Third wind farm company withdraws leases for Newfound-area project
By DAN SEUFERT Union Leader Correspondent
ALEXANDRIA — A company with interest in Newfound Lake-area lands for a wind farm has pulled out of its lease agreements with a landowner with property in Alexandria, Groton and Hebron.
Alpine Ridge Wind Farm, LLC, a Delaware limited-liability company headquartered in Boulder, Colo., filed documents last month titled “Termination of Lease and Easement Agreement for Wind Energy Project.”
The company explains in the document recorded Thursday with the Grafton County Register of Deeds that it entered into a lease and easement agreement for a wind-energy project on Dec. 21 with Auke-Jewell Hill, LLC, a New Hampshire limited-liability company with properties in the three towns.
“Developer has exercised its rights to terminate the lease ... effective as of June 13, 2014,” the document states.
Alpine Ridge and Auke-Jewell Hill officials have not returned numerous calls for comment.
Companies seeking energy projects of more than 30 megawatts in New Hampshire need landowner leases and easements and approval from the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, and do not require town approval.
Alpine Ridge had not filed plans for the wind farm project with the SEC.
Iberdrola Renewables of Spain built and operates Groton Wind, LLC which produces 48 megawatts of electricity from 24 turbines. Iberdrola officials are also proposing to build a wind farm in Alexandria and Danbury. Another wind farm, Spruce Ridge, is proposed for the towns of Groton, Alexandria, Hebron and Orange by Portuguese company EDP Renewables.
The project proposals have met with opposition from residents concerned about the potential loss of tourism and property values if nearly 500-foot towers are installed along the ridgelines hills in the Newfound Lake-Cardigan Mountain area.
Members of New Hampshire Wind Watch, a group opposing new wind-power developments in the area, said Alpine Ridge withdrew its lease plans because of the local opposition to other development proposals.
“We are pleased that (Alpine Ridge) has apparently recognized that their industrial wind plant is clearly not wanted in the Newfound/Cardigan region. Both Iberdrola and EDP should also now acknowledge they are not wanted either and move on,” said Larry Goodman of Wind Watch.
“We believe multiple wind developers mistakenly thought they could secure easy approvals from the towns in the area. Now that both Iberdrola and EDP clearly know via resounding voter mandates that all the Newfound/Cardigan region towns do not want a second or a third industrial wind plant scarring both land and people.”