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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Written on the wind: Glacier Hills open house offers up-close look at project


From an article by Lyn Jerde in the Portage Daily Register:

TOWN OF SCOTT - Along with names, dates and shout-outs to favorite sports teams, the writing on the turbine blade included a warning: "Watch out."

Mark Barden wrote it, in permanent black marker.

The warning, he said, is aimed at any birds that might fly near the blade once it's turning, 400 feet in the air.

Wednesday's open house at the Glacier Hills Wind Park was Barden's first up-close look at the components of the 90 electricity-generating wind turbines that have begun to rise in the skyline in northeast Columbia County.

But it won't be his last look. Barden said three of the towers will be on his land in the town of Scott, just outside of Cambria.

He said he doesn't share the health and safety concerns about the wind towers that many of their opponents cited in seeking to block the construction of Glacier Hills - things such as constant low-level noise and shadow flicker.

"I'm more worried," he said, "about the red lights at night," he said. "When I look in the sky and try to find constellations, all I'll see is the red beacons (on the towers).

"But," Barden added, "we'll deal with that."

Barden was one of several hundred people who attended the open house, which included indoor easel and tabletop displays, and a tour - on foot or by school bus - of one of the four towers that, as of Wednesday, had two of its four segments erected.

Mike Strader, site manager for the We Energies project, said that, barring wind or other inclement weather, plans call for adding the top two segments to at least one of the towers today, with the hub, cell and three blades of the turbine to follow soon.

More photos on RENEW's Facebook page.

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