|Standards for Municipal Small Wind Regulations and Model Ordinance
In July 2008, New Hampshire enacted legislation designed to prevent municipalities from adopting ordinances or regulations that place unreasonable limits on or hinder the performance of wind energy systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. Such wind turbines must be used primarily to produce energy for on-site consumption. The law identifies several possible restrictions that would be considered unreasonable:
The law requires wind turbines to comply with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and applicable airport zoning regulations. It also includes rules and processes for the removal of out-of-service or abandoned turbines (at the owner’s expense). Finally, it includes a requirement to notify immediate neighbors upon application for a building permit.
The law also required the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning to issue a technical bulletin and develop a model ordinance to help guide local municipalities to follow the standards as they develop their own ordinances. The bulletin and model ordinance were published in September 2008.* Municipalities may change the model ordinance as appropriate. Major components of the model ordinance include a procedure for reviewing proposed small wind turbines, standards for reviewing applications for small wind turbines, and abandonment procedures.
* This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that want to develop their own siting rules for wind turbines. While it was developed as part of a cooperative effort involving stakeholders and governmental entities, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority. The standards are required, however.