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Simulations of turbines shown at Packer zoning meeting

Hearings before the Packer Township Zoning Hearing Board about the proposed windmill farm atop Broad Mountain resumed on Sept. 18. This hearing was about the modeling of how the turbines would look based upon the balloon flights that occurred July 26.

Visual modeling expert Curt Westergard, president of Digital Design & Imaging Service and Air Photos Live of Falls Church, Virginia, spoke of his experience, his company’s experience and the modeling program through a series of questions, and then was accepted to be an expert.

Westergard explained the methods where the modeling program was able to show the locations of all the windmills proposed, to an accuracy of about 8 feet, by using the fixed locations of the four balloons. The model shows all 26 sites, even though there will be only 21 turbines.

The majority of the hearing went one by one through the photos and the visual results using the modeling program.

There are five sets of photos from sites in Packer Township, four of these along Quakake Road. There were also two sites in and near Nesquehoning. Each site had views to encompass 180 degrees of view.

Attorney Bruce Anders, representing over 200 opponents to the project, pointed out the photos were taken in summer, and the towers would be more visible during late fall through to early spring. He asked about the siting of the balloons and was told they were in the center of “the clusters” from the existing roads on the site.

Westergard explained that the four balloons were needed to be able to do the simulation to the accuracy on display here.

Anders asked about the model showing turbines on all 26 pad sites, as there are only 21 turbines proposed. Here, meeting chairman Greg Mousseau, attorney for the Zoning Hearing Board, explained that the board had asked for the survey and model to include all the potential sites, displaying the tallest unit, as five would be smaller.

Testimony wrapped up, and the map set – 102 11-by-17-inch pages, plus large wall displays that were up around the room, was admitted into the record.

The next hearing is tonight at the Weatherly Area Middle School cafeteria, beginning at 6 p.m. The meeting will feature continued testimony from Roark Lanning about the turbines. The next hearing is this Thursday, featuring testimony by Robert Miller, project manager for the developer, Broad Mountain Power, about the project status.