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Iberdrola comments gets cool reception in Danbury, Alexandria

Union Leader Correspondent

January 12. 2014 8:18PM

Iberdrola Renewables' response to the positions taken by Danbury and Alexandria selectmen against the proposed 75.9-megawatt, 23-turbine Wild Meadows Wind Farm is not sitting well with townspeople.

Danbury selectmen on Wednesday adopted the results of a ballot question put to residents that showed 116 in favor to 249 against the project, with just under half of town residents voting. Selectmen in Alexandria officially adopted their residents' stance against the project Tuesday night.

The project can be built without either town's approval, as the state's Site Evaluation Committee is the authority that permits new energy projects in the state. Iberdrola officials have already secured leases for the land for the project from local landowners. But company officials have said they want local support.

Iberdrola's Paul Copleman did not address the Alexandria decision, but said the Danbury vote had "a low level of responses" that did not provide "an accurate reflection of local sentiment."

On Sunday, he reiterated the position of his company, which is headquartered in Spain and Portland, Ore.

"We're hopeful that once folks are able to hear the facts and sort through the opposition's misinformation, that more and more people will understand what a good deal this can be for the local community and New Hampshire," he said.

Danbury Selectman Jim Phelps said he and the other town selectmen will express the town's position against Wild Meadows when they meet with the SEC in coming weeks.

Iberdrola, resident Bob Piehler, said: "seems to operating under an incredible disconnect from the people they claim to want to serve."

Peter Silbermann of Bridgewater, a member of the opposition Wild Meadows Legal Fund, said: "It is one thing for Iberdrola to ignore what the voters in Alexandria and Danbury have said, but it is quite another to characterize the votes as not being an accurate reflection of local sentiment. Perhaps democracy works differently in Spain."

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