The Town of Camden, through its recently formed Energy Committee, is investigating the idea of installing a wind-powered electricity generating turbine on public property on Ragged Mountain, above the Snow Bowl.
The Energy Committee was formed early in the year to explore energy conservation and alternative sources of power.
Currently, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Renewable Energy Research Laboratory is installing wind speed and direction testing equipment on an existing communications tower on Ragged Mountain in order to measure the wind and determine the potential for the site. This monitoring project is similar to the monitoring being conducted at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, also by RERL. Vinalhaven had a similar monitoring project for some time.
Town officials say this idea of installing a wind turbine is still very much in a preliminary stage, as it will take a year to collect the data to determine what potential the site might have.
Camden area residents will have the opportunity to attend a forum on community land-based wind, 7 p.m. Nov. 2, at the Camden Opera House. The presentation will also be broadcast on Channel 22.
Entitled “Wind Energy 101: an introduction to the costs and benefits of modern wind power,” this presentation will introduce residents to the costs and benefits of the utility-scale wind turbines now being considered by many New England towns.
The forum will feature Melissa Elkinton, a specialist in wind energy and engineer at the University of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Research Laboratory. RERL has been working with many of the communities around New England that are considering installing their own wind turbines.
Many towns across New England are investigating the potential of wind turbines to save taxpayer money, improve energy security, and protect the environment and public health of their residents. Because modern wind turbines are new to the region, any proposal is expected to raise some concerns within a community, town officials said.
This forum is designed to answer the most commonly asked questions about wind energy, and dispel some of the most common myths. Elkinton will cover economics, birds, sound and visual impacts, and environmental effects. And there will be time for an interactive question and answer period with the audience as well.
More information about community-scale wind power is available on the RERL website at http://www.ceere.org/rerl/about_wind/.
The forum is organized by the Camden Energy Committee. Committee members are Bennett Bricker, Rick Knowlton, Bill Hopwood, Joe Sawyer, Peter Kalajian, Leonard Lookner, Jeff Kuller, and Sid Lindsley.
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