Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions
The Antrim Wind Farm is designed to have 9 – 3.2 megawatt wind turbines generating a total of 28.8 Megawatts of energy at peak production. The facility will produce enough electricity to power more than 12,000 average New Hampshire households.
AWE has worked with the Town of Antrim over the past several years to create a community benefits package that creates long-term value for the Town and can be supported by the project. These benefits include:
- Annual tax payments of at least $11,250 per MW = $324,000 /year for 20 years for a 28.8 MW project.
- Permanent conservation easements on over 900 acres of permanent conservation land.
- $40,000 payment to enhance recreational facilities around Gregg Lake Beach.
- Local Job Creation: AWE has been employing local and regional professional consultants for several years and has already invested millions in the NH economy during development. The project will create 84 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during construction and 12 FTE jobs during operations while contributing approximately $53,000,000 to the local area economy over the first 20 years of the project’s life.
- Economic development benefits without the added costs typical of other forms of development (no added traffic, no need for new water or sewer service, no upgrades or increased maintenance costs for public roads, no new policing requirements and no busing or added pressure on schools)
- Stabilization of electricity prices dominated by a volatile natural gas market.
- Clean energy. Wind power produces no emissions and the wind is not subject to volatile market pricing. The Antrim Wind project will produce enough electricity for the equivalent of approximately 12,000 NH homes while avoiding the emissions of 52,000 tons of CO2 each year and additional annual offset of some 135 tons of NOx, SOx, particulates and other harmful emissions. It will also save approximately 15,400,000 gallons of fresh water each year. These are benefits that reach us all.
There are no rare or endangered species living within our project area and less than 0.2 acres of wetlands will be impacted to build the Antrim Wind Farm. It is true that all developments (homes, shopping malls and new schools) have the potential to impact wildlife habitats. Minimizing environmental impact is one of our primary concerns, which is why the site for the Antrim Wind project with its previous impacts, close proximity to major transportation routes, adjacency to high voltage transmission and its very strong wind resource is such a good choice for a well-sited wind farm. Among the competing energy options we have available to us, wind energy is certainly among the least impactful when compared to coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear.
This project will have clearing limits (encompassing all new impacts) of less than 60 acres and Antrim Wind has worked with local landowners, who have many other development rights available to them, to permanently conserve more than 900 acres of private forestland as an added benefit to wildlife and the community. The SEC has already reached a finding that a 30 MW project would not have an unreasonable impact on wildlife or the natural environment and the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau has determined that the AWE project is unlikely to impact any rare plant species or exemplary natural communities.
We know that proper siting is the best way to mitigate any potential negative impacts from sound, and we work hard to ensure that neighbors of the wind farm will not be impacted by unreasonable unwanted noise. Based on the characteristics of this site and AWE’s design, our studies show that noise will not create unreasonable impacts to neighbors.
A January 2012 study by the Whittemore School of Business & Economics , updated in 2014 by Seacoast Economics, evaluated the impacts of the Lempster Wind Farm on local property values. That study found “…no evidence that the project has had a consistent, statistically-significant impact on property values within the Lempster region.” The report went on to say “Furthermore, this study did not find any evidence to support that having a view of one or more turbines or that proximity to a turbine had any consistent, statistically-significant impacts in relation to residential property values in Lempster or the surrounding local communities.”
UNH Lempster Property Value Study
The UNH/Seacast Economics study findings are consistent with numerous national and regional studies. A 2013 study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory examined the effect of proximity to wind farms on property values in more than 51,000 real-estate transactions in close proximity to wind facilities. The study concluded that there is no statistically-significant impact on property values. A 2014 study conducted in Massachusetts titled; ‘Relationship between Wind Turbines and Residential Property Values in Massachusetts’ examined more than 122,000 properties and found no relationship between residential property values and commercial wind power projects after the construction of wind power projects.
Within New Hampshire, two studies have examined the relationship between residential property values and commercial wind power projects. The Impact of the Lempster Wind Power Project on Local Residential Property Values (2012) reviewed 2,593 single family home sales (88 post-construction) from January 2005 to November 2011 in communities surrounding the Lempster Wind Power Project. The Impact of the Wild Meadows Wind Farm on Local Residential Property Values (2013) reviewed 382 single family home sales (132 post-construction) from January 2008 to July 2013 in communities surrounding both the Lempster Wind Power Project and the Groton Wind Farm. These two studies concluded that there was no evidence of a relationship between residential property values and commercial wind power projects after the construction of wind power projects in New Hampshire.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires structures taller than 200 feet to have visible markers to protect against hazards to aviation. Antrim Wind Energy has sought FAA determinations regarding the lighting requirements for our proposed turbines and will work with the FAA to evaluate options to mitigate against lighting impacts from turbines, including light shields, aircraft-activated light systems and other available technologies.