Politicians aren’t just shooting the breeze about harnessing offshore winds to generate electricity.
A recent report by the city’s Clean Energy Task Force discussed the possibility of a wind farm, or several windmills that could provide an alternative source of power, Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said.
At the same time, House Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, at a recent “Energize Connecticut” public forum he helped organize in Ansonia, said wind and solar power, fuel cells and other renewable resources must increasingly play a part in meeting the state’s energy needs.
The problem is where to locate the windmills so they don’t detract from the scenic water views or endanger the shore birds that summer here, said Robert Gregory, the city’s economic development director.
“You’d also have to find a place where there would be a consistent enough breeze to generate power,” he said. “In the 1970s, another time when there was a lot of interest in alternative energy, I looked into putting a windmill in my yard.
“Maybe the technology is better now, but I was living at the highest point in Milford then, and I was told that the winds don’t blow hard enough here to make it feasible,” Gergory said.
“You’d need wide open spaces, and I can’t see us putting something like that down by the water,” he said. “There is also a problem between those things and birds. We could be chopping up ospreys, and nobody wants that.”
Richetelli said the city remains committed to reducing its dependency on fossil fuels, and that a partnership between the city and a private company might be the best way to develop wind power here.
“Something like what we were considering with fuel cells,” the mayor said. “The city could lease the land to a company that had the technology.”
Some industrial sites along the Housatonic River, near the city’s transfer station, might be suitable for windmills, he said.
By Frank Juliano
Frank Juliano, Milford bureau chief, can be reached at 878-2130.
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