Jericho Power Gets City Approval for Wind Power Expansion

 by Barbara Tetreault
Berlin Daily Sun

March 7, 2014

BERLIN Jericho Power has obtained both planning and zoning board approvals to add three wind turbines to land abutting its current wind project on Jericho Mountain. The planning board Tuesday night approved the site plan for three 2.85-megawatt turbines on land leased from Allen Bouthillier on Jericho Mountain and Mount Forist.  Jericho Power last year received approval to place three turbines on Jericho Mountain on land owned by David Brooks.

Planning board approval for the three additional wind turbines contained three conditions:

1) the turbines can not exceed 500 feet in height,
2) they must meet the 25-foot setback requirement measured from the tip of the blade, and
3) Jericho Power must negotiate a decommissioning plan with the city attorney to cover the removal of all structures and returning the site to its current conditions if the turbines cease operations.

At its February meeting, the zoning board unanimously voted to grant Jericho Power a variance and special exception. The city requires all energy projects to file for a special exception and the towers also required a variance for height. Representing Jericho Power, a subsidiary of Palmer Management Corporation of Cohasset, Mass., Lindsay Deane explained that the new turbines are basically an extension of the project underway and will use much of the infrastructure being developed for phase one. She said there will be one access road and the project will connect to an existing transmission line.

She said permitting for the second phase is underway and her company has submitted its interconnection application to both ISO-NE and Public Service of N.H. Deane said Jericho is in the process of negotiating agreements to sell the power and renewable energy credits generated by the project. Deane said new project has been designed to avoid the overlay zone on the summit of Mount Jericho and to ensure the turbines are not visible from downtown Berlin. The turbines will be visible from Page Hill Road and from Cates Hill.

The closest residence to the turbines is over a mile away and Deane said the project will comply with the city's noise ordinance. The Federal Aviation Administration requires lights on top of the turbines but there will be no other lights on the structures. Included with the application were two studies on the impact of wind projects on property values. Deane said property values will not be reduced by the project and no nuisance or unreasonable hazard will result from it.

While ice can accumulate on the blades, Deane said the technology is designed to shut down if a rotor imbalance is detected and the blades are heated to melt the ice. Most ice will fall within the rotor length but signs will be posted warning about the potential for ice drop.

Foundation and site work for the first phase got underway last fall. Deane said the hope is to get all the necessary permits for the second phase this summer and then order the turbines. She said Jericho Power hopes to be operating before 2016.  She also provided a list of local subcontractors and professional services the company is using for the project.

Community Development Director Pamela Laflamme read a letter from the Berlin Water Commission indicating the department discussed concerns that the project could affect the power supply to the water treatment facility and Jericho Power has convinced the department it will not be an issue.


Our beautiful view from the Jericho Warming Hut will be impacted once the new wind towers on Jericho Mountain
have been completed.  The red arrow points to the building site for the new towers. 

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