Waugh said he reached that conclusion after meeting with a lawyer for Dixville Capital.
(InDepthNH.org is a nonprofit watchdog news website at www.indepthnh.org)
“But you certainly have the authority to impose any conditions you think necessary to protect the skiing public from any perceived dangers relating to the wind towers,” Waugh told the board.
Waugh said Dixville Capital could give the board a safety plan that would describe how skiers would be protected if conditions are likely to create huge chunks of ice on the blades that could be flung into the ski area.
Waugh said the board could justify requiring such a plan because one of its responsibilities is “general health and safety.”
Dixville Capital official Burt Mills said the developer has been collecting information about icing and would provide it.
And planning board chairman John Scarinza said it would be reviewed.
Those who have studied icing say there is a danger, but it happens rarely, usually ice is not thrown more than 500 feet and typically operators resolve the issue by shutting down the machines if weather conditions make icing likely.
While Dixville Capital is not bound by the 1,300-foot condition, it still applies to the operator of the wind farm, Brookfield Renewable.
In April, Site Evaluation Committee lawyer Michael Iacopino told New Hampshire Public Radio “if the developer seeks to change the condition, then they will need to seek an amendment from the SEC.”
Officials at Brookfield couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The 1,300-foot limit was adopted by the SEC based on the operating manual of the manufacturer, Vestas Wind Systems. It warns: “Do not stay within a radius of 1,300 feet from the turbine unless it is necessary.”
Since then, Vestas has stopped using a specific distance, saying instead each site is unique and the safety zone should be based on an expert’s evaluation.
To help make the resort a success, Otten wants to get the longest runs possible and that requires having skiers on those mountain tops.
Trails or lifts will come within 1,300 feet of six wind turbines, said Dixville Capital’s Mills.
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