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Groton Wind And State Reach Agreement On Turbine Fire Safety

Sam Evans-Brown

A 24 turbine wind-farm in Groton has reached a settlement with the state Fire Marshal in a dispute over fire codes.

The office of the fire marshal says once the snow has melted and the ground is dry, Iberdrola has agreed it will shut down any wind turbines that don’t have fire suppression already installed. If the Spanish wind-farm developer doesn’t want to shut it’s windmills down, it has the option of paying to set up a 24/7 fire watch on each unprotected turbine.

Emails released to Site Evaluation Committee – the body that okays energy projects in New Hampshire – show that the state and the company have been at odds over what fire-safety equipment to install in the Groton wind farm as far back as 2011. But correspondence from last fall, reveal that Iberdrola had found a fire-fighting technology used in computer servers, which could be installed in the turbines.

The agreement says that the turbines have to be up to fire code by June 23rd of this year, or an injunction would be sought through the State Supreme Court.

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