O. Henry stories are famous for their endings with surprise plot twists.
Here’s an incident that happened at Jiminy Peak Resort in western Massachusetts that would have made O. Henry proud (he died in 1910).
In August, Jiminy Peak owner Brian Fairbank had a wind turbine (wind mill) installed near the top of the mountain. http://green.jiminypeak.com/page.php?PageID=295
It’s quite a sight to see (the three 123 foot long blades sit atop a 253 foot tall tower), although it was placed in an area near the peak selected to have as little visual impact as possible.
The installed turbine cost $3.9 million and Fairbank went through a mountain of red tape to get the thing permitted, ordered (General Electric does not usually accept orders for just one of these babies, they prefer to deal in volume) and installed.
So Jiminy Peak now has this wind mill on site, which in the winter provides 33 to 50 percent of the resort’s electricity needs. At night when the wind is blowing hard and the need for power is low, Jiminy Peak sells extra juice back to the electric company.
With plenty of power, and plenty of powder, Jiminy Peak was ready to ring in the kind of New Year that East Coast resorts have been dreaming about for several years.
Here’s the email than went out yesterday. . .
Greetings skiers- well, who would have thought. Fabulous new, fresh snow (8 inches!) but no power.
The email explained that due to trees taking down power lines in Lanesborough/New Ashford, Jiminy had to delay its opening until noon.
Jiminy Peak reduced the price of their lift tickets to $35 to make up for the delay.
So, why would this new, energy providing machine be halted by wires going down in neighboring towns?
Now Mr. O. Henry . . .
The wind turbine needs power from the local electric company to control its spin.
By Martin Griff
1 January 2008
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