News Feature

The Peninsula
Web exclusive, May 6, 2010
Peninsula Power does its ‘homework’ on wind turbines

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by Jonathan Thomas

The Peninsula Power group continues to make plans to bring community-based wind power to the area. Members of the group visited the site of the anemometer test tower on the top of Caterpillar Hill in Sedgwick on Thursday, April 8. That evening at the Blue Hill Town Hall the group heard a presentation from SunWind, LLC, a company based in Brewster, Mass., that sells and installs medium-size wind turbines.

The papers have been signed for technicians from the University of Maine to install a test tower on property owned by Gordon Gianninoto, but the date of installation is not yet known. The tower will record wind speed and direction for one year to help determine the economic feasibility of installing one or more turbines on Caterpillar Hill.

Gianninoto and Janet Stanley welcomed the small group to the proposed test site on the hilltop, which is adjacent to their residence. Accompanying them was Timothy Holmes, representing SunWind.

Peninsula Power group leader Paul Trowbridge and Gianninoto showed features of the 435’ high site to Holmes, and Gianninoto described high wind events he has experienced while living there for the past several years.

That evening in Blue Hill, before a larger group of about 15 people, Holmes gave a slide presentation showing several models of wind turbines in the 100-kilowatt to 750-kilowatt size range from different manufacturers.

While responding to questions about turbine noise, Holmes passed around a sound-measuring meter with a display window that showed actual decibel readings in the room as people were talking. He also discussed prices and return-on-investment calculations for various wind-turbine models.

Some committee members asked about visiting sites in nearby states where such turbines are in operation where they could see and hear them up close.

There was another meeting of Peninsula Power on April 22. The next two meetings will be on Thursday, May 13 and May 27 at 7 p.m. in the Blue Hill Town Hall.