Taxpayers in the Unified Towns and Gores of Essex County voted against a proposed wind project in Ferdinand by a vote of 171-107. The referendum was conducted by mail and results were counted Monday.
This marks the end of the proposed 60-megawatt project on Seneca Mountain, town officials say. The developers’ response was not as definite.
“The project is not going to happen,” said UTG assistant supervisor Bobbi Jo Magoon. “The company said they would go with what the taxpayer voted. The taxpayer voted not to allow the project and the company is not going to go forward with it.”
The Seneca Mountain Wind project is the latest proposed large-scale ridgeline wind project in the Northeast Kingdom.
“I think what the biggest thing was is people don’t want to see the towers,” Magoon said Tuesday morning.
Eolian Renewable Energy LLC, a wind energy developer from Portsmouth, N.H., had proposed the project that would lease property in Brighton, Ferdinand and Newark.
In an interview Tuesday morning, project manager John Soininen said the company was surprised by the vote.
“The news is new and so, we need some time to digest and figure out what, if any, options there are,” Soininen said.
In an emailed statement on the vote, the company said: “It is very clear to us that there is strong support for the project.”
“SMW will need to evaluate the results and consider our options moving forward. For now, we recognize that there are local concerns. In the end, we hope that there is a viable project that can achieve local support and bring the myriad benefits of wind energy to Ferdinand and the UTG,” the statement continued.
Last summer, the Public Service Board permitted the company to install four new meteorological (MET) towers to measure the wind potential for the proposed project. There is currently one MET tower on Seneca Mountain.
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