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To build the Scituate wind turbine,
everything will be huge

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 6, 2011 04:44 PM

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The land across from the wastewater treatment plant on Driftway Street in Scituate has been a flurry of activity as of late for the 263-foot-tall, $6 million wind turbine, and as construction reaches a fever pitch, the excitement has been ratcheting up.

For the past two to three weeks, crews have been constructing the foundation for the pending turbine, an intensive stage that should last for the next few months, town officials said.

Currently, they are drilling 20, 60-feet-deep holes, each one-foot in diameter, that they will fill with steel and concrete. On top of that, they will place the 20-foot-diameter, five-foot-thick base, which will be where the ring for the circular turbine will be mounted.

The turbine itself won’t be delivered until late December, when all the pieces to the tower and each 120-foot-long blade will be delivered in sections.

“It’s a massive transportation logistics projects. They will probably come in through the port of Boston and be brought down by highway to Scituate,” said DPW Director Al Bangert.

The specifics of getting each blade and the gigantic tower structures will be a job in and of itself.

As such, Scituate Wind, LLC, a company created with Solaya Energy LLC and principals of Palmer Capital Corp. in 2009, will hire an outside company to figure out how to get the pieces over bridges, under telephone wires, and around the circuitous rotary.

Residents and officials alike have been looking forward to the day when the testing for the project begins, which will be a site to see in and of itself.

“They will do a test run before they bring the actual blades down,” Bangert said. “They bring down fake blades, that simulates it in size to see whatever potential barriers may be so when they bring the equipment through, [everything is figured out].”

By November, officials expect to know more about their plans, but in the meantime, excitement has been growing.

“It’s going to be quite large, some people will find it attractive, some will find it to be unattractive, but it will be a good benefit to the community, and it’s in an area that isn’t in a residential spot, so I think people are positive about it,” Bangert said. “I think the average Scituate resident is pleased to have this money-saving device in place.”

Town officials already chosen to have the turbine show “Scituate” on the generator that sits at the center of the turbine.

“Keep it simple. It’s so far in the sky, it’s hard to read anyway,” Bangert said.

After the two-month installation of the turbine, engineers will conduct two months of testing before it is up and running, which could be around April.

Town officials and residents are also looking forward to the installation of the solar array, which will go on the town’s capped landfill.

The project is waiting for National Grid to complete the permitting process and conduct appropriate studies. When that is complete, the town will have a firmer timeline for construction.

“It’s too early to anticipate [a time frame]. It could be operating as early as this spring,” Bangert said.

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