Should New Hampshire approve more wind farms?
By: LFDA Editor
As of the beginning of 2013, three electricity-producing wind farms were operating in state of New Hampshire: the 12-turbine Lempster Wind Power Project
, which opened in 2008; the 33-turbine Granite Reliable Power site
in Coos County, online since late 2011; and, most recently, the 24-turbine Groton Wind Farm
, which got cranking just after Christmas 2012.
Another proposed wind farm, a 30-megawatt, 10-turbine wind project that would have spanned the ridge line of Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain in Antrim, was rejected by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee in February 2013. The committee was concerned about the "unreasonable adverse (visual) effect" the wind farm would have on the N.H. Audubon's Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary,according to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.
The wind farms in Lempster and Groton are each managed by Spanish wind energy company Iberdrola Renewables, while Vermont's Northeast Wind manages the Coos County site for owner Noble Environmental Power, based in Connecticut.
A piece of legislation, HB 580
, was introduced in the 2013 session to establish "moratoriums on the construction of wind turbine plants and on electric transmission line projects until the state issues a comprehensive energy plan." On March 5, the bill was retained in the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee.
Such a moratorium could conflict with New Hampshire's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires all electricity providers in the state to gradually increase the percentage of their electricity coming from renewable sources (wind, geothermal, biomass, etc). The goal is for 23.8 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025. Thirty states have a similar law.
Critics argue that wind farms are ugly, cause destruction of many acres of mountain top forestation, and disturb the natural habitat in those locales.
There are also concerns wind turbines cause physiological harm to residents living nearby. Some people have reported sleep deprivation, headaches and vertigo. In December 2009, the American Wind Energy Association released a report claiming the sounds generated by wind turbines are not harmful to human health.
The following video is a panoramic view from atop a Stetson Wind Turbine in Danforth, Maine.
Do you think the state government should be promoting the use of wind farms? Let us know what you think..