Avangrid spokesman says town board ‘effectively zoned out wind’ in Hopkinton
By MATT LINDSEY
HOPKINTON -- The wind company planning to build a 27-turbine wind farm says the approval by the town board of its wind law has effectively banned the project from the town with zoning ordinances.
The wind law was proposed by the Hopkinton Wind Advisory Board. The law was primarily written by the Wind Advisory Board.“The vote taken last night effectively zones out wind in Hopkinton,” said Avangrid spokesperson Paul Copleman. “The most disheartening thing about this abrupt reversal and improper revote is that it surrenders to the handful of opponents using intimidating tactics and ignores so many voices in the community.”
Avangrid lawyers emailed town councilmembers last week questioning the legality of the vote. The lawyer claimed that the town needed to hold a public forum prior to another vote.
“It's a rejection of even considering new economic development and jobs that would benefit so many in Hopkinton, a rejection of significant new school funding, and it shuts down a collaborative, community-wide process that still has a long way to go,” Copleman said.
The spokesman says Avangrid has made clear what science-backed changes are necessary to the Wind Advisory Board recommendations to allow a wind farm in Hopkinton.
“If the town in the very near term can examine those changes to the zoning ordinance, we may consider re-engaging with Hopkinton, but last night's pre-emptive rejection means we will focus on other New York projects in areas with clearer paths to pursue renewable development.”
The law calls for a setback requirement of five times the total height of a turbine from non-participating property lines, public roads, wind overlay boundary, non-WECS building, farm or commercial structures or any above-ground utilities, registered historical sites and the APA boundary.
The local law requires adherence to a maximum 40 dBA at the nearest non-participating property line, school, hospital, place of worship or building existing at the time of the application.
The law also prohibits turbines on land south of SH 72.
Avangrid says its project would bring roughly $30 million to the area.