LOWELL – Green Mountain Power wants to change how some turbine parts reach the Lowell wind project.
But that change would not affect the current shipments by truck of tower parts and blades from Island Pond’s rail yards across Orleans County to Lowell.
Currently, the turbine nacelles, which hold the blades, along with the gear boxes and hubs are being trucked to Lowell from the port in Albany, N.Y., to Lowell. That sends the trucks across southern Vermont to Interstate 91, north to Orleans and then by Route 58 to Lowell.
Instead, GMP wants to return to an earlier plan to ship nacelles and other parts by truck from Ogdensburg, N.Y., on the St. Lawrence Seaway east across northern Vermont to Lowell.
That would remove some of the current truck loads of turbines rolling on I-91 in Vermont this summer.
Loads destined for Lowell from Albany, N.Y., are currently traveling north bound on I-91. Meanwhile, turbine parts destined for a Massachusetts wind project are traveling from Richmond, Quebec southbound.
The Vermont Public Service Board approved the original route from Ogdensburg and also the revised route from Albany.
In an order issued late last week, the board stated that the original “northern route” from Ogdensburg would be fine, as long as GMP has the correct permits. The board noted that the route had already been approved without complaint from other parties so there was no need for comment. But GMP must file a revision to the transportation plan so it will be on file with the state.
GMP had wanted to use that shorter route, but New York transportation officials had not wanted large truck trailers on the road.
Since then, GMP informed the Public Service Board that its hired trucking company had arranged to use smaller trucks to make the northern route possible. And in the meantime, New York officials are reconsidering and could also change their minds and allow larger truck loads.
GMP asked the board to expedite the process so that the deliveries could continue quickly.
Last week, GMP officials said that the Lowell wind project is ahead of schedule because of good weather conditions.
Truck shipments from Island Pond to Lowell on Routes 105, I-91 and Route 58 will continue into September.
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