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New Hampshire lawmaker pushes moratorium on wind projects

A New Hampshire lawmaker wants a moratorium on all wind-powered construction in the state until its energy plan is revised to manage the growing number of planned projects.

“When they came up with the energy plan, they were dealing mostly with natural gas and other forms of alternative energy,” said Republican state Rep. Harold “Skip” Reilly told the New Hampshire Union Leader. “It’s time now to re-evaluate where we are going and come up with a comprehensive energy plan.”

Reilly’s moratorium bill submitted Wednesday will be considered next month when the state legislature convenes its 2013 session.

The measure was introduced in response to planned wind-power sites in the Newfound Lake/Mount Cardigan area of the state.

Meanwhile, the Spanish wind company Iberdrola Renewables recently completed its $120 million, 48-megawatt wind farm project in Groton, which includes a total of 24 wind turbines.

Another foreign-based company, EDP Renewables of Portugal, is also proposing a wind farm in the same area. The project would include 15 to 25 turbines.

Local residents are protesting the projects, however, saying the 40-story-tall turbines obstruct scenic views and would harm the local tourism community.

Reilly says he agrees with residents that the proposed projects won’t contribute much to the state.

“We are exporting a lot of energy as it is, but we are not using that electricity [from the wind farms] and I don’t see that we would get anything out of these projects,” he said. “The companies, and a few land owners, are who benefits from this. Our electric rates aren’t helped at all. They want to use our land and views, and we get nothing.”