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January 13. 2014 9:45PM

State: Alexandria, Danbury wind farm application 'incomplete'

The state on Monday deemed the application from Spanish wind farm company Iberdrola Renewables for its proposed 23-turbine Wild Meadows Wind Farm in Alexandria and Danbury incomplete, and has given the company 10 days to file new information.
 
The Site Evaluation Committee, the state's authority for permitting new energy projects, received the application for the 75.9 megawatt wind farm project on Dec. 16. The SEC issued an order requiring the company to provide more information within 10 days.
 
The SEC said Iberdrola and its local company, Atlantic Wind, failed to provide needed information on several issues.
 
"The application is incomplete because it fails to provide sufficient information for the Water Division, the Division of Historical Resources and the Fire Marshal to satisfy the application requirements of each state agency, under state or federal law, to regulate any aspect of the construction or operation of the proposed facility," the SEC said in its order.
 
Environmental issues were also specified by the SEC, specifically information about the New Hampshire Audobon Society's ongoing survey of raptors.
 
"The application is also incomplete because it does not include the ongoing 2013 raptor survey and game camera study which are necessary for a complete and timely review of the application within the time frames expressed."
 
The application also lacks "a clear identification of the legal relationship between the applicant and the property proposed to comprise the facility," according to the SEC.
 
Iberdrola "may supplement the application with the missing information within 10 days of receipt of this order or may thereafter file a new application containing the missing information," the SEC said.
 
The SEC said the company can file a new application without submitting duplicate materials it already has submitted.
 
"Instead, clearly identified insertions supplementing or substituting for previously filed information shall be acceptable," the order said.
 
Also in the order was a rejection by the SEC for motions filed by New Hampshire Wind Watch and the Wild Meadows Legal Fund – local groups that are opposed to the project – as being out of order.
 
The groups say the wind farm, which is proposed for mountain ridgelines within four miles of Newfound Lake and in places clearly visible from Mount Cardigan – would damage the local tourism industry, drop property values, and ruin the scenic mountain vistas from Newfound Lake.
 
A motion from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests to suspend the Wild Meadows application process until a review of the SEC's operations is complete as a result of Senate Bill 99 was denied.
 
"The SPNHF motion must be denied because there is no basis upon which I can find that the public interest is served by such a delay.?There is no basis or data to support a finding that it is in the public interest to delay consideration of an application once it is determined to be complete," wrote the SEC's Amy L. Ignatius, vice-chair of the committee.
 
Iberdrola officials could not be reached for comment. Wind Watch president Lori Lerner said the ruling is important.
 
"This is a very big deal, it's precedent setting. This is the first 'big wind' project to have the application deemed incomplete by the SEC. (Ignatius) has performed a very thorough review of the application given the constrained timeframe and sheer volume of documents put forth," Lerner said.
 
dseufert@newstote.com

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