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MVG wind turbine to be erected on Sept. 21-22

September 09, 2009
WHITEFIELD — A 121-foot electricity-generating wind turbine — a Northwind 100 — is slated for installation on Sept. 21 and 22 on the grounds of the Mountain View Grand (MVG) behind the Crystal Ballroom, next to the fifth green of the resort's nine-hole golf course.

Concrete was poured on Aug. 28 for its foundation near the 128-foot water tower. The total project cost is in the $500,000 range, said resort spokesman Gene Ehlert.

Following a nearly month-long curing period, technicians from Northern Power Systems of Barre, Vt., will erect the tower in three separate sections.

Designed to generate 100 kilowatts of electricity — approximately half of the main hotel building's current annual consumption of a half-million kilowatt-hours — the turbine is expected to be spinning in October.

The Northwind 100's single-pole tubular steel design features three fiberglass-reinforced polyester rotor blades, which will extend some 32 feet out from the hub. A motor and yaw system will allow it to follow the wind's direction for maximum efficiency.

A key advantage of the Northwind 100 is that it can produce power even in light breezes as low as 6.6 m.p.h., explained MVG general manager Chris Diego in a press release.

Since there are no gears in this computer-operated equipment, the noise level promises to be under 50 decibels — less than that of the sound of a refrigerator at a distance of 130 feet.

In addition, eliminating the gearbox simplifies the drive train by substantially reducing the number of moving parts and wear items. This translates into higher reliability and lower operating costs, Northern Power Systems points out.

The Northwind 100's direct-drive design also eliminates the need for using heated oil during operation, reducing costs in the harsh climate of northern New England.

MVG guests will be able to monitor the turbine's wind speed and electricity production in real time, all day every day, from several locations at the hotel, as well as online on the MVG website.

A similar system, visible to motorists from I-93 just north of downtown Boston, is already in operation in Medford on the grounds of the McGlynn Elementary and Middle School. There the Northwood 100 wind turbine has created a carbon emissions offset of 133 tons per year, with annual savings of $25,000 in electric bills.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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