After nearly a decade, a 9-turbine wind farm passed through its final appeals, and began construction in Antrim.
The project consists of nine wind turbines on Tuttle Hill and the Willard Mountain ridgeline in Antrim.
The wind farm was first conceived almost a decade ago by Antrim Wind, a subsidiary of Walden Green Energy, and has been a contentious project in town for most of that time, with residents vocal in both support and dissent.
The SEC approved the project in Nov. 2016, and after appeals, the state’s Supreme Court upheld the SEC’s decision this May.
The approved version of the wind farm was the second try for developers, who attempted to get a similar project with 10 turbines approved in 2012, but were rejected mainly due to aesthetic reasons.
The new version of the project eliminated one tower and shortened others to reduce the visual impact from sensitive sites like Willard Pond and Gregg Lake.
The project officially broke ground on the wind farm on Aug. 6, and has periodically been blasting to prepare the site for construction.
While construction moves forward, the development company has been given approval to transfer the project to a new owner. Earlier this month, the state’s Site Evaluation Committee approved the transfer of ownership of the wind project to the Canadian electricity provider TransAlta.
Antrim Level, a subsidiary of TransAlta, was approved to take control of membership interests in the wind farm after a two-day hearing of a sub-committee of the Site Evaluation Committee. On Dec. 20, the committee ruled unanimously to allow Antrim Level to take ownership, according to Pam Monroe, administrator for the SEC.
The town of Antrim has filed testimony with the SEC, offering no opinion on the change of ownership, as long as financial agreements previously made with Antrim Wind were upheld.
Those agreements include a $10,000 donation for the upkeep or development of the Gregg Lake Recreation Area, and an annual payment in lieu of taxes agreement.
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