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PROVINCETOWN – The Cape Cod National Seashore in exploring the feasibility of installing a 75-foot wind turbine near the bathhouse at Herring Cove.
Seashore superintendent George Price met with selectmen Thursday to discuss a number of upcoming projects scheduled for the Provincetown portion of the park, including road maintenance, bike path repair and a reconstruction of the Herring Cove bathhouse, which will be completely rebuilt. As part of the renovation of the Herring Cove facilities, Seashore officials are considering installing both a wind turbine and solar panels that would provide power to the shower and lavatory building, snack shop and entrance booth at Herring Cove beach.
“I’d like to see a small wind turbine and solar panels to update the electricity facility there,” he told selectmen.
Ben Pearson, the CCNS chief of maintenance, said it would cost approximately $200,000 to replace the existing power lines servicing the beach area, versus approximately $100,000 to install the turbine and put solar panels on the roof of the bathhouse. The design for the alternative energy sources has been approved and funding reserved, Price said, leaving compliance with various environmental agencies as the last step.
“There may be migratory birds in the area so we need to study that. [Turbines] got a tremendously bad rap because of the initial designs. The ones you see today are totally different. They don’t attract birds,” he said.
“I like both [wind and solar energy sources] because it could be an educational thing plus replacing the power out there with alternative energy,” Pearson said.
Selectmen were supportive of the idea of using “green” energy sources at Herring Cove. In addition, Michael Leger, chair of the Provincetown Recycling and Renewable Energy Committee, said the CCNS installing a turbine could “grease the skids” to Provincetown doing the same.
“If they do it,” he said, referring to the Seashore, “they shouldn’t have any problem with us doing it.”
Seashore officials have expressed concerns in the past about Outer Cape towns installing wind turbines for municipal use on or near Seashore property, worried that the tall windmills would interview with the “view sheds,” or sight corridors in the park.
By Pru Sowers
15 December 2007
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