Preliminary_Bald Mountain

Wind Fact

One Megawatt of Wind Energy = 2,600 Fewer Tons of Carbon Dioxide per year.

Local Realities vs. Wind Myths

Harnessing the wind for its energy can be dated back to 900 AD.  Today, safe, clean electricity is generated with wind turbines in thousands of locations around the world, but it is a technology that has only recently become prominent in New England. Wind energy is the fastest growing source of new electrical energy in the United States and between 2008 and 2010 wind energy accounted for over 38% of all new electric generation built.  This is a technology that is both ancient and modern – we understand how to build and maintain it, how to integrate it into our electric supply and how to ensure growth in the wind industry proceeds in tandem with the protection of other public interests. AWE believes that in addition to meeting the requirements of applicable regulations each project must also be measured and evaluated on its own merits. Typically, this means an analysis of the relative impacts and benefits of a particular project.  In Antrim, our project will impact less than 60 acres of land while providing enough clean electricity for more than 12,000 average New Hampshire homes.  Proper siting and design ensures that local residences are protected against undue adverse effects from the project. Wind energy is a well-understood, mature technology that will contribute substantial benefits to the economic development and environmental preservation of Antrim and the electric power supply of the region. AWE is committed to providing site-specific information to community stakeholders so that you can make informed decisions based on real project information rather than inaccurate generalizations. The following is a collection of  local realities for the Antrim Wind Energy project.


Significant, Stable Tax Revenue

Local Reality

Antrim Wind has negotiated a PILOT Agreement with the town of Antrim that would guarantee annual payments, made in two installments each year, totaling $324,000 per year for a 28.8 MW project – or $11,250 per megawatt of installed capacity – the highest per MW rate for any wind project in New Hampshire with a tax agreement.  Where else could Antrim look to generate this sort of revenue?

Antrim Wind continues to work closely with the Town of Antrim to ensure that the wind farm will bring substantial tax benefits throughout the life of the project.

Myth you might hear:

“Antrim Tax Payers are going to have to subsidize the AWE Project”


Property Value Impacts

Local Reality

A January 2012 study by the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire, updated in December 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 US Department of Energy’s Berkeley National Laboratory collected data on 50,000 homes within 10 miles of 67 operating wind power facilities with 1,198 sales that were within one mile of a turbine in 2013 and found,  “Across all model specifications, we find no statistical evidence that home prices near wind turbines were affected in either the post-construction or post-announcement/preconstruction periods.” and, “the core results of our analysis consistently show no sizable statistically significant impact of wind turbines on nearby property values.

 

US DOE Berkeley National Laboratory http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/lbnl-6362e.pdf

 

Myth you might hear:

“The Antrim Wind Energy Project is going to hurt local property values”


CO2, Water and The Economy

Local Reality

The National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) has performed a series of studies related to the economic and environmental benefits of wind energy in New England. NREL’s analysis evaluated the impacts from adding 1,000 MW of new wind generating capacity to the New England Grid in terms of CO2 reductions, water savings, and economic benefits. The results are summarized below, and also referenced on a pro rata basis to a smaller individual project similar to what AWE has proposed in Antrim.

Antrim Table 2

 

 

 

Myth you might hear:

“Wind turbines aren’t really a clean energy resource because they only generate electricity some of the time”


Fossil Fuel Reduction

Local Reality

AWE commissioned an independent study that carefully evaluated the potential for wind power generation on Tuttle Hill and matched that renewable energy generation with historical fossil fuel generation in the New England electrical grid.  Resource Systems Group used their Department of Energy approved Time Matched Marginal Emissions Model to analyze the fossil fuel power plants in New England and associated fuel types that the Antrim Wind Project would displace for each of the 8,760 hours of the year. They compiled this data to produce a detailed report concluding that a 30 MW wind project located in Antrim would reduce CO2 emissions by more than 120,000,000 pounds per year and result in water savings of 18,000,000 gallons annually. The results of this study align with studies performed by the US Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and others. Wind energy does displace fossil fuel based generation now and the more wind power that is added to the grid, the greater the beneficial impact will be!

Myth you might hear:

“Wind power will never reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”


Locally Generated Clean Energy

Local Reality

All power produced in New England by any form of generation is available for sale in every other part of New England, but the electrons go to serve the closest demand. Wind power is no different than other generation types. Vermont and Maine benefit from New Hampshire wind projects the same as New Hampshire benefits from wind projects in those states. New England operates on a unified energy grid in a common energy market – and Antrim Wind Energy will benefit that market. In addition to that regional benefit, which applies to all of us, Antrim receives the benefit of substantial local tax revenues and job creation while helping grow an industry that is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the state.

Myth you might hear:

“AWE isn’t going to sell electricity to Antrim Residents so there is no benefit to Antrim ”


Low Impact Development

Local Realities

There are no rare or endangered species living within the project area and construction and operations will impact less than 0.2 acres of wetlands 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, proximity 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 reached agreements with local landowners, who have many other development rights available to them, to permanently conserve over 900 acres of private property 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.

 

Myth you might hear:

“Wind projects kill animals and ruin wildlife habitat.”


Health Impacts

Local Reality

There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that wind facilities create negative health impacts (Click here for report on Wind Turbine Sound Health Effects.) Negative impacts can be avoided with proper siting and design. Studies in Antrim show that the noise levels at residences in the vicinity of the project will not exceed 40 dB(A) and the vast majority of the time will be significantly lower.  45 dB(A) is considered by the World Health Organization to the be a safe standard to avoid night-time disturbance.  This same standard has been applied in the nearby Lempster Wind project, which has been operating for over three years with virtually zero complaints.

The flicker effects of wind turbines are effectively modeled using computer software to determine the expected impacts at local residences.  Study results for Antrim Wind Energy LLC show that the project will not exceed a total of 30 hours per year or 30 minutes in any single day at any residence in town in the worst case scenario.  These studies assume that the sun is always shining and that the turbines are always spinning at an angle that would cause flicker, which is not always the case.  Thus, actual flicker impacts are expected to be lower than modeled results.

 

Myth you might hear:

“Wind turbines make people sick and force them to abandon their homes”


Energy Subsidies & Tax Incentives

Local Reality

The Antrim Wind project is 100% privately funded and developed on private land. AWE has not and will not receive any cash grants for this project. The risk to develop, construct and operate the project is entirely borne by private capital.

When the project is constructed and operational, AWE may be eligible to receive Production Tax Credits (PTC) from the Federal Government if this tax credit program is extended (it has currently expired). These are similar to tax credits all US citizens are eligible for if you install energy efficient windows or make other energy saving improvements to your home. Under the previous PTC program that expired in December 2014 companies that generate wind, solar, geothermal, etc. are eligible for a PTC, which provides a 2.3-cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit (not cash payments) for the first ten years of a renewable energy facility’s operation. These credits are only available once the project is producing and selling energy and they only last as long as a project continues to perform and produce emission free electricity.

In addition to selling power generated from wind energy projects, in New Hampshire wind projects are also eligible to sell Renewable Energy Certificate (RECs). These RECs are a market-based mechanism that allows utilities to meet their statutory requirements (often called a Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS) dictating how much utilities must supply from qualified clean energy sources. Buying RECs in a competitive market place allows utilities to solicit bids for REC sales to keep their costs as low as possible. Because clean energy projects such as wind do not emit pollutants such as mercury, particulates, sulfur and nitrogen oxides or carbon dioxide, which cost the public billions of dollars a year in health care costs and environmental degradation, the cost for RECs is comparatively low.

When current renewable energy subsidies are compared to the historical norm for emerging sources of energy, studies show that current clean energy subsidies are far lower than those given to nuclear, oil and gas:

As a percentage of inflation-adjusted federal spending, nuclear subsidies accounted for more than 1% of the federal budget over their first 15 years, and oil and gas subsidies made up half a percent of the total budget, while renewables have constituted only about a tenth of a percent. That is to say, the federal commitment to oil & gas was five times greater than the federal commitment to renewables during the first 15 years of each subsidies’ life, and it was more than 10 times greater for nuclear.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, nuclear spending averaged $3.3 billion over the first 15 years of subsidy life, and oil & gas subsidies averaged $1.8 billion, while renewables averaged less than $0.4 billion.

 

Source: “What Would Jefferson Do? ” Pfund and Healey, September 2011 DBL Investors

Read the detailed report here.

Myth you might hear:

“Wind development is a ‘tax-grab’ for big corporations.”

 

 


New Hampshire’s Economic Benefits

Local Reality

The Antrim Wind project is expected to create 84 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during construction, 12 FTE jobs during operations and add approximately $55,700,000 in local economic benefits during the first 20 years of operations according to a study produced by Seacoast Economics for AWE’s 28.8 MW proposal.  According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 1,000 MW of Wind Energy Development in New Hampshire could have these economic impacts:

Antrim Table
Source: US DOE (NREL), March 2009, DOE/GO-102009-2753 

Myth you might hear:

“Residents of NH don’t benefit financially from wind power, only the developers do.”