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Construction of wind farm atop Green Mountain expected in September

KEYSER, W.Va. – At the most recent community meeting for the Pinnacle Wind Project, a representative from project owner Edison International spoke about the proposed schedule to put the 23 turbines atop Green Mountain.

Matt Hill, manager of federal affairs for Edison Mission Energy, said the turbines will leave Galveston, Texas, and begin their journey to Mineral County on Monday.

“The first will arrive around June 27, the second around the Fourth of July,” said Hill in an email to the Times-News.

The tower part of the turbine will arrive in St. Albans on two-deck barges. Once in Charleston, they will travel Interstate 79 North to U.S. Route 33 East to Harman, and turn north onto state Route 32. At Davis, they will turn east on state Route 93 and turn north again onto state Route 42 just past Bismarck. They will then follow Route 42 into Skyline and Sulphur City and turn right onto Pinnacle Road, following it to the project entrance at the ridge line.

The second round of deliveries, which will involve the turbine components, will begin July 12, and Hill anticipates they will arrive by mid-August.

“In the near future we’ll be pouring the concrete foundations,” said Hill, adding adjustments will be made to the roadway to better accommodate the large turbine blades and other pieces.

Hill said construction will begin in September.

Charles Parnell, vice president of public affairs for Edison Mission Energy, said the goal of the community meetings is to keep people informed and that due to the bad weather last week, only 25 to 30 people attended. Parnell said the company will begin to take applications for money from the Community Benefit Fund set up by U.S. Wind Force, the previous owners of the Pinnacle Wind Project.

“We want to continue the work that U.S. Wind Force did with the community,” said Parnell.

He encouraged community organizations, nonprofit or-ganizations and media organizations to apply for the money available. Parnell also said that the company has an open-door policy and anyone with questions or concerns is welcome to bring them to its attention.

The fund already has $10,000 earmarked for the specific use of historic preservation and, upon completion of the wind farm, $50,000 will be added. Each year of operation of the wind farm, $20,000 will be added to the fund. The money will be distributed for bricks-and-mortar type projects.

Hill said that anyone who wishes to apply for funds from the Community Benefit Fund should visit http://uswff.org/. The application will be available on Monday.