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Newfound Lake-area voters to weigh in on wind projects

Union Leader Correspondent

February 19. 2014 9:23PM

ALEXANDRIA — A number of Newfound Lake area towns will take up wind farm warrant articles.

At present, there is one wind farm being proposed for Alexandria and Danbury by Spanish company Iberdrola Renewables. Another for the towns of Groton, Alexandria, Hebron and Orange has come from Portuguese company EDP Renewables.

The state’s Site Evaluation Committee is waiting for more information from Iberdrola for its proposed 23-turbine Wild Meadows project. The EDP Renewables 15-25 turbine Spruce Wind Farm project has not yet been brought to the SEC, which has permitting authority over such projects.

Last year, residents in Alexandria, Grafton and Bridgewater passed warrant articles — all by a 2-1 margin or more — either opposing new wind farms in the area or demanding that companies post security bonds for removing wind power facilities when their life is complete.

This year, a petitioned article asks Bristol voters to advise selectmen not to support negotiating a payment in lieu of taxes agreement with any renewable energy facility, and asks that all such facilities pay the full ad valorem tax assessed to such facilities.

An article also asks Bristol voters to require all wind energy facilities to post security in the form of a letter of credit, cash or bond, prior to initiating operations, in order to cover all costs associated with removal of all equipment and facilities on cessation of operations for a period of more than 12 months.

Meanwhile, residents of Alexandria, Danbury and Hebron will be asked by petitioners to vote rights-based ordinances into town law. A rights-based ordinance is a kind of local Bill of Rights, enforceable by selectmen and residents, said Cindy Kudlik of Grafton, a board member of the New Hampshire Community Rights Network.

“A rights-based ordinance is based on rights, not ‘regulating’ anything, but establishing our rights to preserve the rural character of our town, determine the kinds of energy projects town residents want — not what the state mandates,” Kudlik said.

“It is access to clean, unpolluted water, protecting our ecosystems, advocating for nature’s right to exist, to govern by consent, elevating our rights above ‘claimed’ corporate rights which allows us to say no to industrial wind turbines on our ridgelines,” she said.

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