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Wind farm turbines, transformer will pass through region

BERLIN – Residents will see huge components of the Granite Reliable Power wind farm being transported through the region over the next couple of weeks.
Transportation of the wind turbines started Wednesday from Portsmouth where they are being staged and Brookfield Renewable Power Director of Communications Julie Smith-Galvin said local people will start to see activity this week.
Berlin city officials have been notified that a transformer for the project’s substation in Dummer will be transported through the city some time next week.
The transformer weighs 175,000 lbs. and the truck and trailer that will be carrying it weigh another 209,000 lbs. for a total load of 384,000 lbs. The load classifies as a superload move and required a special permit from the N.H. Department of Transportation.
According to the traffic control plan filed by Marino Crane of Middleton, Conn., which has been contracted to transport the transformer, the load will travel by train to a rail siding on Jericho Road. From there it will travel on a 4 deck 4 transport vehicle from Jericho Road to Wight Street to Third Avenue to Mount Forist Street to Exchange Street. From Mount Forist Street it will get on Route 16 and travel north to Dummer Pond Road.
The transport, which will take an estimated four hours, will be done late at night or overnight. Marino Crane reported it surveyed the transport route in May and there is sufficient clearance both vertically and horizontally for the 121 foot long and 25 foot high transport vehicle.
Six escorts vehicles are required, of which a minimum of three must be state police escort vehicles. Two state police troopers and two certified escort vehicles will travel in front of the load and the remaining two escort vehicles will follow the load. Marino Crane is required to have a spare tractor available in case there is a breakdown during the move.
Smith-Galvin said the Vestas V90 turbines will be transported in three components. The nacelles ( or gear box) and blades are coming from Portsmouth via Route 16 to Dummer. The towers will travel from Portsmouth by train to a railhead close to Route 2 and then transported on Route 2 to Route 16. Smith-Galvin said she did not know where the railhead is located on Route 2. Once on Route 16, the turbine components will travel through Gorham and Berlin.
The 99-megawatt wind farm being constructed in Phillips Brook will contain a total of 33 wind turbines spread over some 14 miles.
Construction of the wind farm got underway this February and the project is scheduled to be completed and generating power by the end of this year.