FairWindCT organized quickly in December, 2010, after BNE Energy submitted 2 applications to the Connecticut Siting Council for wind farms in Colebrook. We were shocked to learn that 6 huge wind turbines standing as much as 492 feet tall – taller than the Statue of Liberty or any office building in Hartford — were being proposed.
Our first task was mailing Colebrook property owners a flyer announcing the existence of the projects for Flagg Hill Road and Rock Hall Road. We asked for a moratorium on wind farms in the absence of specific state and local regulations, and for a public hearing on all applications. We circulated a petition, which many of you signed, created a web site (www.fairwindct.com), and began speaking up about health and safety issues, effects on property values, historic buildings, and the environment, as well as the economics of wind power. We were joined in our request for a moratorium and appropriate regulations by the Town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, the Town’s Wetlands and Watercourses Agency, the Town’s Conservation Commission and by The Colebrook Land Conservancy as well as the Colebrook Historical Society. The Town’s Board of Selectmen also requested public hearings to be held locally.
In January, FairWindCT met with Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who said, “Wind turbine farms may be well intended, but should also be well sited. Green energy will undermine its purpose if we fail to develop sound standards to protect against damage to the environment and quality of life.”
You can read the BNE applications and other material at www.ct.gov/csc, Petitions No. 983 and No. 984. FairWindCT’s attorneys have filed letters and rebuttals to the BNE applications at the Connecticut Siting Council on behalf of those most directly affected by the proposed wind turbines.
The homes of some of your Colebrook neighbors will be less than 900 feet from the turbines. BNE says 124 residential properties will have views of the Flagg Hill turbines year round; 73 residential properties will have views of the Rock Hall turbines year round. More residences will have views of the turbines when leaves are off the trees in winter. Properties in Colebrook that are within 1 mile of the projects have a combined assessed value of $22 million dollars. Residents whose property loses value if the turbines are built can ask the Town for a reduced assessment.
FairWindCT has hired experts to examine and refute BNE’s “studies” in the areas of natural resources, birds, bats, and noise and to prepare reports as needed that accurately reflect the impact the proposed commercial turbines will have on wildlife, wetlands, residents’ health and use and enjoyment of their properties. We will continue working to build a strong record leading up to the Siting Council’s public hearing.
The Connecticut Siting Council will consider the 2 BNE applications on the dates below. The location of the public hearing has not yet been announced.
- Field review on Tuesday, March 22 at 2pm
- Public hearing on Tuesday, March 22 at 6:30pm
- Evidentiary hearing on Wednesday, March 23 at 2pm
- Public hearing on Wednesday, March 23 at 6pm
Colebrook residents rank the town’s natural environment as one of its highest assets. As the Town Plan of Conservation and Development says: “Our landscape is one of forest, brook, field, and pond, one where the black bear roams and the sharp-shinned hawk soars….Colebrook remains a place of stunning beauty….” Let the Connecticut Siting Council know your concerns by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or writing a letter to:
Daniel Caruso, Chairman
Connecticut Siting Council
10 Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051
Colebrook has been “green” for many years. It lost the community of Colebrook River in the 1940s so the Goodwin Dam and Colebrook River Dam could be built by the Metropolitan District Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. According to the MDC’s web site, “The Goodwin Facility generates 13,600,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in a typical year, enough to serve 2,000 homes. The Colebrook River Facility generates enough electricity to serve 1,000 homes — approximately 6,700,000 kilowatt hours annually.”
For questions and comments, please contact us at email@example.com or write to FairWindCT, PO Box 225, Colebrook CT 06021.
Joyce Hemingson, President
Sukey Wagner, Treasurer
Stella Somers, Secretary