Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from New Hampshire
Hampton officials are concerned and upset, having just learned of a plan that calls for the construction of up to 10 wind turbines less than a quarter mile off Salisbury Beach, threatening the view of Hampton and Seabrook beaches and causing possible nautical hazards to recreational boaters and commercial fishermen. ...Salisbury officials were outraged their input was not sought in the draft plan and only learned of it about a week ago.
There is a tendency in the environmental community to see renewable fuels - solar, wind, tidal energy, small hydro - as a panacea for our climate-change problem. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent, it will be necessary to generate a substantial portion of our energy from solar and wind sources. But renewables are not without their problems. ...If forest land in New Hampshire was converted to wind power, there is such a large release of carbon in the land-use change that the benefit from substituting wind power for fossil fuels is lost.
In his letter to the editor on Nov. 6, Jeff Wennberg painted a ridiculously benign picture of the impact on the mountains of Ira if construction of about 40 wind turbines takes place there. For instance, Jeff states, "Anyone who has seen a completed wind farm on forested land knows that these projects follow the contours of the terrain." He cites the Lempster wind turbine site as an example. ...The blasting and construction of wide service roads and tower base areas there have changed the contours of the land so drastically that, when I now stand in the area of this project, I have a hard time imagining what the terrain looked like before.
After holding a public hearing for the first proposed wind turbine in Gilford, and without an engineer to answer specific technical questions, the Zoning Board of Adjustment decided to resume the hearing at a later date. ...The ZBA asked that the Lavallieres hire an independent engineer to test the property and the different sites, one of which is in need of a variance and another on the shoreline, though the shoreline is not a desired location for the applicants, who fear the turbine could cause an "eyesore."
Officials from Vermont Community Wind have organized a bus trip to a wind farm in New Hampshire to try and build support for a large scale wind farm they're proposing in and around the Rutland County town of Ira. Company officials say about 35 residents from the area will travel to Lempster, New Hampshire, on Saturday where a 24-megawatt wind farm has recently been built.
A proposed $275 million wind park in Coos Country has meet the statutory criteria to go forward. The Site Evaluation Committee yesterday agreed the project proposed by Granite Reliable Power LLC did not adversely affect the natural environment, water and air quality or public health and safety, but will decide what conditions will be placed on the project at a later date. ...The evaluation committee also voted yesterday to give itself another month to make a final determination on the project. The deadline is now June 30.
It now appears likely that the state's Site Evaluation Committee will grant a permit for the construction of 33 410-foot tall, blinking-light-topped wind turbines across seven or so miles of horizon, and the huge road system needed to construct and maintain them. ...we have become a state willing to sell its scenery and its very skyline for profits and power going elsewhere.
Dr. Kent also said he believed it would be important for the state Fish and Game Department and scientists from the Appalachian Mountain Club to verify - ground-truth - the condition of the 1,700 acres that would be set aside as a mitigation package to compensate for habitat loss on Mt. Kelsey and Dixville Peak. "We need to know the details, what's really on the ground, to understand if it's "tit-for-tat" - that is, the same spruce-fir habitat that will be lost on those ridgelines," Dr. Kent said. "No evidence has been presented."
The reason I strongly oppose the wind-power project is that it will despoil miles of wild and beautiful high-country scenery and skyline for power and profits that will go far to the south and leave us with little in the way of local jobs or economic gain. It is simply a bad trade-off. Conservationists and stewards of the land have been trying to buy the Phillips Brook tract and preserve it ...This massive wind project and the ridge-scarring road system to build and maintain it would nail such hopes in a coffin.
When thinking of alternative energy sources, windmills sound so appealing. The reality is different from the romance, however. Wind turbines are an inefficient and periodic source of electric power that are most useful only in limited locations. Atop a mountain ridge in Coos County is not one of those places.
On Monday New Hampshire's Site Evaluation Committee is going to begin evaluating a proposed renewable energy project for Coos county. Granite Reliable Power wants to put up 33 wind turbines on nine miles of ridgeline across Millsfield, Dixville and Dummer. The project would go a long way to increasing the state's renewable energy portfolio. But as NHPR Correspondent Chris Jensen reports, it has a great deal of opposition.
Last week came news that Fish and Game and the Appalachian Mountain Club had agreed not to contest the mitigation package proposed to make up for the wetlands and 58 acres of high country that will be affected by the roads and towers. This was a sorry day for New Hampshire's conservation community and is probably another good reason for circumventing the state's permitting procedure and instead moving to the federal level, the Army Corps of Engineers.
If all goes to an outside developer's plan, hikers on the Cohos Trail, and just about anyone else visiting the vast Phillips Brook and Nash Stream tracts, will soon be looking at a string of horizon-dominating 400-foot wind towers, supported by a massive construction and support infrastructure (i.e., roads and concrete bases), along the ridgelines of one of New Hampshire's last great wild places. ...this proposal is an abomination, the selling of a priceless resource for little or no direct return, a hop-on-the-bandwagon case of bad supposedly "green" decision-making if ever there was one.
Granite Reliable Power, LLC, a subsidiary of Noble Environmental Power, is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for work in waters of the United States in conjunction with the development of a 100-megawatt wind energy facility in Coös County. The applicant proposes to place fill material in approximately 14 acres of waters and wetlands in conjunction with the development of the proposed facility, which has numerous project elements. ...Public comments regarding this permit request (File # NAE-2008-410) should be submitted no later than February 27 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Biologists for Fish and Game said the project of Granite Reliable Power LLC to build 33 turbines in the Dixville Peak and Mount Kelsey area would permanently bisect habitat of at least four wildlife species and will have "severe and unmitigated adverse effects on the natural community," which is host to about 60 others. AMC has filed as an intervenor on the project, expressing concern about the siting of half of the 33 turbines for the same reasons.
Granite Reliable Power's plan to erect 33 wind turbines on peaks in Coos County might be good for Gov. John Lynch and his goal of making 25 percent of the state's energy renewable by 2025. It would not be so good, according to Fish and Game officials, for the American marten or the three-toed woodpecker, threatened species that depend on the high-altitude forests that the project would disrupt.
Dec. 8--LEMPSTER -- Town officials plan to seek state review of a proposed wind farm along Lempster Mountain's ridgeline.