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Wind Critics Gather For Talk

Donna Hiltz

A prominent critic of ridge line wind power says such projects are wrong for New Hampshire. Ben Luce teaches natural science and physics at Lyndon State College in Vermont. He spoke to a group of residents in the Newfound Lake region Friday.

He told hundreds of assembled residents at Newfound High School that the impacts from ridge line wind farms are too great and the benefits too small. Luce says New Hampshire’s renewable incentivesare the reason that these projects are being floated. "Our incentives are grossly slanted toward large scale generation, and consideration of small scale generation is laughable."

Luce went on to say if New Hampshire really wants to do something about climate change, it will invest more substantially in propping up solar photovoltaic.

"Let’s just pose the question, can wind power make a substantial contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions?" Luce told the assembled crowd. "This is my answer: in the mid-west, maybe. In the Eastern US absolutely not, the wind resource is just not here. Except if off-shore wind turns out to be economically, technically, environmentally feasible."

There are two wind farms in the works in the towns of Alexandria, Danbury, Grafton and Groton, and a third is coming online now in Groton. The wind farms have prompted strong local push-back, and several lawmakers who were in attendance asked the crowd to turn out at the statehouse and support several bills that would put the brakes on wind farm development.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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