NEW BRITAIN – With the Connecticut Siting Council entering the final weeks of deliberations on wind power projects in Prospect and Colebrook, a grass-roots group is stepping up efforts to block the plan.
About 30 members of Save Prospect rallied Thursday outside the council’s headquarters against plans to put turbines between the New Naugatuck Reservoir and Route 69. The turbines BNE Energy wants to install at 178 New Haven Road would produce 3.2 megawatts of energy and would be less than a mile from the Cheshire and Bethany lines.
The rally came as the council met inside to hear final testimony from Colebrook groups that are opposing the turbines that BNE wants to build in the Litchfield County community. The council is expected to rule on the Prospect project May 12, and the Colebrook plan a few weeks later.
“Today is all about the facts, getting the facts out,” said Tim Reilly, leader of Save Prospect. “This is about placing industrial turbines where they make sense.”
Reilly said that the council has largely ignored the testimony of experts that the group spent more than $100,000 to hire. The group is opposed to the project because at least 300 homes sit within a half-mile radius of the project and residents are concerned about the noise and potential dangers from ice being flung from the turbine blades during the winter.
Save Prospect is proceeding on other fronts to block the turbines’ construction in case the council rules in BNE’s favor. They are:
‰Lobbying for passage of House Bill 6249, which would create a one-year moratorium on all wind power projects in the state while officials create specific standards for where this equipment should be located. Prospect resident John Hurley, a protester at the rally, said such standards are needed.
“It’s a big industrial piece of machinery that has no real regulations governing where it can go now,” Hurley said. “I just paid off the loan on my house and I’m pretty sure that if these things go up, I’ll lose between $75,000 and $100,000 off of the value of my $250,000 home.”
Asking state Attorney General George Jepsen to investigate financing that BNE Energy got from the Connecticut Clean Energy fund for the project.
Reilly said BNE Energy officials misrepresented the amount of power their projects will produce in order to get a large amount of money.
Jepsen spokeswoman Susan Kinsman said the complaint was received a week ago, although she declined to say who specifically made the complaint because it is being reviewed under the state’s “whistleblower” law.
“We have referred the matter to the auditors of public accounts for an initial review,” Kinsman said.
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