Iberdola may lose right to operate Groton wind farm

New Hampshire site evaluation committee schedules hearings to consider suspension and possible revocation of project operating certificate

NEW HAMPSHIRE (November 5, 2013) -The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (‘SEC’) has announced hearings to determine whether to suspend and revoke the Certificate of Site and Facility granted Groton Wind LLC, a limited liability corporation wholly-owned and managed by Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. The 48-megawatt, 24 turbine wind energy facility constructed by Iberdrola was placed in service at the end of 2012.

Iberdrola’s Groton Wind has been cited in filings and SEC notices for the following alleged violations of its Certificate:

• Unauthorized relocation of the project’s operations and maintenance building;
• Unauthorized relocation of two of the Gamesa G87 turbines;
• Failure to comply with the NH State Fire Code;
• Failure to comply with the NH State Building Code;
• Safety and Maintenance concerns;
• An Inadequate Environmental, Health, and Safety Plan.

The impact of the violations has resulted in immediate harm to New Hampshire residents.

The relocated O&M building, for example, now sits as a massive structure in the midst of a number of homes that had previously expected to be buffered by distance and trees from the building and its immense leveled terrace. One of the affected homeowners, whose drinking water well was also contaminated by the project construction, pleaded to the SEC that his property has suffered great harm due to the changes from the original plan. “My home,” he wrote, “is now overshadowed by an industrial building which looms above my property, rendering it almost worthless. …the continuous noise and constant traffic prevent me from enjoying my home.”

“Iberdrola has demonstrated a reckless disregard for New Hampshire’s rules and its residents,” said Lori Lerner, President of New Hampshire Wind Watch, a citizens’ group focused on the impacts and costs of large-scale wind in the state. “The NH Attorney General, our State Fire Marshall, and numerous members of the public have called on the SEC to require Iberdrola to correct the violations or order that project operations stop.”

Iberdrola, which also operates the Lempster Wind project in the state, has announced its intent to construct another wind facility adjacent to Groton Wind in the towns of Alexandria and Danbury in the Lakes Region of NH. Carole Binder, a board member of New Hampshire Wind Watch said, “Given the ongoing controversy surrounding this latest project, Iberdrola can expect significant pushback from the public”.

All related documents on this matter can be found at: http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/2010-01/index.htm

Documents on the NH SEC website of specific interest are listed below:

Procedural Order and Notice of Possible Suspension of Certificate of Site and Facility:
http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/2010-01/documents/131104order_notice.pdf

Letter from the NH State Fire Marshal Ron Anstey:
http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/2010-01/documents/131018anstey.pdf

Response of Counsel to the Public to Filing of Groton Wind LLC’s Environmental Health and Safety Plan
http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/2010-01/documents/131018response_ctp.pdf

Request to Intervene for Mario Rampino Jr.:
http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/2010-01/documents/131003rampino.pdf

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