Published DateTo the editor,
Wind Farms promise more jobs in a cleaner environment here in New Hampshire. They promise a new economy driven by cleaner electricity, electric cars, electric lawnmowers, less pollution, and of course, the gratitude of generations to come. There's just one problem — the lack of credible evidence that any of that can actually occur.
Our neighboring state, Vermont, just stated on January 30, 2013 "that some big wind projects in the region are not performing as planned due to constraints on the transmission grid." The operator of the New England Electric Grid has told these wind projects that "they can't put electricity on to the network because it would de-stabilize the grid." The problem derives from the electrical grid getting out of sync when wind turbines produce more power than is being used at any given time.
This is a hugely important story — one that should shake New Hampshire politicians to their core. If Vermont is experiencing these issues so will New Hampshire, right?
Vermont is seeing additional issues with other wind projects as well. And it's rumored that the Groton, N.H. wind farm may be looking at the same situation. Groton residents should add another word to their vocabulary, a little device called the synchronous condenser (cost about $10.5 million) is needed and should help Vermont's transmission issues or not.
Across the pond in countries like Spain, Denmark and Germany, who are heavily invested in wind technology, they have seen their electricity rates soar. Here in the United States — all states with wind power have seen increases in their electrical rates. Another fair business question to ask is: "Will higher electrical rates push businesses out of the New Hampshire?"
As New Hampshire politicians discuss a new energy policy in dealing with Northern Pass, Wind Farms and other energy related issues, the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the words "new energy policy" is: How much will our electrical rates increase to compensate for this so called "change"? A second question that comes to mind is: Why are we financially responsible for shipping electricity through our state to southern states. And if our politicians find a way to pass everything in return for additional revenues, my third question would be: what are our politicians going to do with all the new revenue?
As I continue my research on wind farms I have been searching for a few answers: First: "Has anyone seen a decrease in their electrical rates due to wind energy being added to the grid?" I have yet to find anyone that can say yes to that question. Second: "Why does New Hampshire have to revamp its entire electrical grid to pass electricity through to southern states?" Keep in mind we will pay higher electrical rates by passing that electricity on — not using it. Third: "Is it our obligation to sacrifice our mountain tops to feed southern states with electricity?" And fourth: "Why is Massachusetts subsidizing their renewable energy credits through New Hampshire land?"
How does anyone really know the true impact of these projects? It truly is a project divided up into many individual parts. It's designed to be confusing and is great for finger pointing. I urge all of you to look at the Groton wind farm. How many individual parts were involved in that project? You had developers, transmission lines, substation, maintenance, town officials, state government, federal government, etc. It got confusing — didn't it? And the turbines still aren't spinning.
Get involved now or forever hold your peace. Or, take your hats off and bow your heads, for the death of another state treasure, here in New Hampshire, will be foretold.
There are many reasons why people have fought so hard against the concentration of wind farms around Newfound Lake. Here are just a few examples: 1. turbines should not be placed in the middle of a recreational area that depends on tourism; 2. we already have three renewable energy plants in the area; 3. it could jeopardize our watershed; 4. no sufficient funds set aside for dismantling them; 5. they are too tall, too close and too many of them near the shoreline; 6. many think the lake will have an airport setting with the red lights blinking at night. Residents, real estate agents, business owners and vacationers alike will add many concerns to this list. . . I'm sure.
A moratorium on Big Wind Farms in New Hampshire, makes absolute sense. I applaud Representative Harold "Skip" Reilly (R-Grafton) for his forward thinking on this matter. Reilly has proposed legislation calling for a moratorium on all wind power construction until the state updates its energy plan. (HB-580 and HB-484).
Get back to basics and start asking important questions. Questions that will define your future here in New Hampshire. Speak up at the State Legislative Bills Hearing on February 19 at 1 p.m. Location: NH Statehouse in Concord.