Environment
5:24 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Wind Developer Iberdrola Will Sell Energy To Mass. Utilities

Credit Chris Jensen / NHPR

Wind power developer Iberdrola Renewables has signed a contract to sell power to four Massachusetts utilities, and has included in that contract a proposed wind farm in New Hampshire that has yet to submit its application for construction.

Iberdrola has announced it is part of a contract between six wind farms to sell up to 565 megawatts of electricity to the Bay state. The power would come from the Wild Meadows wind farm, proposed for a ridgeline spanning the towns of Alexandria, Danbury, and Grafton. Under the contract, the electricity and the renewable energy credits associated with it would sell for less than 8 cents per kilowatt-hour.

While the application to build that facility has not even been submitted yet, an Iberdrola spokesman says the company is currently revising its application to reduce the number of turbines and shrink the project’s footprint. He says it could be completed by 2016.

But it’s by no means a sure thing that it will be built. The wind-farm has been held up by stiff local opposition. In March, Alexandria and Grafton passed non-binding warrant articles in opposition to construction, and neighboring towns that would see the project from across Newfound lake have pushed hard against it as well.  

What’s more, while the state has okayed three industrial scale wind-farms, the state committee that approves power development denied a project in Antrim in February. Opposition to wind power has also grown steadily in the legislature. Last week at an industry-organized “energy summit” senate majority leader Jeb Bradley said he would fight “tooth and nail” against wind development on New Hampshire’s ridge-lines.

Of the six wind farms that are part of the contract, five are in Maine. The bidding process that led to the contract was envisioned under the Massachusetts Green Communities act, as a way to provide more solid financing for renewable energy projects.

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