LOWELL WIND: THE FINAL TREK
LOWELL – The final oversized truckload shipment destined for Green Mountain Power’s wind turbine farm on Lowell Mountain will roll through today, but will take a different route.The final truckload will contain the repaired tower base, which was damaged in a rollover accident on Interstate 91 in mid-July. At the time of the accident, the truck driver reportedly got too close to the shoulder of the road and the trailer rolled causing some damage to the component. Roadwork was occurring on the Interstate at the time of the incident. No injuries were reported.The tower base was repaired in Canada and is ready for the mountain. The truck will depart the Canadian border on Interstate 91 South at approximately 3:00 p.m. The truck will proceed to the nearest rest area and wait there for a Vermont State Police Escort, GMP officials report. The truck will then proceed down the Interstate to exit 26 and continue on to the job site in Lowell via the previous route.GMP’s project is nearing completion and slated to be fully on-line by the end of the year.If there are any problems discovered during the construction process and as the turbines come on line, other shipments may be necessary, GMP reports, otherwise the more than 120 oversized and overweight truckloads have concluded their mission.In the meantime, the first turbine on Lowell Mountain is now on line and generating power, and the second one is slated to start soon. Each turbine in the 21-wind turbine project will go on-line one after another to potentially create enough power for 20,000 average size homes.Ten turbines are fully constructed and the ten remaining are being pieced together section by section.Eight of the turbines have lights for airplanes, along with one light that remains on the meteorological tower. GMP is waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to approve lights that would come on automatically when aircraft are in the area, a system that is already used in other parts of the world. If and when the FAA approves the system, GMP will invest in the technology said Dorothy (Dotty) Schnure, a spokesperson with GMP.GMP expects approximately $48 million in Federal Production tax Credits over the first ten years the project is operational and "every penny" of it will go directly to lower the cost of the power generated, Schnure said.