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State committee won’t reconsider Antrim Wind project decision

CONCORD – A state committee won’t reconsider its approval of a controversial wind turbine project proposed for Antrim.

The subcommittee of the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee unanimously voted Friday to deny three separate motions requesting the full committee rehear and reconsider its December 2016 decision about the Antrim Wind project, according to the project’s developer.

As a result of its vote Friday, the subcommittee also immediately lifted the suspension it placed on the project when the motions were filed, said Jack B. Kenworthy, head of development for Walden Green Energy.

The New York City-based company owns Antrim Wind.

“We agree with the subcommittee’s decisions today and we are looking forward to continuing our progress to commence construction later this year as planned,” Kenworthy said in a statement.

Antrim Wind Energy LLC plans to install nine turbines along Tuttle Hill and the Willard Mountain ridge line off Route 9 to generate a total of 28.8 megawatts of electricity. That amount of electricity would power 12,000 homes, according to the project’s applications, which says construction costs are estimated to be $63 million to $65 million.

While the project has been viewed by many as a way to benefit the local economy and increase renewable energy resources in New Hampshire, it has received push back from area residents, anti-wind power organizations, conservation groups and some towns’ boards. Their concerns include the potentially negative effects the project could have on property values, public health and safety, the environment and wildlife.

The groups behind the motions for rehearing include property owners with land abutting and not abutting the project, the Stoddard Conservation Commission, The Wind-Action Group, five meteorologists and the N.H. attorney general, which served as counsel for the public during the proceedings last year.

In this capacity, the Attorney General’s Office represents the public in N.H. Site Evaluation Committee proceedings by making sure the environment is protected and that there is adequate energy supply, according to state law.

The main argument in the three motions, each filed during the past month and a half, is that the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee broke its own rules to approve the project.