Article

Windfarm soon will be up and running

Construction of the 35 windmills in the second phase of what will be one of Pennsylvania's largest wind farms is completed and should be in operation before the end of the year, an official with Gamesa Energy USA said. News of the anticipated startup comes as sound experts working on behalf of Portage Township completed the study setting the level of the existing - ambient - noise at and near North Allegheny Wind Farm, which is adding nine turbines to the skyline in the Blue Knob area of the township.

Construction of the 35 windmills in the second phase of what will be one of Pennsylvania's largest wind farms is completed and should be in operation before the end of the year, an official with Gamesa Energy USA said.

News of the anticipated startup comes as sound experts working on behalf of Portage Township completed the study setting the level of the existing - ambient - noise at and near North Allegheny Wind Farm, which is adding nine turbines to the skyline in the Blue Knob area of the township.

Most of the remainder of the turbines in the second phase are located in Juniata Township, Blair County. However, four are in Washington Township, Cambria County.

"All the towers are up and we hope to commence operation in mid-December. We're testing the towers now," said Doug Copeland, Gamesa project developer for the Allegheny farm.

A third phase, tentatively called North Allegheny, is still in the planning stages, Copeland said. "There's nothing formalized yet as far as location of the towers. We're still kicking around the details," he said.

The Portage Township sound study was completed at a cost of just under $6,000 by Mountain Research of Altoona with assistance from acoustical... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Construction of the 35 windmills in the second phase of what will be one of Pennsylvania's largest wind farms is completed and should be in operation before the end of the year, an official with Gamesa Energy USA said.

News of the anticipated startup comes as sound experts working on behalf of Portage Township completed the study setting the level of the existing - ambient - noise at and near North Allegheny Wind Farm, which is adding nine turbines to the skyline in the Blue Knob area of the township.

Most of the remainder of the turbines in the second phase are located in Juniata Township, Blair County. However, four are in Washington Township, Cambria County.

"All the towers are up and we hope to commence operation in mid-December. We're testing the towers now," said Doug Copeland, Gamesa project developer for the Allegheny farm.

A third phase, tentatively called North Allegheny, is still in the planning stages, Copeland said. "There's nothing formalized yet as far as location of the towers. We're still kicking around the details," he said.

The Portage Township sound study was completed at a cost of just under $6,000 by Mountain Research of Altoona with assistance from acoustical engineers with LFR Inc. of California. Local officials agreed to pay for the study in the hopes of providing documentation of noise levels before the second phase of windmills start operating.

It was promoted by complaints from township residents concerned that turbines from the first phase of the project at times produce noise levels greater than the 45 decibels spelled out in the ordinance adopted three years ago.

Completed over a three-day period in September, the study in the northern end of the township attempted to document the sound at differing times of day and varying weather and wind conditions. The conclusion is that the ambient noise levels are reasonable.

"The baseline data is in and we have something to go by," Supervisor Ken Trimbath said.

The study reflects noise levels as low as 30 decibels and reached a high of 45 decibels at times.

Once the towers are operational, the experts will be brought back to again test the levels, township Solicitor C.J. Webb said.

"That study will include the noise of the windmills. It will be evaluated by the experts and we'll know what the windmills add," Webb said. "The experts must determine what is the actual noise level of the windmill noise."

The group conducting the study was agreed upon by the township, Gamesa, developers Allegheny Ridge and Babcock & Brown, which purchased the first phase.



Source: http://www.tribune-democrat...

NOV 14 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/17901-windfarm-soon-will-be-up-and-running
back to top