BUCKSPORT, Maine – The town’s energy committee wants a little more time and information before it makes any recommendations to the Town Council about how to proceed with plans for municipal wind power.
The committee has been studying two proposals for wind turbines in town and had been scheduled to make a recommendation to the council last week.
“The committee didn’t want to make any decisions until they went to see the two facilities in Saco,” Town Manager Roger Raymond said Tuesday.
The two wind turbines in Saco are similar to the two the committee has been researching for the town, Raymond said.
The town has received proposals for erecting a municipal wind turbine on town land. Raymond previously has said the town could opt for one or both of the proposals.
One plan calls for a 33-foot wind generator that could be installed at a town facility such as the solid waste treatment plant, the town garage or the transfer station, and produce power to offset the costs of operating those sites.
The second proposal is for a 120-foot wind generator capable of producing three-phase power and between 78,000 and 100,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Potential sites include town-owned land near the middle school and the industrial park.
Raymond said the committee members also wanted to gather more information on the power demands for the community before moving ahead with one or both of the options.
The wind power project is part of a wider exploration by the town as it looks for ways to reduce municipal energy costs through alternative energy sources, including natural gas, purchasing electricity from the Verso Paper Co. mill, and tidal energy.
The energy committee has no target date for making a decision, but Raymond has said the smaller wind unit could be brought on line fairly quickly.
By Rich Hewitt
14 May 2008
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