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Windmill becomes new landmark

By noon on Wednesday, the gleaming white Northwind 100 wind turbine at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield had been completely installed, ready for a number of final “commissioning” steps to be taken so that electricity will be generated for use in the hotel’s operations tomorrow (Oct. 1). (Photo by Edith Tucker) (click for larger version)
September 30, 2009
WHITEFIELD — A new landmark symbolizing the county's status as a source of renewable "green" power was put in place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday on the grounds of the Mountain View Grand. Boldly visible from across the John's River Valley from Route 3 and the Whitefield School, the gleaming white Northwind 100 wind turbine from Northern Power Systems of Barre, Vt., will generate up to 100 kilowatts or about half the demand of the iconic main building of the Grand Hotel.

In a three-day installation process, Donny Taillon of Taillon Crane Service and Rigging of Gorham lifted the three 40-foot segments of the single shaft tower into place on Monday and Tuesday using a Grove TMS 9000E crane, not far from the 128-foot-tall water tower.

The newly installed wind turbine stands 120 feet tall, when measured to the center of the hub, but 155 feet tall when measured from ground to blade tip. The nacelle (housing), hub, and generator, as well as the three 35-foot-long bolted-together blades, were put in place on Wednesday morning.

Taillon Crane was a subcontractor of the project's general contractor CCB, Inc., Construction Services of Westbrook, Me. "It's my first wind turbine," Mr. Taillon said, predicting that there would most likely be more.

"The blades slipped into place just like a glove onto an outstretched hand," said CCB's project superintendent Patrick Forestall of Berlin.

"Everything went very smoothly, and there were no surprises," said CCB's assistant project manager-field engineer Nate Roberts, who was responsible for photographing the installation.

The project manager Scott Abbett of Sustainable Energy Development of Rochester, New York, which specializes in managing wind projects from start to finish.

The commissioning process, as the final steps to allow the electricity to flow into the hotel and onto the distribution lines of Public Service of New Hampshire are called, will likely be completed tomorrow (Oct. 1). The cutover will take three or four hours, and staff members, including executive chef Neil Connolly, have geared up for the interruption in service.

Hotel spokesman Gene Ehlert noted that he has been both surprised and gratified by how much local interest there has been in the project.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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