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Antrim voters reject wind energy rules 

Even if the ordinances had passed, they may not have had an effect on Eolian’s project. According to state law, the committee must give “due consideration” to rules set by local government. But in the end it may decide to overlook them, said Michael J. Iacopino, a lawyer for the committee, as long as the decision does not “unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region.”

Credit:  By Abby Spegman, Sentinel Staff, sentinelsource.com 9 November 2011 ~~

ANTRIM – Voters rejected two zoning ordinances on wind energy facilities that selectmen had warned were too restrictive in a special town vote Tuesday.

The ordinances were put forth by the planning board, spurred by debate surrounding a proposed 10-turbine facility on Tuttle Hill, which is zoned as a Rural Conservation District.

The first ordinance, rejected 501-309, would have regulated construction of large-scale wind energy developments. It would have established standards for, among other things, safety, noise and visual impacts; required impact statements and assessments from applicants; and required applicants to get permits to operate from the planning board, which would be renewed regularly.

The second ordinance, rejected 584-225, would have banned wind energy facilities and meteorological towers from Rural Conservation Districts.

Turnout was about 48 percent of voters.

“I believe that the townspeople have spoken and that they want to see renewable energy projects in Antrim,” Selectmen Chairman Michael D. Genest said this morning.

Portsmouth-based Eolian Renewable Energy, through its subsidiary Antrim Wind Energy, has proposed the facility on Tuttle Hill.

After disagreement among town officials on Eolian’s plan, the company and selectmen petitioned the state’s Site Evaluation Committee – a group made up of members from various state agencies – to take control of the project to decide if and how it can move forward.

The planning board asked the committee not to do so until the town had voted on the wind energy ordinances.

But the committee did accept control of the project in June. Two months later, Eolian indicated the project would be larger than planned – still 10 turbines, but producing more than the 23 megawatts it had expected.

Even if the ordinances had passed, they may not have had an effect on Eolian’s project.

According to state law, the committee must give “due consideration” to rules set by local government. But in the end it may decide to overlook them, said Michael J. Iacopino, a lawyer for the committee, as long as the decision does not “unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region.”

Eolian will file its application for the project with the committee by Jan. 31.

Source:  By Abby Spegman, Sentinel Staff, sentinelsource.com 9 November 2011

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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