Researchers who worked near the 400-foot high wind turbines on peaks above the proposed Balsams ski area say there is reason to be worried about people getting too close: They saw chunks of ice being thrown and found ice craters and broken saplings 930 feet from a turbine.
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Dixville Capital’s attorney is working out an safety plan to address the board’s concern about ice throw and other potential hazards around the Granite Reliable wind towers (owned by Brookfield Power) in the expanded high-elevation ski area, based on an engineer’s report, board attorney Bernie Waugh reported.
Using an industry rule of thumb, the setback for turbines likes those in the North Country would be about 800 feet, says Rene Cattin, a Swiss researcher who studies wind turbines in cold weather. But, Cattin said, his research shows that ice isn’t thrown more than about 500 feet. However, there are safety issues beyond ice throw, issues that could occur year-round.
The resort's redevelopment remains contingent on an expansion of its ski area, which, if enlarged, would be near at least half a dozen Granite Reliable Power (GRP) wind farm turbines in Dixville, on land owned by Bayroot LLC.