The NH Site Evaluation Committee has recently approved an application to construct an industrial wind project in Antrim, NH. This decision is of great concern to the NLRA, as it may re-energize industrial wind efforts to move forward with a Spruce Ridge application for as many as 29 wind turbines. The Spruce Ridge area includes the northern ridge of Mt. Cardigan and several hills to the north and west. Construction of a commercial project at this location would have a severe impact on aesthetics, unfragmented forest blocks, and one of the largest wildlife corridors in the Northeast, all of which are within NLRA’s charge to protect. NLRA wants its members and other watershed stewards to know that the association will be paying close attention to Spruce Ridge, and any developing plans thereof, and will continue to pursue its mission to protect and preserve Newfound Lake and its watershed.
Spruce Ridge project developers (EDPR) recently filed a permit application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to construct 29 wind turbines in five towns (Alexandria, Canaan, Dorchester, Groton and Orange) located in the northern and western portions of the Newfound Lake watershed. All the turbines will be highly visible from Mt. Cardigan and many will be seen from Newfound Lake and its northeast shoreline and hills.
The NLRA’s position concerning industrial wind in the Newfound watershed continues to be that:
- Construction of industrial wind is fundamentally inconsistent with NLRA’s mission of conserving the watershed’s scenic landscapes, community character, wildlife habitat, and rural view sheds;
- We do not believe that the need for and potential benefit from wind-generated energy is sufficiently urgent to warrant the use of an outdated, narrowly-focused approval process that does not take into consideration the future ramifications to the environment and/or economy.
- We will continue to advocate for an adequate framework to objectively assess the costs and benefits of such projects.
The NLRA continues to cooperate on this issue with other organizations in the area, including New Hampshire Wind Watch, the Newfound Cardigan Legal Fund, and our conservation and community partners.