Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full page Access apps. Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess Sign up or Login Researchers who worked near the 400-foot high wind turbines on peaks above the proposed Balsams ski area say there is reason to be worried about people getting too close: They saw chunks of ice being thrown and found ice craters and broken saplings 930 feet from a turbine. Their information highlights one of the smaller, unresolved issues as developer Les Otten tries to reopen the resort, a move seen as providing a huge economic boost to the North Country: how close should skiers get to those wind turbines? In 2009 when the wind turbines were approved by the state’s Site Evaluation Committee, operating them was contingent on a safety condition: people were to be discouraged from getting within 1,300 feet. Concerns included a mechanical failure that could send pieces of metal flying or under some conditions in winter, the huge blades collecting and then shedding ice. Both are rare, but they could be deadly, experts say. But Otten wants to provide the best skiing in New England and that means having the longest runs possible. So, his plan calls for trails or lifts within 1,300 feet of six of the turbines. Otten’s position is that there is no danger because when the weather indicates that ice could form on the blades, the wind turbines would be shut down. “The well-being of our resort guests will always be our highest priority. On the rare instances when turbine icing may occur, we will work cooperatively with Granite Reliable Power to ensure safety,” Balsams’ spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said.
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