Articles filed under General from New Hampshire

Critics say renewable energy bill on the too-fast track

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.
24 May 2007

PEI Wind Farm Exports Power To U.S.

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.
16 May 2007

Act targeting renewable energy signed by Lynch

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.
12 May 2007

N.H. Senate passes renewable energy bill

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.
26 Apr 2007

Bills would boost renewable energy power plants

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.
13 Apr 2007

Windfarm agreement discussed; decision to be made by July

About 20 residents attended an informational meeting Wednesday night where Lempster selectmen revealed the details of a proposed agreement with the developers of a windfarm. "We've had a lot of meetings and it's near completion," Lempster Selectman Bill Murgatroy said of the proposal. "It's a working document." Community Energy Inc. and Lempster Wind LLC, (collectively known as CEI) have proposed the construction of 12 windmills for electrical generation atop Lempster Mountain.
5 Apr 2007

Town will disclose wind agreement at meeting

The town of Lempster plans to disclose the details of an agreement reached with the developers of a windfarm during an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday. "We have reached a tentative agreement with Community Energy," Lempster Selectman Bill Murgatroy said. "It indemnifies the town and protects the town's interest." Community Energy Inc. and Lempster Wind LLC, (collectively known as CEI) have proposed constructing 12 electric generating windmills on a 35-acre lot atop Lempster Mountain. The meeting is designed only to inform the public about the contents of the agreement. The Site Evaluation Committee will hold a hearing on April 9 in Concord to discuss concerns from the town of Goshen over power line placement and also scrutinize the proposed agreement between Lempster and CEI. Both meetings are open to the public.
2 Apr 2007

Utilities discuss building renewable power plants

Unitil Corp., hasn't operated a power plant since the 1950s, but the electricity company would like to start again. Unitil has been one of the most vocal opponents of allowing utilities to build power plants, saying that would stunt the growth of a competitive market in New Hampshire and turn back the clock on important deregulation laws passed 10 years ago to break up electric monopolies. However, this week, it said building small, renewable power plants in its service territory could help protect customers against recent double-digit rate increases, without disrupting the competitive market. Renewable power is generated by harnessing local resources, such as wood, wind and solar energy.
29 Mar 2007

N.H. Alternative Energy Plants To Get Boost From Pending Bill

BETHLEHEM, NH - Alternative energy facilities, such as the Pinetree Power plant that operates on Route 116, and has for the past 20 years, are watching House Bill 873 closely this legislative session. The bill will require power companies that sell directly to consumers to purchase power from renewable energy producers such as Pinetree, which turns wood chips into power, thereby stabilizing their future in the energy marketplace in New Hampshire, said Mark Driscoll, the Pinetree plant manager. The bill will also encourage other renewable energy producers such as those planning an energy park in the town of Northumberland, to move forward with their plans, said state legislators who are sponsoring the bill in Concord. And the bill promises to improve the environment and public health at the same time by encouraging more "green" power sources and making sure producers install the latest emissions controls.
22 Mar 2007

Preservation tops environmental goals

Getting more money to preserve land, operate state parks, protect wildlife and regulate polluters top the 2007 environmental agenda of a broad coalition of groups. Legislative leaders embraced this first-ever collaborative effort the Granite State Conservation Voters Fund organized and promoted at a breakfast meeting of lawmakers Thursday. “I think great things are going to happen this year, and it’s great to feel like you’re in the mainstream,” said former state Sen. Rick Russman, a Kingston Republican who serves on the GSCVF board of directors.
26 Jan 2007

Power lines trouble officials

Goshen officials are concerned about the power lines coming through their town from the proposed Lempster windmill project and have filed a petition with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee for limited intervening status. “We’re trying to protect the appearance of the village,” Goshen planning board chairman John Wirkkala said Tuesday. Community Energy Inc. and Lempster Wind LLC, (collectively known as CEI) have proposed 12 electric generating windmills constructed on a 35-acre lot owned by resident Kevin Onella. If the windmills are constructed as planned, transmission lines will run along route 10 from Lempster through Goshen and into Newport where the electricity generated will tie into the power grid. “We’re asking for an alternative site for the lines or to bury the lines,” Wirkkala said.
24 Jan 2007

PSNH's wood-burning plant makes power practical

A lot of regulatory issues had to be settled, including the decision by Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire that the switch to wood counted as a renewable energy project. This was vital because it allows the Northern Wood Project to earn Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs. Those certificates can be bought and sold like shares, and are a major incentive for alternative energy projects, such as the proposed Lempster Wind Farm north of Keene. “We probably would not have proposed, nor won approval for this, unless the REC market existed,” said Martin Murray, PSNH spokesman.
31 Dec 2006

Hype and governance

The importance of finding reliable, clean, and economic solutions to our energy questions is paramount to our economy, our welfare, and our way of life. There are good ideas that are being discussed and others that will likely not see the light of day. Before you become a tool to advance the political agenda of the Carbon Coalition, make sure you know what their agenda is and what the footprint of that agenda might be in your town and our region five and 10 years out. You might find the Coalition has not thoroughly vetted its plan. It is best to know that now, before our political leaders feel pressed and grasp at anything to look like they're "just doing something".
13 Dec 2006

Keep coordinated on regional energy

Although the approach is too late for projects that have already begun a federal review process, a dozen New England congressmen and senators have asked for help from the Department of Energy in coordinating a regional approach to siting liquefied natural gas facilities. Reps. Tom Allen and Mike Michaud have both signed on to this request, which makes sense for future energy projects.
8 Dec 2006

Is this a no wind situation?

AMHERST — Norm Hebert never thought the town would try to stop him from installing three wind turbines on his four acres. There is nothing in the town ordinances dealing with wind turbines, only silos and ham radio towers. So the 20-year resident began making preparations. He put down a deposit on three turbines with a Canadian manufacturer and cleared his land, a large corner lot in a densely settled subdivision near the Merrimack border. But when he applied for a building permit at town hall, Hebert was told that since there was no specific language in the town’s ordinance dealing with 90-foot tall wind turbines, he would have to get a variance. The town’s maximum height for accessory structures is 22 feet, and 35 feet for other structures, such as farm silos and radio towers.
8 Dec 2006

Wind-power plan derails conservation easement

A proposal for a wind-powered generating facility on the 23,781-acre Phillips Brook industrial forest is dashing immediate hopes of a $3.5 million permanent conservation easement on the parcel. Officials with the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests confirmed that the easement - considered a keystone in a 180,000-acre forest between Milan and Dixville Notch in Coos County, and the state’s top priority for funding from the federal Forest Legacy Program for 2008 - is out for now.
1 Dec 2006

Windmill plan goes before residents

The negative feedback project manager Jeff Keelen has heard about the possible Lempster wind mill farm is subjective, he said. Most of the major concerns he has faced involve the visual or noise effects the wind mill farm could create. “It’s hard to tell somebody that they should think the windmills are beautiful,” Keelen said. Citizens will have an opportunity to become better informed about the project at a public information hearing at 7 p.m. tonight at the Goshen-Lempster Cooperative School.
30 Oct 2006
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