State rejects Antrim wind project
The 6-3 decision by a subcommittee of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee Thursday came as a surprise to Antrim town officials, who had supported the wind farm because of the revenue it would bring - up to $8,700,000 in taxes over the life of the project - as well as its clean-energy claims.
"We felt the majority of the town was in favor of the project and we were representing the majority of the town," Selectman Michael Genest said Monday.
The panel denied a certificate to the project for Antrim Wind Energy, a subsidiary of Portsmouth-based Eolian Renewable Energy.
"We are obviously disappointed by the decision and we disagree with the decision," Eolian CEO Jack Kenworthy said.
He said the company will wait to see the panel's decision in writing and weigh its options; Eolian will have 30 days to appeal.
The 10-turbine project would have had a 30-megawatt capacity.
"The committee deliberated for three full days after hearing more than 11 days of evidence and ultimately decided the project would cause an adverse effect to the aesthetics of the area primarily because of the visual impact," SEC attorney Michael Iacopino said.
The project's nearness to the New Hampshire Audubon-held Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary played a part in the decision, as well as the opposition voiced both in testimony and written statements.
"Audubon are very pleased with the decision," Michael J. Bartlett, president of New Hampshire Audubon, said Monday.
Iacopino said the size of the turbines - 500 feet from the tip of the blade to the base - would have made the wind turbines the largest standing structures in the state. He said the tallest building in Manchester is 275 feet.
Selectman Genest noted the state has approved other wind farm projects, including Groton and Lempster. A 37-turbine wind farm in the Newfound Lake-Mount Cardigan area has also been proposed.
"They put these up in other areas of the state that are just as beautiful as the Willard Pond area," Genest said.
The Willard Pond Sanctuary is about 1,600 acres, Audubon's Bartlett said, and is part of a super-sanctuary of 33,000 acres of undeveloped land.
"New Hampshire Audubon in general as an organization supports wind energy, but it always has to be qualified with 'properly sited' and we didn't think this project was properly sited and the Site Evaluation Committee agreed," Bartlett said.
Kenworthy said Eolian had made a number of compromises on the project, including a settlement with the Appalachian Mountain Club not to have nighttime lights.
"The way the agreement worked, there would be 808 acres that would be conserved and that would be on a project that would have a disturbance area of about only 60 acres," Kenworthy said.
Fred Ward of neighboring Stoddard said he is thrilled by the state's decision.
"Those would be the tallest turbines in the state," he said.
Ward said in his written testimony to the SEC that the turbines would have been the same distance to Stoddard center as the center of Antrim.
"Everybody objects about how they look, but I'm more concerned about the noise that comes from them," he said.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse - 10
- Punch line: The NFL blows it - 3
- Distracted legislating: Our baseless cellphone ban - 37
- Workplace abuse: Governor gets one right - 0
- Fleeing hostile states: Gun makers will travel - 14
- Voting in NH: Not just for NH residents - 28
- Protesting information: Picket sign o' the times - 6
- Seabrook's message: No one above the law here - 3
- 'Economic patriotism'; tax rates and border jumpers - 6
READER COMMENTS: 0
- On Baseball: Fishers prospects sweat out deadline day - 0
- Goffstown ready for LL regional tourney - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat -- Message is clear: Offense needs boost - 0
- Marina dealers say boat sales are on the rise - 0
- Another View -- Gilles Bissonnette: Why voting in NH is not reserved for state residents - 0
- John Stossel: Healthy profits? - 0
- Clinton vs. speech: Bullying first; what next? - 0
- Another View - Charles Lane: Your money is being spent by dead people - 0
- Crews making progress on Derry's Rockingham Road - 0
Havenstein says he has always opposed Obamacare, though company he led was paid to implement parts of it
George Will: A conservative internationalism
Another View -- Gilles Bissonnette, William Christie, Alan Cronheim and Benjamin Siracusa Hillman: Why voting in NH is not reserved for state residents
Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse
Market Basket customers mobilize
Mark Hayward's City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us
Police held Abby suspect's guns
Punch line: The NFL blows it