On January 31 of this year, Antrim Wind Energy, LLC submitted an application for a wind energy generating facility to the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee. The proposed project would involve 10 wind turbines located on a roughly 2.5 mile ridgeline south of Route 9 in Antrim.
Portions of our Willard Pond Sanctuary lie within 1.5 miles of the nearest proposed turbine location, and most of the pond itself lies within two miles of the closest turbine. The proposed turbine height is 492 feet, and at least nine of the turbines will dominate the northwestern horizon from the surface of Willard Pond.
Willard Pond is New Hampshire Audubon’s largest sanctuary, and in many respects its most beautiful. Much of that beauty comes from the fact that the sanctuary’s setting in an undeveloped landscape - the 1,650 acres of our property is set within a regional “supersanctuary” of nearly 30,000 contiguous acres of protected lands. Willard Pond is a sanctuary for people, as well as for wildlife, and many people visit regularly to fish, canoe, observe wildlife, or just to enjoy the peace and solitude.
The Board of Trustees of New Hampshire Audubon is very concerned about the impact of an industrial scale wind farm on the Sanctuary’s wildlife residents and human visitors, and the values several generations of members and donors have invested their time and financial resources to protect and hold in trust for present and future generations. In keeping with their fiduciary responsibility for this investment, the Board voted on April 24 to intervene in the SEC permitting process in opposition to the application.
The Board did not take this step lightly. New Hampshire Audubon believes that renewable energy must gain a larger share of the nation’s energy portfolio—and that properly sited wind power should play a role in that increase. Proper siting involves a multitude of considerations, including environmental impacts. We feel strongly that this proposed project fails the “proper siting” criteria.
All official documents pertaining to the proposed project can be found here.