After months of setbacks, Antrim Selectman John Robertson said the wind turbine project a decade in the making is almost complete. “Tomorrow’s the day,” that the Antrim Wind project is set to officially finish, he said on Dec. 23.
Antrim Wind is owned by a subsidiary of TransAlta, which operates more than 20 wind farms and 900 turbines across Canada, the United States and Australia. When complete, the Antrim Wind project is expected to produce 28.8 megawatts of energy from nine turbines.
Construction began on Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain in August 2018. Residents watched the towers rise in July with mixed reactions. Some lauded the community’s steps toward generating green energy. Others bemoaned the change in the viewshed from Gregg Lake and Route 9, and feared changes in background noise levels and ecological harm once the turbines began to run.
Progress was stymied when the company that had been contracted to provide the radar-activated aircraft safety lights for the tops of the turbines went bankrupt over the winter, and failed to notify TransAlta until the spring.
Subsequent delays in sourcing the lights pushed the expected completion date from Aug. 30 to Nov. 30.
Then, a resident alerted the Select Board that the temporary safety lights were malfunctioning in early September. TransAlta got the temporary lights fixed and paid a $50,000 fine to the town for going over deadline.
Robertson said the permanent lights are finally up and running now. “So maybe we’ll all get a Christmas present,” he said, and have the whole project wrapped up on Christmas Eve.
The wind farm was first conceived almost a decade ago by Antrim Wind, a subsidiary of Walden Green Energy, and has been a contentious project in town for most of that time.
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