Wind project to launch test balloons this weekend
The Broad Mountain Wind Project will elevate four balloons within the footprint of the proposed 21-turbine wind farm in Packer Township to serve as a representative example and provide additional data for site analyses to be submitted as part of the ongoing zoning hearing process.
The balloons are set to be elevated shortly after sunrise on Saturday, weather permitting.
The six-person team will monitor height and capture photos from communities to the north and south of the project site for about two hours until 8 a.m., after which the balloons are winched in and deflated before morning winds or other unsafe conditions prevail.
If there is fog, the start of the test time will be extended until most of it burns off, and then the ascent will begin accordingly, lasting approximate two hours for the photos.
Broad Mountain is a windy environment, thus the proposal to build a wind farm there. The air must be calm and still for the balloon test to function safely and properly. If the test cannot be performed Saturday morning, efforts will be made again during that same evening, beginning around 5 p.m., assuming weather cooperates and there are no lightening or evening thunderstorms.
If the test cannot be performed Saturday, efforts will be made again during the same times on Sunday and Monday. If weather prevents all of the tests, new dates will be proposed
The balloons, about 12 feet in diameter, will be tied to a cable and rise to the height of the proposed 656-foot (200-meter) tall turbines when the blade tip is at its apex. A smaller balloon on the same cable will mark the 418-foot (127.5-meter) height of the hub, which sits atop the turbine tower and holds the rotor and blade assemblies.
The four balloons will be spread across different parts of the wind farm, with one each on the far eastern and western ends and two others in between along the ridge. The tests are being conducted by Digital Design & Imaging Service Inc. More information about the company and its operations is available at www.AirPhotosLIVE.com.
Broad Mountain Wind will provide alerts about the balloon test for residents through several different channels. Among them:
• Information will be posted on the website at www.broadmountainwindproject.com.
• Individuals also can email email@example.com to request updates.
• Updates will be provided on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BroadMountainWind.
Broad Mountain Wind has a field office in Weatherly Plaza at 202 Carbon Street in Weatherly. More information is available toll-free at 1-866-591-5005.