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View Full Version : Millsfield wind farm back in the news



peakbagger
04-21-2014, 09:15 AM
I wasn't aware of this recent news regarding the need to widen the roads at the Millsfield wind farm

http://nhpr.org/post/public-counsel-hearings-widening-road-wind-turbines-should-be-held-coos

I am not surprised, many wind turbine wind developers tended to understate maintenance on early wind farms and the unfortunate approach was to abandon the turbines in place when they stopped working after the developers were long gone. Most projects are now subject to third party bonding to force the developer or their successors to remove turbine once they are out of operation for a set period of time. Thus wind developers now have to at least think about long term major maintenance. Unfortunately, gearboxes that have to convert low speed wind input to high speed output have a finite life and when they fail, the cranes required to replace them are huge, thus the need to widen the roads.

Scubahhh
04-21-2014, 03:48 PM
Thanks for posting this! I did a little googling and found this great report from a couple guys who hacked up in'09, before the turbines were built.

http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?p=14684&sid=5bf6b7aad4ed4903ebd918cb3ce9b1af

Once It dries out, I'd love to get up there for a look around; even with the towers and the noise, it sounds beautiful, and there are loads of old roads and ails to get lost on. Any local knowledge about the suitability of this area for a couple nights' camping? Access to/from Cohos Trail?

peakbagger
04-21-2014, 03:59 PM
The area has numerous ATV trails setup by a very active ATV club. I do not know how close you can approach to any of the turbines. If you do a search you will find my directions to the Signal Mountain Fire Tower which is worth the walk up as there are 360 degree views including great views of the wind farm. Bring a Delorme Guide as its really easy to get lost in that area.

bryan
04-27-2014, 09:44 AM
Thanks for posting this! I did a little googling and found this great report from a couple guys who hacked up in'09, before the turbines were built.

http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?p=14684&sid=5bf6b7aad4ed4903ebd918cb3ce9b1af

Once It dries out, I'd love to get up there for a look around; even with the towers and the noise, it sounds beautiful, and there are loads of old roads and ails to get lost on. Any local knowledge about the suitability of this area for a couple nights' camping? Access to/from Cohos Trail?

hiked up kelsey this summer. that route from the north talked about in the link still makes the most sense. about a 1 mile bushwhack with good woods all the way up. the turbine actually makes navigation even easier as it could be heard all the way up and seen much of the way. i have a friend who started up via the access road to kelsey and got the impression it wasn't the best idea. it make a long loop from there around to the south. it may also be accessible from points south, but i can't say for sure. in the case of dixville you can pretty much drive until just below the summit on the access road and no one seems to care though i would suggest walking up and taking in the great views along the way. the cohos trail coincides with much of the dixville access road. the west branch road that runs into this area from rt 26 was easily drivable to the start of the bushwhack to kelsey at something like 4 miles in. continuing to the access road to dixville was not a problem either. i assume as long as the windfarm is functional that road will be kept in passable condition.
in the case of dixville it might be more interesting to come in from the north via the balsams ski area and/or cohos trail. the cohos now stays below the summit, but the old route will get you right up below the ridgeline and line of turbines.
with regards to camping there is the nearby log haven campground if you want to be more front country, but have easy access to this area. there is also the baldhead shelter up near the summit of south baldhead on the cohos trail which is reached via a couple mile hike from the junction of west branch road and the dixville access road. a real nice area and a good view from in front of the shelter. the true highpoint of south baldhead is reached via a short bushwhack from the shelter area. probably not the most logical place to have a base camp to explore the area, but would be a nice place to spend the night.
i hope that ultimately the whole push for wind dies off, but as of now i know there are siting stations on a number of the 3k ridges in this area. if interested in hitting some of these before any possible development some that come to mind would be cave/rice, crystal mountain and blue ridge. all of these beautiful long ridges have gauging stations on them and could be looking at the same fate as kelsey and dixville.

bryan