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Acushnet considers wind turbines  

Loranger Power Co. has interested selectmen in the idea of capturing the wind as a way to generate revenue for the community and defray monthly electricity costs.

Will Acushnet go green in energy circles?

Christain Loranger said the Acushnet Valley Golf Course off Main Street – or the area adjacent to it – might prove suitable for a data recovery turbine and perhaps, in time, for three or four wind turbines measuring 200 feet tall.

The par-72 layout has for years been described as especially scenic by visiting golfers. Soon there may be a new attraction across the landscape. And the idea of turbines might capture the community’s imagination.

Selectmen Chairman Robert F. Brown said the golf course area, aesthetics aside, is “suitably windy;” especially in the back sections toward “the links” and near White’s dairy farm.

Mr. Loranger said a feasibility study could be entirely funded by an outside firm before Acushnet might take over any turbine operations.

“The firm would do the study and the build-out with no expense to the town,” he said. “Eastern Massachusetts has the third-highest electric costs after Long Island and Hawaii. The profit factor would ultimately depend on the power lines in the (electric) grid, any need for a substation and attracting a firm to come in and assume start-up costs.”

Wind turbines are becoming increasingly popular. Massachusetts Maritime Academy last October constructed a device next to its baseball field on Taylors Point. The Barnstable Department of Public Works is considering a structure to help pay that division’s electricity costs. And Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School is reviewing a turbine idea for similar reasons.

Mr. Loranger was invited to share his turbine expertise by Selectman David E. Wojnar. Mr. Wojnar said he set to thinking what might be accomplished here after learning of Mr. Loranger’s work in New Hampshire where his firm put up the first turbine in that state.

Mr. Brown said the alternative energy idea has merit. He said it should be referred to the Golf Course Committee, master planner Henry Young and golfing layout abutters for review. He said a public hearing should also be convened to tap citizen input.

Mr. Loranger said three or four towers would rise to about 200 feet each. This, he said, would likely make Acushnet turbines economically viable. He said turbines are not noisy and that complaints about the not-so-new technology interrupting bird-migration patterns vary as to which study is consulted.

By Paul Gately
Standard-Times correspondent

southcoasttoday.com

19 March 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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