The Two Towers

Horizon Wind Energy’s plan for a Franklin wind farm advances with approval by the Planning Board and Town Board this June for the erection of a second meteorological tower.

The first is on the western slope of Northfield Mountain (at 2,100 feet) and can be seen from Russell Road. The second will be on the western slope of “Herklotz” Mountain (at 1,800 feet), which is east of Sherman Hill and north of Northfield Mountain. Both are near the crest of the mountain, at the upper edge of cleared fields.

Unlike the towers of Tolkien’s trilogy, these two will be identical. Guy wires support a triangular steel lattice mast 30 meter or 198 feet high. Near the top, orange spheres on the wires are for visibility from aircraft. The second tower will be sited approximately three miles north of the first. Multiple towers are typical on such projects and will provide more data for technical and financial analysis.

The size of this proposed wind farm has not been finalized. For the purpose of required technical studies, the maximum capacity has been set at 50 megawatts, although it could be much smaller. Such a wind farm would require at most thirty turbines. Most likely, a few hundred acres of land will be leased, although the working site for each turbine will be less than an acre.

Horizon Wind Energy LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of EDP Renovaveis S.A., which designs, develops, manages, and operates power plants running on renewable energy. In turn, EDPR is owned by Energias de Portugal S.A., which is a vertically integrated utility company and the third largest wind-energy generator in the United States.