HARTSVILLE – Whether Airtricity’s wind data is showing positive or negative results will remain company information only – it’s not being made public.
That’s what Airtricity Project Manager Bob Sherwin said today. He said Airtricity does not make the data public, because it costs a lot of money to gather and is part of the competitive process.
“That’s part of our competitive advantage,” he said.
Several meteorological masts were installed to gather information on the wind resources in the Hartsville and Hornellsville area from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2006.
According to Airtricity’s Web site, a meteorological mast provides accurate records of local wind resources, and a minimum of one year of wind data is required before banks feel safe enough to finance the loans to support a wind project.
Sherwin said Airtricity likes to collect data for several years.
“We don’t draw conclusions after just one year,” he said, adding there could be an anomalous year. “The more data we have, the more certain we are.”
Steve Dombert, candidate for town supervisor in Hartsville and vocal windfarm opponent, said the fact Airtricity does not make their data public suggests the company doesn’t want to share it because it isn’t good.
“The data is really the measurement as to whether the project is worthwhile or not,” he said.
Dombert said he has heard the wind data could be yielding disappointing results. He also said there seems to be little activity taking place in regard to the project itself.
“I look at what they’re doing, not what they’re saying,” he said.
Dombert said the meteorological towers, which were placed on Call Hill, are 6 miles from the power grid. He said wind farms are usually placed only 3 miles from power grids.
“There are a lot of things about this project that are not ideal,” he said. “My feeling is that the whole thing has been put on hold for some reason.
By Jen Carpenter
29 August 2007
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