PHILLIPS BROOK – Construction of the 33-turbine Granite Reliable Power wind farm is expected to get under way next month with the first turbine scheduled to arrive Aug. 15.
Project Manager Pip Decker delivered an update on the project to the Coos planning board last week and in a follow-up phone interview.
Decker said site clearing got underway Feb. 12 and all of the site work was completed by the end of March. He said the project is currently shut down for mud season but construction is expected to begin in early May.
Throughout the summer, work on the roads, turbine foundations, the substation, and overhead electrical system will take place. Decker said the first turbines will be delivered in August along the Fishbone Ridgeline and will take about three weeks to erect.
As promised, Decker said the general contract, RMT of Madison, Wis., has been working to hire local subcontractors on the project. AB Logging of Lancaster and Hick Logging of Jefferson were hired to do the site clearing. Isaacson Structural Steel of Berlin has been selected to supply all the steel for the substation and the electrical switchyard. A.J. Coleman Concrete of Gorham has been selected to provide the concrete for the turbine foundations.
Decker said they will be taking down six old meteorological towers that are not needed anymore but will be installing a self-supporting 260-foot high met tower. The new tower is required by the federal government for forecasting wind conditions. Decker said a place has been cleared for the tower on Owl’s Head Mountain.
Decker stressed that safety is a major focus and said they have an overall safety plan and have met with local emergency responders.
Recognizing that the Dummer Pond area is popular with outdoor enthusiasts, Decker said Granite Reliable Power will be setting up a toll-free phone number and a web page that people can check to see if the road is open. He said there will be occasions when the road will have to be closed during the construction season.
After four years of planning and permitting, Decker said he is thrilled to see the wind farm being built. He thanked the planning board for its support.
The 99-megawatt wind farm is under construction in Dummer and the unincorporated places of Dixville, Odell, Millsfield, and Erving’s Grant.
Earlier this year, Noble Environmental sold a majority share in the project to Brookfield Renewable Power, which also owns most of the dams on the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire.
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