The state’s highest court will hear arguments involving a proposed wind farm in the town of Antrim. It’s the latest development in a years-long battle for the Antrim Wind project, which has been under development since 2009.
If completed, the project’s wind turbines are expected to provide enough power for about 12 thousand homes. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee gave the project a green light about eight months ago, and construction was expected to start in the fall. But opponents appealed that decision.
“It’s just plain on the wrong site,” said Geoffrey Jones, chairman of the Stoddard Conservation Commission. “I hope that somewhere in this process, people begin to realize that.” He said the project threatens valuable local forest areas and wildlife.
The state Supreme Court accepted the appeal on Monday.
AntrimWind 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’s enough electricity to power 12,000 homes, according to the project’s applications, which says construction costs are estimated to be $63 million to $65 million.
Energy produced by the turbines will go to the N.H. Electric Cooperative, which signed a 20-year agreement last year to purchase 25 percent of the electricity generated.
The remaining 75 percent was purchased by Boston-based Partners HealthCare of Boston.
While supporters view the project 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 WindAction Group, five meteorologists and the N.H. Attorney General’s Office, which serves as counsel for the public during the proceedings.
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