There’s a big change in direction for the North Ridge wind farm – It’s retreating from Parishville.
But opponents of the project are still concerned.
Signs supporting and opposing the proposed wind turbines have lined roads in Hopkinton and Parishville for years. But now the developer of the proposed North Ridge wind farm told the state they no longer want to put wind turbines in Parishville.
Opponents there aren’t declaring total victory yet.
“It’s mixed. Because we are concerned about our neighbors, which are in Hopkinton as well. We’re pretty close there,” said Luke Martin, a member Concerned Citizens for Rural Preservation:
The strongest opposition to the project was centered in Parishville. But some people there support it. Retired dairy farmer James Richards rents a plot of land to Avangrid Renewables, the wind farm’s owner. There’s an Avangrid test tower on the plot. Richards will miss the lease payments.
“I’m on social security, it would help me a lot … we are just gonna scrimp a little harder. Things will be a lot tighter. Yep,” Richards said.
An Avangrid spokesman said Monday it plans to end its leases in Parishville by year’s end. Opponents point out Avangrid says it will still produce the same amount of power, but with fewer wind turbines, all in Hopkinton.
“It would seem like they would have to be bigger mills, which would mean noisier mills,” Martin said.
The action by Avangrid doesn’t end the controvery over the North Ridge wind farm. This is an issue that will continue to divide people in Parishville and Hopkinton for some time to come.
Avangrid says it will use different wind turbines than originally planned. But blade tips at their highest will still be 500 feet off the ground as promised. Avangrid will file its official application for the project with the state this summer, kicking off another round of public debate.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding