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Groton Wind experience has shown that Iberdrola can't be trusted

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

In May 2011, the Spanish company, Iberdrola Renewables, was granted a permit by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) for a 48 megawatt, 24 turbine wind farm on the mountain ridges in the town of Groton. Groton Wind was built and went on line in December 2012. After 14 months of operation, Groton Wind is being investigated by the State Attorney General's Office and the State Fire Marshal's Office. The wind farm operation has been given a notice of possible suspension of certificate of site and facility.

The complaints against Groton Wind include: relocating two wind turbine towers from their approved locations, relocating a "Walmart sized" maintenance building from its approved (less visible) location, relocating 1,000 feet of access road with greater wetlands impact, relocating 600 feet of an existing road that was agreed to not be changed and not redoing required studies to take into account the revised height of the towers. In response to these charges Iberdrola claims the changes are minor.

In response to the Fire Marshal's complaint of not receiving notification of proposed changes and not receiving plans for approval, Iberdrola claims the Fire Marshal has no jurisdiction. In response to the Fire Marshal's request for fire suppression systems on the turbine towers Iberdrola claims they met the minimum requirements required by the fire code.

On Dec 12, 2013, Iberdrole Renewables filed an application for a 75.9 megawatt, 23 turbine wind farm on the mountain ridges in view of Cardigan Mountain and overlooking scenic Newfound Lake in the towns of Alexandria and Danbury. On Jan. 13 of this year the State Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) determined the application for the Wild Meadows wind farm to be incomplete and gave Iberdrola 10 days to provide additional information. The SEC indicated that the application was "a hurriedly assembled document intended to beat the deadline imposed by a tax credit that ended at the end of the year." The application was missing required wildlife studies, had incomplete description of business relationships and had inadequate information on water, fire and historical resources. Iberdrola was unable to provide the required information within the 10 day deadline and must now submit a new application for the project.

Iberdrola has announced that they are putting the Wild Meadows project on on hold to concentrate on resolving the issues at Groton Wind. Wild Meadows shouldn't just be put on hold. The project should be canceled.

From the very beginning Iberdrola claimed they would not build Wild Meadows without local support. But last year residents in Alexandria, Grafton and Bridgewater passed warrant articles — all by a 2-1 margin or more — either opposing new wind farms in the area or demanding that companies post security bonds for removing wind power facilities when their life is complete.

Danbury's 790 residents were balloted and voted against Wild Meadows 249-116. Iberdrola's response was, "We don't think the low level of responses provides an accurate reflection of local sentiment."

It is obvious that Iberdrola cannot be trusted. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

Art Cote