Ever wondered why industrial wind power is running into so much heavy turbulence in Vermont? Anyone who's never gotten a close look at just how large those turbines are may want to head into downtown Burlington tomorrow morning starting at 3 a.m. That's when the first wave of turbine blades bound for Georgia Mountain, the 10-megawatt wind project in Milton and Georgia, roll out of the Burlington railyard, up Battery Street then attempt to make the right turn up Main Street.
"Attempt" is the operative word. According to Burlington Public Works Director Steve Goodkind, who was in the train yard Tuesday morning, it remains to be seen whether each of the 163-foot blades (not including the size of the extended cab truck and rear trailer) will be able to corner the turn without taking out trees, poles and other roadside hazards. "Three trees, two trees, one tree — we're not really sure how many will have to go."
One thing is clear: Goodkind is confident the job will get done, but it won't be a breeze. In all, 12 blades — three per day — are scheduled to make the journey starting early Wednesday morning. And for those disinclined to lose sleep in order to spot them, the turbine blades are visible in the railyard now, though for safety and liability reasons, railroad officials ask gawkers not to trespass on railroad property, as I did.