Library from New Hampshire
Earlier this month, two of Hydro-Quebec’s transmission lines funneling power from James Bay to Quebec went out, causing about 188,000 customers in Canada to lose power during the outage’s peak. The outage meant that more than 2,000 megawatts of power bound from Canada to the New England grid didn’t show. And that drove grid operator ISO-New England to launch reactionary procedures to keep electricity flowing south of the border.
“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.”
Ken Kimball, the AMC’s director of research, reiterated his club’s opposition to the plan on Tuesday, saying there is no doubt hikers of Cardigan Mountain would see some, many, or most of EDP’s proposed 50-story wind towers planned for Canaan, Orange, Dorchester, Alexandria and Groton.
Pulses were raised Monday night at the Antrim Select Board meeting, when resident Richard Block asked the board to read a memorandum he had written, criticizing the board on how it conducts town business, specifically when it comes to handling the Antrim Wind project. Meanwhile, the wind farm developer says it is poised to bring the plan forward once again, despite its previous rejection.
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.
"The Wind Protection Tax Credit is a federal tax subsidy that has enabled wind developers to develop projects in New Hampshire, which has marginal to poor wind resources,” Lerner said. “We need to act now to let our delegation know that we do not support any extension of the PTC.”
DOVER — New Hampshire has work to do if it wants to secure its energy future.
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.
The decision followed about an hour of public testimony, including comments from several attendees who raised concerns about recent changes in the size and scope of the Jericho project, the project’s reliability and how the wind power would be used. “I do not believe the appropriate due diligence has been completed,” said Lori Lerner, president of New Hampshire Wind Watch. She questioned the project’s economic benefit to the state, since she said it doesn’t create many long-term jobs, and she recommended the bond be denied.
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.
While highlighting what he said is a "lack of adequate infrastructure" in New England, Tony Clark, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also told U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., in an Oct. 15 letter that he is concerned that "there is a deeper flaw in the existing electricity regulatory regimes in place throughout the Northeastern United States."
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.