Lempster Mountain wind waits
NH Union Leader, June 19, 2006
CONCORD – This week, the state Site Evaluation Committee (more information ) will meet to decide whether it should launch an official review of a proposed wind farm in Lempster.
Pennsylvania-based Community Energy Inc., which is part of Spanish utility Iberdrola SA, wants to build a dozen 200-foot turbines on about 25 acres of Lempster Mountain. That’s roughly 20 miles north of Keene and about five miles south of Mt. Sunapee. If built, the turbines would have about 24 megawatts of generating capacity, enough to power some 10,000 New Hampshire homes.
However, the towns of Lempster and Washington have asked the state to review the project, as have some 120 registered voters in the town of Lempster, which has just 1,000 people. Town residents are generally concerned with how the windmills would look on the ridge of the mountain.
The wind farm would be built on private land, which would be leased to Community Energy. Public Service of New Hampshire is expected to be the buyer for its output; some of that power would then be re-sold to the New Hampshire Electric Co-op.
Should the committee decide to launch a review, it would mean delays for the project. According to Timothy Drew, an administrator with the public information and permitting unit of the Department of Environmental Services, it would take about nine months for the committee, which has 14 members from eight different state agencies, to complete the review in its entirety.
The panel will meet Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Concord office of the Public Utilities Commission on South Fruit Street.