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Wind power may be blowing Downeast; Iberdrola to start wind tests  

Credit:  by Lora Whelan, The Quoddy Tides, www.quoddytides.com 22 October 2010 ~~

Iberdrola Renewables will be setting up two towers to conduct wind studies for a possible wind turbine site on land in Trescott owned by Griffin family members under DMG Enterprises. Iberdrola, headquartered in Spain, is considered the largest renewable energy operator in the world. Iberdrola USA is the parent company of Central Maine Power.
Catherine Carroll, director of the Land Use Regulation Commission, says, “We have an application before us for Trescott from Atlantic Wind [of Iberdrola] for two meteorological poles.” She explains that these poles are 200′ tall and “flag pole size.” They are used for wind studies.
“It’s as early in the process as one can be,” says Iberdrola Renewables Communications Manager Paul Copleman. The wind analysis will take place for at least a year. “The process is typically a four- to five-year process.” During that time the company would be “doing homework, talking to the community, looking at siting and studying the wind for the entire time. As we get farther along in our understanding of the wind resources, then we start looking at other things like connecting to the grid; study and work with the New England Power Pool; studies on impact such as the construction impacts on birds, wildlife, vegetation. It’s a fairly lengthy process.”
As for wind ordinances, Copleman says, “We have a lot of projects up and running in communities with wind ordinances.” Good ordinances plan for setbacks, visual impact and sound, all things, he says the company looks at closely during the assessment process. He reiterates, “It’s very early. What this means is at this point we’re studying the wind.”
Iberdrola approached the Griffin family “last January,” says Shelly Griffin of Pembroke. The family has had some of their land for sale, but Griffin explains that, because of the poor economy, this has been a difficult market to be in. The tax burden has increased, and there have been concerns about whether the land could be retained for the next generation. With the prospect of wind development, she says, “Maybe we won’t have to get rid of our land and can hand it down to the family without a tax burden.”
If the wind studies meet Iberdrola’s needs, the towers would be located in a remote area of 1,400 acres off Route 191. Griffin says the primary concern of the family members involved was that any kind of study or future placement of turbines should not have an adverse effect on the community and the environment.
Griffin went to an Iberdrola wind turbine project located in Lempster, N.H., as part of the family’s research on the company and impact of turbines. “When we were at Lempster it was not very noisy. But YouTube has some examples of noise and flicker, and I can understand why people would be upset, so I perfectly understand.” The land under consideration in Trescott would work, she believes, because no one would be living near the wind farm. “I’m so glad that this would be so remote.”
Griffin explains that the family was advised by their attorney to look closely at the financial capability of any wind company that approached them to carry through with the project for the long-term. “They seem to be a pretty good company and are financially sound… We’re pretty excited about what this could bring to the area.” But like Copleman, she cautions that for the next six to 12 months it will be a “sit and wait” until the wind studies are completed.

Source:  by Lora Whelan, The Quoddy Tides, www.quoddytides.com 22 October 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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