the proposals are material enough to require a different result …cannot be determined” until they see the company’s application.
“It's a 24-mile right of way through Bayroot land, from the Dixville-Stewarstown line, down to Dummer,” said Will Abbott, vice president for policy and land management at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “The lease agreement between Bayroot and Northern Pass appears to bind the two parties together for a joint venture of developing a new wind project up in Northern Coos County on other land owned by Bayroot.”
Developing that electricity system locally has proven a challenge. It's hard enough to get buy-in to string power lines or pipelines through the densely populated, educated and politically savvy Northeast. Building a dam or putting up a wind farm stirs even deeper antipathy.
On Friday morning, the state’s Site Evaluation Committee voted 7-2 to take jurisdiction of the proposed wind farm, which means the state and not the town will decide whether the turbines can be built and what mitigations might be required.
Regulators decided Tuesday to put that decision off until late July. Only after that is when the state or the town will begin ask the big question, is New Hampshire still willing to build wind farms of this size? For instance, there’s still theoretically a big project on the horizon for the Newfound Lake Area.
The state’s Site Evaluation Committee has finished taking testimony on whether it should take jurisdiction of an oft-debated wind energy project in Antrim. Its final decision, however, will not be handed down until the end of the month.
The EIS is required to assess the potential environmental impacts of the plan to bring hydroelectric power from Quebec into New England on high-voltage power lines through New Hampshire. The draft, subject to public input, is expected to contain approximately 2,000 pages of material.
One matter remains from one public intervener in the case, Mark Watson of 35 Stone Glade Lane in Groton, who wants a full explanation of how the state and Groton Wind settled on the $160,000 payment meant to mitigate the company’s decision to relocate its operations and management building without obtaining proper permits.
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.
Listing a species as threatened means that any trafficking, injuring or killing of that animal becomes prohibited, but unlike endangered species, some exemptions can be carved out. ...Wind farms did not receive an exemption.
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.
Christie administration officials, while declining to comment on the Fishermen’s project, noted that it was the regulator, not the governor, that stopped the project from moving forward. A spokesman pointed to other environmental accomplishments such as promoting solar energy.
House budget writers voted Thursday to keep the state university system funded at current levels and raid $50 million from the renewable energy fund to avoid $68 million in cuts - and hundreds of layoffs - in the Department of Transportation.
With so many major projects in play, the role of the committee has never been so politically charged. Since 2013, two bills have been signed into law that were designed to enhance public participation and provide more protections for property owners during committee deliberations, but critics say the process is moving in the opposite direction.
The Town of Groton in New Hampshire adopted this ordinance to govern the siting of wind energy facilities up to 30 mwgawatts in size. The State of New Hampshire is responsible for siting projects that are 30 MWs and larger. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee reviews larger energy projects.
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.