News Feature

The Peninsula

Peninsula Power: Defining the goals, dispelling the rumors
Part 2 of 3

Wind Energy Archive
Click here to see the full Wind Energy Archive.

by PAUL TROWBRIDGE, CHAIRMAN, PENINSULA POWER

In this part of a three-part guest column, Trowbridge writes about “Fact Check: Opposition and Misinformation.”

Myth: Peninsula Power represents a big corporation like First Wind or Trans Canada.

Fact: Peninsula Power is a volunteer community-based organization within the nonprofit Island Institute. No member of Peninsula Power has any monetary benefit or tie to Peninsula Power or a community-owned wind project. Instead, members of this group are volunteering their time to promote the overall wealth of the community. If any form of community- owned wind project were to be built, all monetary benefits would go back to the towns, or individual citizens, in the form of reduced rates. A wind power project, for example, could offset all of the electricity needs for the local town’s buildings and schools.

Myth: A letter to the editor in The Weekly Packet cited that Peninsula Power has specific plans that will put up a structure that would be over 700 feet tall, suggesting perhaps the tallest wind tower in the world.

Fact: The assumption, which was not explained in the letter, presumably meant that an industrial-sized wind turbine of 400 feet in height would be placed on a hill 300 or more feet tall. We apologize for the misunderstanding of the writer. In fact there is no such wind turbine that is 700 feet tall. The tallest wind turbine to this date is only 413 feet and has a rated capacity of +7MW, which is many times larger than anything we would look at.

Myth: Neighbors did not receive notice in a timely way of plans to put up wind towers and that these plans were being rammed down their throats.

Fact: Wind towers are not in the plan unless the community itself decides to put it in the plan. Peninsula Power volunteers apologized for the delay in notice about the proposed study, but a letter to the nearest neighbors of the site was written and sent especially to invite them to express their concerns and opinions. Community input is vital to this potential community project. Information about the proposed site has been printed in The Weekly Packet, and Peninsula Power has been making an effort to make all its discussion and action as public as possible.

Important points: 1) the group is interested in a feasibility study that would look into all concerns, and; 2) the decision-making power about this study will be held by the community at large.

Myth: Peninsula Power will ram a wind power project down the throat of those that don’t want it.

Fact: Peninsula Power has no interest in or ability to force any wind project down anyone’s throat. Quite the contrary, it recognizes that the community must see, understand and desire the benefits of a project before it should ever be attempted.

Myth: There is only one size of wind generator, the industrial size, which is 400 feet to the top of the blade.

Fact: Wind generators come in many sizes and sound ratings from 5 kilowatts per hour to a few megawatts per hour ratings. A study would look into which size might work for the specific location.

Myth: No one wants this study of a possible wind power project in Sedgwick except the Peninsula Power volunteers.

Fact: Peninsula Power conducted a survey to find out what the public thought about conducting a preliminary feasibility study on wind power in Sedgwick. The survey was conducted at TradeWinds, the Blue Hill Transfer Station, and at farmers’ markets. Over 90 percent of the 500 respondents supported or strongly supported the idea of doing a wind study.

Paul Trowbridge is the chairman of the Peninsula Power group. He can be reached at 359-5562 or trowbridge.paul@gmail.com.

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