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Town returns to original site for PHS wind turbine

PORTSMOUTH – When Portsmouth moved its proposed wind turbine site at the high school farther away from the town water tank, the Federal Aviation Administration raised a caution flag.

Richard Talipsky, economic development committee chairman, said the town received a “notice of presumed hazard” from the FAA on Sunday that this new site could be in the flight path for Newport Airport. The turbine’s location was moved about 100 feet further south of the Fort Butts water tank after concerns were raised about a potential impact on the water-supply tank if there were a storm that knocked over the 65-meter (213-foot) turbine.

After talking to an FAA official about the notice, Mr. Talipsky said it seems to have been a technicality in response to the new application. Mr. Talipsky said he was told the FAA would have approved the original site at the high school, which is the direction that will now be taken.

The town does not have to submit a new application since the FAA still has the one for the original site. But a professional engineer must certify the site specifications that the town has already completed, and send it to the FAA for approval.

Mr. Talipsky and other EDC members, who had figured the siting using Google Earth, walked the site at the high school on Monday to take actual measurements of the “fall zone.” From the original location of the turbine (behind the new gym and parallel to Route 24) to the water tank, they used tape measures to determine that the water tank would be outside of the fall zone of the turbine generator by at least 10 feet.

By Jill Rodrigues


10 April 2008