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View Full Version : Last chance for current views from the Northern Presis, Cabot and the Crescent range



peakbagger
07-28-2015, 09:56 AM
http://www.berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54592:wind-turbines-to-arrive-next-week&catid=103:local-news&Itemid=442

Things are going to be looking different when looking north from the northern presidentials or the Mt Crescent Range soon and I expect Mt Cabot and the Horn's view will be changing. The site work is very obvious on the north face of Jericho mountain when driving south on RT 110 from the fish hatchery. I think this is the closest set of industrial wind turbines to the WMNF to date. There is a 100 KW unit at Mt View Grand but it is much smaller.

Given that northern NH area currently has far more renewable power production capacity than the regional grid can export out of the region, this project is another spinning tax shelter. Unfortunately the current Northern Pass project does nothing to alleviate the grid issue and makes these local renewable projects less attractive as they cant export full output (if the wind is blowing) when needed most by the grid.

egilbe
07-28-2015, 01:52 PM
Why were they chosen to be placed there if they can't deliver the output to the grid? No one else would agree to lease the property? Are there future plans in the works to improve the grid in northern NH? Something is not adding up.

peakbagger
07-28-2015, 02:23 PM
Its a very complex game on why wind turbines get built where they do, its not common sense.

The cost to upgrade the so called "coos loop" to handle the regional power output was estimated in excess of 500 million. No entity wants to pay for it. There is speculation that one of the Northern Pass alternatives may include a substation in the north country to allow export to bypass the current undersized lines but I don't see why Hydro Quebec would allow it as it reduces the amount of power they can send through it. Eversource(PSNH) makes more money building a merchant line like NP that is owned by a non regulated portion of their parent company than upgrading the Coos loop which is the regulated part of the business which limits their profits.

There was a large wind farm proposed, bigger than the Millsfield wind farm north of the Balsams, they withdrew their application until such time that the Coos Loop is upgraded.

peakbagger
08-10-2015, 08:15 AM
Update 8/10

Lots of turbine parts lining up on RT 110 at the former Issacson's facility, two nacelles, multiple props and several large diameter tower sections. A crane is also visible up near the top of Jericho Mountain (I don't think its the crane they use to set the tower and probably is for unloading components after they are trucked to the summit.

peakbagger
08-24-2015, 07:38 AM
Update 8/24

All the parts are at the temporary storage yard and RT 110 is going to be closed for long periods over the next two weeks while the parts get moved to the top of the mountain. The claim is that the first turbine will be running by October which implies that it should be installed by mid September. I expect the majority of the turbines will be in place by leaf season if the developer wants to meet the December in service date. Generally the wind and weather gets far less predictable after mid September and setting tall towers on tops of mountains is generally best done in calm winds.

sierra
08-24-2015, 03:17 PM
I passed two of the "Blades" on the road to Twin Mt. I did a double take and went WTF are those? Then realized what they were, I was not aware of this project to be honest. I'm not familiar with turbines at all. How do they compare with the Turbines near Plymouth in size?

peakbagger
08-24-2015, 04:45 PM
A quick look on the web indicates the Plymouth turbines ground to tip of blade at the top of the arc is 400 feet. The Berlin turbines are 500 feet. Jericho has a defined summit cone compared to the ridgeline that the Plymouth project was installed on so they will sit slightly lower than the summit so I expect from the south the view will be roughly the same as those in Plymouth. From the North like Cates Hill in Berlin and RT 110, the impact is substantial due the road infrastructure. The Berlin stack is 320 feet and roughly equal distance from the northern presidentials so the visual impact is somewhat similar although the Berlin stack is down in valley while Jericho is the ridgeline and will be 5 dynamic structures versus a fixed one. An adjacent property owner is planning similar development once this one is in place but when I look on a map I am not sure where as the site is quite close to the town lines of Gorham and Randolph. The only option might be the north slope of Sugar Mountain?

The only reason why ground based wind turbines are not getting bigger is that the pieces and parts are about the maximum size that can be hauled over the road even with special permits. There are also limitations that the crane required to erect them is also too large for public roads. It is shipped in multiple pieces and reassembled on site. Off shore wind turbines don't have this limitation and the sizes are getting much larger.

You are not the only one unfamiliar with this project, it slipped under the radar of many. Just think, an allowable use of a National Forest is a wind farm and there already is one in place in the GMNF in southern VT.

sierra
08-24-2015, 05:01 PM
I got my first taste of wind farms when I lived in CA, I would pass one on my drive to the Sierra's. I'm amazed at the size of these structures. While I never gave them much thought, I guess I have an open mind so far.

Mike P.
08-24-2015, 08:22 PM
More of an issue for people living near by then what we see in the distance. While they seem quiet, they do make a low frequency humming sound that would be annoying if you constantly hear it. I hike Wachusett enough to make a trip past the turbines there. Neat to visit but glad I'm not within earshot.

Stan
08-24-2015, 08:52 PM
There have been lots of complaints about the wind turbines (how quaint to call it a "farm") near Mars Hill, Maine.

They have a place but I'm not sure where. One thing certain in my mind, I hate to see pristine landscapes, whether on mountains or at seashores, industrialized to satisfy our crave for energy. There are more than views at stake; there is impact in many ways. I oppose drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge for the same reason.

There are alternatives to meeting growing energy demand, each with its own tradeoffs, but my favorite is decentralized generation systems.

Having said that, I wonder if these things can be built on-site with the blade assembled from smaller sections, then rotated until next next blade ... whoa ... timmmmberrrrrr!

peakbagger
08-25-2015, 08:34 AM
When the pulp mill in Berlin was running there was significant noise coming out of the mill 24/7 with the hum of 2500 HP chipper motor and high horsepower air blowers used to move the chips around. I don't expect that turbines will be any worse. The biggest impact from some areas will probably be visual. If you search around the web there are many purported studies who claim health effects attributed to wind turbines but they generally lack a lot of credibility. There does seem to be some agreement that the turbines put out low frequency sound/vibrations that are unsettling to people and wildlife especially downwind.

The limited reports I have seen of the impact of the Millsfield windfarm (which is about 10 miles north) is that the predominate effect has been more from the road network to access the turbines rather than the turbines themselves. The roads interrupt high altitude dense habitat allowing predators to attack the species that are dependent on the dense cover. Both Millsfield and Jericho has been logged extensively and repeatedly for over a 150 years. Generally the resultant habitats are islands of spruce/fir/dwarf birches that is relatively undisturbed surrounded by industrial forest land that has a 40 to 60 year rotation of forest crops. The Jericho area was hammered by 7000 acres of clearcut by a timber liquidator prior to the state purchasing it. The west side of the ridge is predominately WMNF. The Bog Dam area is one of the "out of site, out of mind areas in the forest where fairly intense logging has in the past and continues to be heavily logged albeit somewhat more responsibly so in general with exception of the higher altitude areas with terrain and habitat type that make them unsuitable for logging, this area is not "virgin forest" by any definition. Of course now that the Jericho land has sat for a few years it is regenerating with dense growth that attracts other wildlife so the cycle continues.

sierra
08-25-2015, 03:32 PM
I am such a novice when in comes to this issue. That being said, I do remember while in CA reading a study that estimated the Bird Kills associated with these Turbines. While I wont try and remember the numbers, as it was years ago, I can assure you it was sobering. This area having a multitude of migratory species will certainly suffer a loss of some great birds. That to me is a definite drawback of these structures.

peakbagger
08-25-2015, 04:35 PM
I did skip over the bird and mortality studies that appear to be site specific. The early California wind farms that used lattice type towers versus monopole towers had a particularly bad reputation as predators would land in the lattice and use them for perches. When the bird saw prey it did not notice the blade between the perch and the prey and there was high mortality. I have seen commentary that the federal government has issued blanket permits allowing a set number of golden eagle kills due to wind turbines strikes. I believe that Millsfield had to do investigations using radar to determine if there was any significant impacts to migrating bats.

DougPaul
08-26-2015, 10:56 AM
I did skip over the bird and mortality studies that appear to be site specific. The early California wind farms that used lattice type towers versus monopole towers had a particularly bad reputation as predators would land in the lattice and use them for perches. When the bird saw prey it did not notice the blade between the perch and the prey and there was high mortality. I have seen commentary that the federal government has issued blanket permits allowing a set number of golden eagle kills due to wind turbines strikes. I believe that Millsfield had to do investigations using radar to determine if there was any significant impacts to migrating bats.
While the type of tower may be an issue, the rotating blades alone have been shown to kill bats. Contact with the blade is not required--the pressure wave over the blades ruptures their lungs.

Doug

peakbagger
08-30-2015, 08:14 PM
I drove by today, one turbine is up and another tower is up, I expect by this Labor day weekend there will be a couple more up. They are real obvious when driving south on RT 110 from Cabot.

peakbagger
09-24-2015, 07:27 AM
The Berlin Daily Sun has a nice close up aerial view of the 5 turbines today 9/24. http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?PBID=8c4af509-8814-415a-bfa7-07ab466afc1a. Its a free subscription

Parts of three of the wind turbines are quite noticeable when driving north of Gorham on RT 16 (near walmart). I expect when they start spinning they will be more noticeable.

Lefty E
10-15-2015, 03:10 PM
5369Jericho Mt. windfarm from Goose Eye...