Goshen officials are concerned about the power lines coming through their town from the proposed Lempster windmill project and have filed a petition with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee for limited intervening status.
“We’re trying to protect the appearance of the village,” Goshen planning board chairman John Wirkkala said Tuesday.
Community Energy Inc. and Lempster Wind LLC, (collectively known as CEI) have proposed 12 electric generating windmills constructed on a 35-acre lot owned by resident Kevin Onella.
If the windmills are constructed as planned, transmission lines will run along route 10 from Lempster through Goshen and into Newport where the electricity generated will tie into the power grid.
“We’re asking for an alternative site for the lines or to bury the lines,” Wirkkala said.
A petition signed by every member of the planning board and all members of the select board was presented to the SEC on Tuesday in Concord requesting the town of Goshen be given limited intervening status, according to Wirkkala.
He said the planning board and select board decided to become intervenors because they are concerned about the transmission lines going straight through the center of town and changing the character of the village.
“We’re not opposed to the windfarm,” Wirkkala said. “We just prefer they bury the lines or find an alternate site.”
Wirkkala said they are asking the SEC to consider the transmission lines as part of the entire project so they would fall under the regulations of the SEC.
Construction of the windmills is expected to begin in the spring with an anticipated completion date at the end of December.
If all goes as planned, the Lempster windmill project will be the first of its kind in New Hampshire. The 12 windmills will generate 24 megawatts of electricity – enough to power between 10,000 and 12,000 homes.
By Aaron Aldridge
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