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Decision date set for wind farm

ANTRIM – A state government committee will decide in February the future of a proposed wind farm in the northwest part of town.

Antrim Wind Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Portsmouth-based Eolian Renewable Energy wants to build 10 wind turbines on private land near Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain.

Members of the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee will have public deliberations beginning Feb. 4 to determine whether to approve the project.

The committee scheduled three days for members to discuss their thoughts or concerns relating to the wind farm.

The committee, made up of regulators from various agencies, oversees all large energy projects in the state and took over jurisdiction of the 30-megawatt project in August 2011.

The committee was supposed to make a decision by Nov. 30 about whether to approve the project.

But the hearings didn’t wrap up until the first week of December, after being delayed in September about a month and later extended an extra week.

Neighboring land owners, the developer and several environmental groups were interviewed during the hearings.

The project has been debated by many in town. The selectmen and some residents support the wind farm, citing economic benefits. But several residents, particularly those who live near the Tuttle Hill area, have come out against it, with noise, safety, health and environmental concerns.

Written arguments from the parties about why the approval certificate should or should not be granted are due Jan. 14, Michael J. Iacopino, attorney for the committee, said. The memorandums will be posted to the committee’s website for the public to view shortly after the deadline.

If the project is approved, Antrim Wind Energy’s plans call for at least a year and half of construction and development before the farm would be fully operational. The company would sell energy produced at the facility to regional buyers, according to the project’s website.