For several years Antrim Wind Energy, LLC (AWE) has worked closely with the Town of Antrim and other stakeholders to establish a community benefits package that creates long-term value for the Town and can be supported by the project. The key components of that package include a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement, a contract between AWE and the Town governing certain conditions during the construction, operation and decommissioning of the project, and a land conservation package in the vicinity of the project.
In the PILOT Agreement negotiated with the Town, AWE would become the largest taxpayer in Antrim, paying $11,250 per MW of installed capacity each year – the highest per MW payment of any PILOT agreement for a wind energy project in New Hampshire. This equals $324,000 in the first year for a 28.8 MW project, escalating at 2.5% each year. The PILOT also provides for lump sum payments during the construction of the project. For a 27 MW project, total tax payments to the Town over the first 20 years of the project would be over $8,375,000.
Recognizing that the conservation of open space is an important community value in Antrim and surrounding communities, AWE has worked with local landowners and conservation organizations in and around the project area to set aside large tracts of land for permanent conservation once the project is built. To date AWE has been successful in negotiating permanent conservation agreements on over 900 acres of property, including 100% of the ridgeline.
Additional benefits include:
- Local Job Creation: Antrim Wind has been employing local and regional professional consultants for several years and has invested millions into the New Hampshire economy during project development. There will be many construction related jobs associated with this development and numerous long-term part-time jobs resulting from the ongoing maintenance and operations of the facility. The project is expected to contribute 84 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction phase and 12 FTE jobs during operations.
- 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). Total local area benefits from the project are expected to be approximately $53 million over the first 20 years of operations.
- Stabilization of electricity prices dominated by a volatile natural gas market.