Residents Appeal Wind Project In Colebrook

Jul 21, 2011

A group of Connecticut residents is appealing a decision by the state’s Siting Council to approve the construction of three large wind turbines in the town of Colebrook. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports

In June the Connecticut Siting Council approved the state’s first commercial sized wind turbines, each nearly 500 feet high. The West Hartford-based BNE Energy is the developer behind the project. Now the group Fairwind CT Inc. and three residents who would live within sight of the turbines have filed an appeal claiming the Siting Council exceeded its authority when it approved the wind project. Two of the residents run a luxury Bed and Breakfast. The appeal argues the wind project would destroy their business and the serenity of the area. The appeal claims it would lower property values and subject nearby residents to noise and the flickering of sunlight from the blades of the turbines.

Nicholas Harding, the attorney filing the appeal, says members of the Siting Council approved the project based on environmental studies that were not finished.

“They said to BNE, ‘You did deficient bird and bat studies. You can fix that by doing proper bird and bat studies. You can submit that stuff to us  in November.’ And that’s clearly improper. You can’t hold the trial first and then collect the evidence later."

But Paul Corey from BNE says many of these claims are untrue. His company offered to do the studies and is finishing migratory bird studies now.

“The studies were very thorough. They prove there will be minimum impacts from the projects and overall there will be significant environmental and economic benefits from the first wind farm in Connecticut.”

Corey says the appeal won’t stop the project and that construction could begin before the end of the year. Opponents plan to file an appeal of a second wind project in Colebrook later this week.