PORTLAND – Town Board members will be deciding on whether to continue a moratorium on wind projects at its next board gathering on Dec. 11.
A public hearing will take place on the local law at 7 that evening with a decision likely to come during the meeting. The current moratorium expires at the end of December.
EWT has proposed at least 10 wind turbines of about 325 feet high on properties that will generate up to 10 MW of power. During the moratorium, however, no wind projects are allowed to come before the town.
Eric Holton, a representative of EWT, addressed the board in November about the positive net economic impact the turbines would bring to the town. He also noted a study done by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that notes property values benefit from wind power.
“There is no statistical evidence that proximity to wind farms has any (negative) impact on property values,” he said, quoting the study.
Locally, Holton said, his company took a look at the Arkwright development, specifically 100 parcels of land that were within 500 feet of the turbines. “Every single one of those parcels increased in value,” he said.
Though his comments on property values were met with some resistance, Holton did say EWT would be in favor of offering Portland a host community agreement. Some benefits of that partnership would include the town having complete control over its revenue stream, it contractually binds the project to a specific dollar amount and it adds certainty and security.
“As long as (the turbines are) up, the town knows that it’s going to get paid,” he said. “It knows when it’s going to get paid. It knows how much and it controls that dollar amount up front.”
Town Board members allowed residents to ask questions during Holton’s presentation. They did not add any other comments.
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