KEYSER – In just over three months or even sooner, the blades of the 23 turbines sitting atop Green Mountain at the Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage will be rotating and the project will be operational.
That information was part of an update on the Mineral County wind farm presented at the recent Community Advisory Panel meeting.
According to Joe Bocian, project manager, “The deadline for the turbines to be operational is Dec. 31.”
Giving assurance to the large crowd of local citizens attending the meeting at the Keyser American Legion, he said during the commissioning process an electrical outage will happen, but, “No surrounding community will lose electric.”
Explaining, Bocian stated, “A breaker here and one there will be thrown, and the electric flow will be rerouted.” “I am 99.9 percent, there will be no stoppage of electrical service to communities,” he said.
When operational, the Pinnacle Wind Farm will have the capacity of producing 169-kilowatt hours of electric per year.
Continuing with other data, Bocian mentioned that all the turbine parts have been delivered.
He pointed out the target date for complete delivery of the 11 truckloads of parts for each turbine was set for Aug 10, but “with an issue with delivery drivers underestimating getting up several hills, the completion was by Aug. 23.”
The subject of road repairs was approached, and Bart Richardson, site manager, said damaged areas will be marked and “the work to be done by spring 2012.” He cited, “Tasker Road is included in the road repair process.”
Bocian reported that when the Pinnacle Wind Farm is completed, an access for emergency vehicles would be available.
Dave Harman commented that the wind farm is “in the Keyser Fire Company’s first due area,” however, noting, “Some of the turbines could in Elk District’s area.”
He suggested the Pinnacle officials contact Chris Paitsel, chief of the Keyser Fire Company. Concerning fires that might occur in the turbines, Bocian said from his own experience, “Just let them burn and they will eventually burn out.”
He did mention firefighters could fight fires in other area of the wind farm, naming the substations as one.
Two interns from Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College were recently hired for the project and, according to Bocian; they will work about 20 hours a week, while continuing their school schedule.
He remarked that by the time their internship is finished, “They will be well versed in the procedures of a wind farm.”
While on the subject of employment, Richardson said close to 90 percent of the workers are from the three states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia and were building trades jobs.
Adding to this, Jim Cookman, president of U.S. WindForce, said many workers are from the counties of Mineral, Hampshire, Hardy, and Grant, and “I am real happy about that.”
Those desiring to tour the Pinnacle Wind Farm may call 949-517-8636 for further information.
Several tours were recently conducted for groups as the Keyser Rotary Club, Congressman David McKinley, Community Panel members, and the third through fifth graders from the Elk Garden Primary School.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding