Library from New Hampshire
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.
“(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.
“EDP’s industrial complex spanning five towns has been overwhelmingly rejected by the voters of all towns except Canaan, which has yet to vote. The signal is clear. The message is simple. Your 50-story turbines are not wanted here, not now, 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.
EDP renewables, a company based in Portugal, has proposed a 29-turbine wind farm for five towns in the Newfound region. So for many in that area town meeting season is an opportunity to express their opposition to wind farms.
Government subsidized 400-foot turbines erected by a foreign country continue to pop up on many of New Hampshire's most scenic ridge lines. Is Gov. Hassan taking an active role to protect New Hampshire from this outside aggression aimed at destroying the beauty of this state and its citizens' property values? The answer is a resounding "no".
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.”
House Bill 208 originally would have repealed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program, but was changed by the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee to retain the emissions reduction program, but use all the money generated by emission allowance auctions as rebates to electric customers.
Flanagan said the program has created a slush fund used to balance the state budget, more than encouraging renewables. The state Legislature in 2013 grabbed more than $17 million from the Renewable Energy Fund to balance the budget and bail out the financially troubled Tri-County Community Action program in the North Country, leaving a balance of $7.8 million for renewable energy grants and rebates.
Eolian is seeking Site Evaluation Committee approval again