Articles from New Hampshire
The Select Board voted Monday night to delay the decision whether to accept a $40,000 compensation from Antrim Wind Energy until after the state committee that turned down the project in February releases its final order. ..."It does look like you're taking a bribe," said Kat Affholter.
In November 2012 our Board took a unanimous position in opposition to the Wild Meadows project, as proposed. We did this after serious and thoughtful consideration of our mission - to protect the environment that supports our local economy and quality of life. ...We do not believe that our need for wind-generated energy is so urgent that we should accept outdated policy and inadequate processes as the framework for decisions with substantial questions and long-term ramifications.
The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee kicked off a summer's worth of work to reform the way the state evaluates proposals for new power plants Tuesday. They heard a whole day's worth of testimony about wind energy.
At the end of an almost two hour informational meeting on a proposed payment-in-lieu-of taxes agreement with Granite Reliable Power, selectmen asked how many in the crowd of about 30 support that approach. Only three people raised their hands. The majority said they favored the town annually appraising the wind farm property based on its ad valorem or fair market value.
Town officials will hold a public hearing on Monday to decide whether or not to accept a one-time payment of $40,000 from Antrim Wind Energy for "acceptable compensation" for negative visual impacts a wind farm would have had on the town. In February, the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee voted down a proposed 10-turbine wind farm due to negative visual impacts the turbines would have had on the area and the town.
New Hampshire is merely a conduit for a private, for-profit organization. We sacrifice our land, property values, beautiful scenery, tourism industry, jobs, second homeowners with the money they bring, possibly our health - and PSNH, its officers and stockholders make more money. Isn't it questionable why so many people are supporting something that is so bad for New Hampshire?
Antrim Wind Energy has offered the town $40,000 as recompense for a proposed wind farm's visual impacts to the Gregg Lake area. The caveat is the state's Site Evaluation Committee has already denied the application.
Lori Lerner and her husband purchased a second home on Newfound Lake more than a decade ago and loved the area so much that they moved in for good. Now, she worries the construction of wind turbines on the ridges above the lake might stop others from following in their footsteps. "Who wants to invest their hard-earned money in an area that's being over taken by these monstrosities?"
Instead the Senate voted 23-1 to establish two study committees to review the state Site Evaluation Committee's ability and capacity to do its job and the criteria for siting wind farms.
"We didn't want to make a blanket decision to stop all SEC applications," said Prescott. "We made a decision to stop the filings for wind energy because there are many imminent issues. They are right on our doorstep. The decisions are going to be made soon.
Recently the New Hampshire Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources amended Senate bill 99, placing a moratorium on new wind electricity generation projects for one year. That's a nice start, but it doesn't go quite far enough. What's needed is a repeal of the New Hampshire renewable portfolio standard mandate. Why? Because ratepayers are being forced to buy extremely expensive electricity when cheaper alternatives are available.
"Some breathing room is what everybody is asking for, and a chance to have an independent study of the SEC and its processes and to perhaps recommend ways it could become more efficient, more sensitive to the voices of the people most impacted," Tuthill said. "You can back off take a year, and see what's happening."
However, some members wanted to see the program repealed, including House Republican Alliance co-chair Rep Pam Tucker, R-Greenland. ...Over the past two years, the House voted to repeal RGGI, while the Senate wanted to modify the program. Two years ago, the bill died when the Senate failed to override former Gov. John Lynch's veto.
Opponents of Wind Farms and of Northern Pass are backing an effort to explicitly require the state's Site Evaluation Committee to consider effects on view sheds, home values, opinions of town governments and other factors, when permitting new energy projects.
After a long day of testimony, Senator Bradley introduced an amendment that stripped the language having to do with transmission lines out of the bill and replaced it with a one year moratorium only on new wind farms. The bill would create a committee to study and recommend updates to the siting rules for wind farms.
With project proposals popping up with increased frequency, supporters of the idea said a step back would be a thoughtful move. "This is not about thumbs up or thumbs down on any specific project, it's looking at the process by which we approve them," said Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford.
"Iberdrola Renewables knows where the community now stands, from the official voting records in the three towns. In November, Iberdrola stated at three separate meetings in three separate towns that they would not proceed if the townspeople were not in favor of their project. Will they live up to their words and respect the people's voice?"
By a vote of 25-22, voters approved Article 29, which would require all wind energy facilities that may come to be located in the town to post security in the form of cash or bond, prior to initiating construction, in order to cover the costs of removing all of the facility upon ceasing operations.
The zoning board in January also amended its variance to allow for the three turbines. The zoning board had originally approved four turbines at up to 400 feet and a fifth turbine at 500 feet. In January, the zoning board approved three 500-foot turbines.
The incumbent selectman was ousted and a wind farm project got the thumbs down from voters Tuesday. Almost 60 percent, of the registered voters turned out. An article asking voters "to advise the Selectmen to REJECT the proposed Wild Meadow Wind Project" passed 334 to 190.