Grafton residents glad to be dropped from wind project
“We’re cautiously relieved,” said resident Cindy Kudlik, noting that her house would have been within a mile of one of the proposed wind towers, though it’s still within two miles of the proposed Danbury towers.
At a Nov. 5 meeting between the project developer, Iberdrola Renewables, and residents of Alexandria, Iberdrola’s Ed Cherien announced that Grafton had been dropped from the project.
But Grafton residents say Iberdrola changed its mind because town voters adopted an article titled “Right to a Sustainable Energy Future and Community Self-Governing Ordinance.”
The ordinance uses state and federal law to assert the town’s authority over energy projects, said Selectman Sean Frost. It cites the Declaration of lndependence statement that governments are instituted to secure the rights of people, and cites the New Hampshire Constitution’s statement that “all government of right originates from the people, is founded in consent and instituted for the general good.”
“It would have been a tough fight for (Iberdrola Renewables) in Grafton. I’m like a lot of people here, I came to this town to settle down and relax, but these towers would disturb our wildlife and our land, and we stood up and said ‘No!’”
“The amount of ridgeline they were talking about, it would have changed the entire landscape of the town,” he said. “I don’t think the project is suited for the area at all.”
He cited the ongoing discussions between residents of Groton and Iberdrola, which built a 24-turbine wind power project in that town with the town’s approval.
Groton residents and town officials in neighboring Rumney are meeting with state officials over claims that Iberdrola hasn’t lived up to its original agreements with the town and the state.
The state is scheduling hearings on the issues, which pertain to the company’s operations building and its plans for winter road maintenance, among other matters.