By petition of the following registered voters of Hampton, to be placed on the 2018 Town warrant, shall the Town express its support to Governor Sununu for New Hampshire to join Massachusetts and Maine and study the feasibility of developing offshore wind power in the Gulf of Maine? The Town will provide written notice urging Governor Sununu to request the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to form an intergovernmental task force. A bipartisan NH legislative committee studied the potential for offshore wind in 2014 and recommended the establishment of this task force. Floating wind turbines located offshore in federal waters and barely seen from land, combined with other renewable energy will move NH to 100% renewable energy by 2050. The building of offshore wind farms will bring a significant number of jobs and revenue to New Hampshire.
What it means: Wind power has the potential to help the state move towards renewable energy. Once a tower is built, it takes a couple of years to recover the investment, but after that, the wind produces what amounts to almost free electricity. That can last for about 20 to 25 years until the turbines need to be replaced. There is no cost to the town for the study, but a study is required before any further planning can be done. The study will be managed by the Bureau of Ocean Engineering Management at the invitation and request of Governor Sununu. If Article 47 is approved, Hampton will communicate to the Governor to ask that he request the study.
Those in favor say: Wind energy is a good alternative to natural gas pipelines and bringing in hydroelectric power from Quebec, Canada. The petitioned warrant article asks the state to look into offshore wind power development. There is no commitment.
Those against say: Those against the study point to the challenges of a relative neophyte industry and the high up-front costs of establishing wind farms.
Fiscal Impact: No Tax Impact.