The Mount Airy Parks and Recreation Board got its first look at a concept plan for a proposed wind farm and environmental campus at an 88-acre property the town has owned for two decades.
At a joint meeting with the Beautification Commission Tuesday evening, Tom Williams of Freedom Energy Solutions presented two options for wind turbines at Windy Ridge Park.
“What we’re [showing] you is something that has never been done before, as far as a community,” Williams said.
Williams’ Westminster-based company sells alternative energy devices.
He said the town could purchase 20 wind turbines that would generate enough energy to power the town’s operations. The turbines would cost $600,000 each, and it would take less than 10 years for the system to pay for itself, he said.
Another option, Williams said, is for 20 larger wind turbines that could power the entire Mount Airy ZIP code, which would cost a total of $137 million initially but would allow the town to sell and negotiate electricity prices.
The project would require a feasibility study to measure wind speeds, which would take six months to a year, as well as an economic impact study to determine how a wind farm would affect the community, Williams said.
Rebecca Rush, an accountant and co-founder of United for a Sustainable Maryland, discussed some possible funding sources for the project, including state and federal grants and loans, grants from private foundations and bonds.
She said many people are eager to become involved in alternative energy because of the economic benefits.
“The economic driver for all of this would be the wind turbines,” Rush said.
By Karen Karaszkiewicz, Times Staff Writer
23 January 2008
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