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Wind Developer Puts Newfound Project "On Hold"

Sam Evans-Brown
/
NHPR

The developer of the proposed 23-turbine Wild Meadows wind farm has announced that it will put the project on hold. IberdrolaRenewables says it will focus its resources on resolving disputes around another wind farm in Groton.

“We don’t have a specific time table” said Paul Copelman, Iberdrola Spokesman, explaining that the application that is currently pending will have to be resubmitted.  

He insists the decision to put the new wind farm on hold has nothing to do with the fact that state regulators found the application to build the Wild Meadows wind farm in the towns of Alexandria and Danbury to be incomplete. Copelman says the move is entirely due to a dispute involving the 24-turbine Groton wind farm, which has been online for over a year.

“Even though we’ve made significant progress resolving some of those issues, those are pressing responsibilities,” said Copelman in a phone interview.

The Groton Wind farm is facing sanction from regulators for having changed the location of access roads, some turbines and a building. Those changes were cleared with the Department of Environmental Services, but the state argues DES didn’t have the authority to grant those changes. Iberdrola is also working to resolve a separate dispute over which fire suppression equipment to install in the tops of the turbines with the state Fire Marshal. Both issues are scheduled to be decided late by this year.

Besides Groton Wind, Iberdrola operates a 12 turbine wind farm in Lempster, which was the first industrial scale wind farm in the state.

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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