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Spanish wind farm company ‘pauses’ Newfound-area proposal

ALEXANDRIA – The Spanish wind-energy company that asked the state to consider its 75.9-megawatt, 23-turbine Wild Meadows wind farm in Alexandria and Danbury has “paused” its application to focus on its existing wind farm in Groton.

In a statement today, Iberdrola Renewables said it has “made significant progress resolving some outstanding issues at (its) Groton wind farm.”

In May of 2011, the state granted a license to Iberdrola for Groton Wind, a 24-turbine, 48-megawatt wind energy company. The facility was built and went online on Dec. 31, 2012.

The company made changes to its Groton plans, including relocating the operations and maintenance building, and said it did so following state law through the Department of Environmental Services and with the support of the town fire chief.

Abutters have said that the changes were not done lawfully, and the state Fire Marshal’s Office, with support of investigators from the Attorney General’s Office, said the changes were made without consent or review of the Fire Marshal’s Office and other state agencies.

The state’s Site Evaluation Committee asked Iberdrola in January for more information about its Wild Meadows project.

The company said it needs more time to work on its Groton business.

“We still need to devote considerable time and effort toward dealing with the remaining challenges (of Wild Meadows),” said Iberdrola’s Paul Copleman Friday.

“Due to those pressing responsibilities, and after discussions with local stakeholders, we’ve decided that it’s best to pause the application process on our estimated $150 million investment decision at Wild Meadows.”

“We remain hopeful that we can carefully work through the important issues at Wild Meadows and cut through the current avalanche of misinformation, so that the vast majority in New Hampshire who want the benefits of clean affordable power and millions of dollars in local economic development can also be heard,” Copleman said in a statement.

“There is no specific timetable for any further decision at this point,” he said.