Library filed under Impact on People from New Hampshire
What Antrim residents who complained of turbine noise levels are especially upset about is that the SEC, at this meeting that they missed due to it not being directly noticed to them, adopted a report that they believe is not acceptable under the SEC’s own rules regarding the Conditions of the AWE Certificate. ...So, to summarize, the Town of Antrim was not directly notified of the meeting, those making the complaints were not directly notified, no transcript of what took place in the November 23 meeting – now a month ago – has been made available, and no meeting to consider the complaints has been scheduled as of yet.
“This is incredibly disruptive to my workday and life in general,” she wrote. “My neighbors and many others fought against the installation of these turbines and they were right to do so. The turbines have been nothing but a constant headache and source of stress for those made to endure their intolerable noise. It must stop.”
The conflict stems from the vacant-land myth: the notion that there’s plenty of unused land out there in flyover country that’s ready and waiting to be covered with wind turbines, solar panels, power lines and other infrastructure. The truth is that growing numbers of rural and suburban landowners are resisting these types of projects. They don’t want to endure the noise and shadow flicker produced by 500- or 600-foot-high wind turbines. Nor do they want miles of transmission lines built through their towns, so they are fighting to protect their property values and views.
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".
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.
“They say the sound isn’t a problem, but we have what sounds like the sound of a jet going over — that doesn’t stop — at our home every night,” said Phoebe Sanborn of North Groton Road, whose home is within a few hundred feet of five of the plant’s 24 turbine towers.
Big Wind still won’t listen and is in denial about the winds of change in these five New Hampshire towns and the surrounding region. Be prepared! Hundreds of people feel the need to express their outrage in person because the wind industry won’t listen.
The troubles surrounding the Groton Wind Farm all started in the front yard of a retired Boston Police officer named Mario Rampino. The Operations and Maintenance Building for Groton Wind towers over his house on a hill across the road. It looks like a warehouse, surrounded with tall chain-link fences topped with barbed wire.
The former Boston police officer who was seeking legal relief from Iberdrola Renewables after the company built its operations and maintenance building too close to his home for his comfort has settled with the company. The details of the settlement were not disclosed by Rampino or his lawyer, Justin Richardson, and Iberdrola officials did not return calls Wednesday.
Iberdrola officials said if we didn’t want them, they’d leave. They were sent here to win the hearts and minds of the locals. They’ve failed. ...Iberdrola needs to realize this is a losing cause. To throw additional money at these projects is to do a disservice to its shareholders. You [Iberdrola] made your case. It was rejected. Cut your losses. Keep your promise. Leave.
“Here’s where I think Northern Pass is today,” said Jack Savage, spokesman for the Society for the Preservation of New Hampshire Forests. “I would say the project is in jeopardy as long as Northern Pass and Hydro-Quebec refuse to look at more undergrounding of the proposed line.” ...The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee is pushing a bill that would direct the SEC to give preference to privately funded energy projects if they bury their transmission lines.
The SEC will be holding hearings on Rampino's legal brief and the claims of others, including the state fire marshal, that the company did not file the planned changes to its facility with the proper authority. Groton Wind did not submit new building, site and fire protection plans for to the state fire marshal prior to or during construction, according to state officials.
The Antrim decision means that Northern Pass “is not an automatic ‘yes’” says Amy Manzelli, who represented opponents of the wind farm. “I think that the SEC will be trying to answer the questions … and they will be willing to say no if the weight of the evidence shows that the answer is no.” The “questions” at play are numerous, from aesthetics to air and water quality to impacts on historic sites and what is termed “orderly development.” Antrim shows that the Northern Pass decision could hinge not just on the look and size of the towers, but the scenery that they pass through.
“Iberdrola appears to say whatever is expedient at the moment,” said Wind Watch’s Nancy Watson. “They have on numerous occasions dating back to 2009 stated they will not install any industrial wind plant without community support. Then they show up in Alexandria (Tuesday) night, a town that rejected their proposed wind installation by a nearly 3-to-1 vote (at Town Meeting in March) and proceed to inform residents they are proceeding in spite of the overwhelming voter mandate to the contrary.”
“Iberdrola has demonstrated a reckless disregard for New Hampshire’s rules and its residents,” said Lori Lerner, president of Wind Watch. “The New Hampshire attorney general, our state fire marshal, and numerous members of the public have called on the SEC to require Iberdrola to correct the violations or for project operations to stop.”
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee ('SEC') has announced hearings to determine whether to suspend and revoke the Certificate of Site and Facility granted Groton Wind LLC, a limited liability corporation wholly-owned and managed by Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.
While the presence of wetlands specifically affected the proposed Grafton site, Cherian said opposition from the community also played into Iberdrola’s decision. “We recognized that in Grafton, as in other towns, there are people that don’t support the project,” Cherian said.
Though Iberdrola Renewables hasn’t filed an application for the project yet with the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, the company has signed a 15-year agreement to sell power to a group of Massachusetts utilities. The agreement will benefit Massachusetts’ Renewable Energy Portfolio and its electricity customers, though there are questions about its value to New Hampshire.
Residents of the Newfound Region living around the Groton Wind Project now live with red flashing lights at night, loud roaring of industrial engines whenever the blades are spinning (day or night), shadow flicker from the blades for hours at a time during various parts of the day, the whooshing of the blades as they spin, and the low frequency vibrations that are not audible but are felt within the body.
NH WindWatch is also worried that the problems of other states could occur in New Hampshire. Stories of health problems in other states include that of Luann Therrien, a neighbor to the Sheffield, Vt. wind project, who says her family has been suffering health problems - headaches, nausea, sleep disruption - from the noise of the project's turbines for about a year.