New Company Takes Over Jericho Wind Project
State Buys More Dillon Land
Wi-Fi Tower on Mt. Forist May Need to be Removed

June 8, 2012
Barbara Tetreault
Berlin Daily Sun

BERLIN – A new company experienced in renewable energy development and financing has taken over the Jericho wind project. The planning board Tuesday night approved amending its site plan approval for the project to reflect the change of ownership from Jericho Mountain Wind Company to Jericho Power, LLC.

The project calls for installing up to four wind turbines on Jericho Mountain with a maximum capacity of 8 megawatts. Lindsay Deane of Jericho Power explained that in 2006, Christian Loranger installed three small wind turbines on the site with a total capacity of less than 1.4 megawatts. The turbines were vandalized and Loranger decommissioned the turbines and eventually sold the property to David Brooks of Jericho Mountain Wind Company.

In June 2009, Brooks received planning board approval to site four turbines on the 135-acre site. The planning board approval stipulated the turbines could not be higher than 400 feet and must be set back a minimum of 100 feet from the property boundary line.  Deane said last year Brooks approached Palmer Capital Corporation of Cohasset, Mass., for financing and development assistance. Palmer, which specializes in financing and developing alternative energy projects, has two small wind projects underway in Massachusetts. Palmer created a limited liability corporation, Jericho Power, to lease and take over the project development. Palmer Management Corporation will manage the project with a team that includes J.K. Scanlan Company, Inc., Atlantic Design Engineers, LLC., and Solaya Energy LLC.

Deane said Jericho Power is in the process of applying for the necessary permits and filing for a system impact study with Public Service of N.H. and ISO-NE. She said Jericho Power has negotiated a long-term agreement to sell the power generated by the wind turbines to New Hampshire Electric Cooperative. NNEC is also interested in purchasing the project’s Renewable Energy Credits. She said the final details as well as the date the project will come on-line are largely dependent on the system impact study. 

“Our hope is to get this done by the end of the year,” Deane said. She said the wind power from Jericho Power will be generated, sold, and consumed in New Hampshire. In addition, Deane said four local subcontractors have been hired on the project. She said the company will allow recreational use of the property.

Milan resident Clara Osorio sought to talk about potential health impacts of wind turbines during the public hearing on amending the site plan but board chair Ernie Allain ruled comments had to be limited to the ownership change. Osorio was allowed to raise the issue later in the meeting during public comments. A physician with a master’s degree in public health, Osorio said wind turbines have been found to negatively impact human health. She said there are studies documenting wind turbine syndrome, which results in symptoms of nausea, vertigo, blurred vision, and difficulty remembering. Osorio also said she feels the wind project will reduce the value of her home.

In other business: The planning board agreed to allow Dillon Investments to amend the site plan for its planned Kilkenney Heights 47-lot residential development to sell lot one to the state of New Hampshire. City Planner Pamela Laflamme explained that the state discovered it needs the 11-acre lot for a septic field for Jericho Lake Park. The board made its approval conditional on the parties providing a surveyed plan to the city.

Laflamme said TCC Networks contacted the city after the planning board raised questions about its Wi-Fi tower on Mount Forist. The node is located on a tree and is powered by a wind turbine and solar panel connected to a deep cell battery. TCC Networks said it specializes in providing low cost Internet service to rural areas. Laflamme said it has been determined that the node falls within the overlay zone on Mount Forist which requires planning board review before any development. TCC Networks also failed to get a building permit before constructing the node. In a letter, former planning board member Lucien Langlois said the overlay ordinance clearly states structures above tree line are not permitted.

He said at times the sun reflects off the solar panel onto city avenues below. He said the project does not fit on top of the scenic mountaintop. His daughter, Christy Langlois, delivered the same message in person and urged the board to ask TCC Networks to remove the tower within 30 days as allowed by the ordinance. Laflamme said TCC Networks has indicated it is willing to remove the node and work with the city in finding an alternate location. She said the city will formally ask for the tower to be moved.
 

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