Library filed under Safety from New Hampshire
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.
But SEC lawyer Michael Iacopino told NHPR if Brookfield Renewable wants to allow skiers within 1,300 feet “it needs to ask the SEC to change that condition.”
In August 2013, the state Fire Marshal’s Office found that the plant’s owners did not file fire code and safety code plans with the fire marshal, failed to provide required fire suppression at the turbines, and had not obtained proper approval from state agencies for its design and construction of the plant and its Operations and Maintenance building, which the company moved across the street from its originally stipulated location.
The state’s Site Evaluation Committee has threatened to close the plant and remove its operating certificate because the company and its parent corporation, Spanish wind giant Iberdrola Renewables, failed to get permits for its plant and operations structure from appropriate state agencies when the plant was built in 2011.
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.
The Attorney General's Office, he said, is still pursuing its complaints that the company acted unlawfully in moving its operations and maintenance building from the area cited in the plan approved by the Department of Environmental Services.
The agreement stipulates that except for the installation of fire suppression at the turbines, Groton Wind will bring the facility into compliance with the fire and building codes by May 1 or "immediately and without any demand from the state, shut down any building or structure not in compliance." At the same time, Groton Wind agreed to install fire suppression in "each and every turbine".
Otten declined through his spokesman Skip King to elaborate on his plan, but clearly one of the "hurdles" is the turbine setback issue. The letter states the "Balsams View has assured the commission that the 500 to 1,000 foot buffers as outlined in the lease agreements would provide more than adequate safety for skiers and lifts near the turbines" rather than 1,300 feet which is in another permitting document.
But Otten’s plan to make the ski runs longer requires skiers to get closer to the tops of mountains where the wind farm has turbines. Currently there is a 1,300 foot buffer. That’s so people won’t be hit if turbine blades throw chunks of ice.
A state fire marshal section chief has notified the state’s Site Evaluation Committee of 22 building and safety code violations at the 24-turbine Groton Wind facility. The SEC issued a ruling in November warning wind energy company Iberdrola that the committee had received correspondence claiming that Iberdrola is “operating the facility … in violation of the terms and conditions of the certificate of site.”
The NH State Fire Marshal has recommended that Iberdrola's Groton Wind energy facility cease operation until fire safety concerns have been addressed. A letter as well as prefiled testimony submitted by the Fire Marshal's office asserting the facts in the case can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The NH Site Evaluation Committee has initiated enforcement proceedings against Iberdrola for this an other complaints.
Engineers have recommended that solar panels on top of a Manchester airport parking garage be repositioned toward the east - rather than the sun-drenched south - to prevent glare that has bothered air-traffic controllers, an airport official said.
A man was seriously injured after the stream roller he was operating went over an embankment and rolled over, trapping him inside. ...Officials said they were unable to fly him to the hospital because of the weather. He was taken by ambulance instead.
A worker at the Groton Wind Farm construction site was injured by a steamroller Friday. State and local officials were on the scene at the end of Groton Hollow Road and had asked for a jaws of life. It was not clear whether OSHA had been called.
Houses at Eagle's Nest on Plymouth's Tenney Mountain would be the first residential area to be affected by wildfires from the park, said Fire Chief Casino Clogston. Clogston said not only was it his responsibility to protect lives and property but also to ensure that his responders can do their jobs as safely as possible.
I would like to briefly discuss a few of the reasons why some of us, and perhaps the reader, would not want to have one of these power plants in our back yard.