Antrim Wind Energy, town reach agreement, again
"We're happy to have that behind us again and looking forward to hearing from the SEC on July 10," said Eolian Renewable Energy CEO Jack Kenworthy.
In February, the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee denied Antrim Wind's application for the 30-megawatt capacity project, which proposes 10 492-foot tall wind turbines along the Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain ridgelines, saying the surrounding conservation and open land would have sustained too much damage.
In the new PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement, Antrim Wind Energy agrees to pay the town more than $8 million over a 20-year period. The PILOT is almost identical to the PILOT agreement voided in May by a Hillsborough County Superior Court judge who found right-to-know violations in the drafting of the agreement.
"We're hoping it helps the SEC reverse its decision," Webber said.
Webber added that a letter of intent was signed by the board regarding the conservation easement, since the ultimate decision of whether the town should monitor the land owned by Charles Bean is up to voters.
"I really don't think it's going to have an impact on July 10," Allen said. "What it does have an impact on is this 20-year agreement."
"So when you are asking for a PILOT from a local town, it's just another tax credit," she said. "This is a third bite of the apple, or triple dipping. And I'm not sure that this is the way to go in tax-strapped New Hampshire."
Antrim Wind also suggested eliminating "Turbine 10," which would have been the closest to Willard Pond and the most visible from the beach. The energy company also touts the town's recent acceptance of $40,000 to address any perceived visual impacts to Gregg Lake.
Aesthetically, the project has gone above and beyond previous projects in the state, he said, so denying the project creates a climate in which wind energy investors would be less willing to fund new projects, he said.
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