The 120-foot-tall wind turbine behind Nantucket High School was installed more than a month ago, but catching it in action has been a rare sight for island residents.
While the final sign-off from the project engineers took longer than expected, however, the infrequent operation of the turbine is actually attributable to a political calculation, rather than some technical difficulty.
In the face of sharp criticism from neighbors of the high school and a few vocal parents of students who are worried about noise and safety, superintendent Michael Cozort has decided upon a reduced operating schedule for the turbine, at least for the time being.
Cozort said this week the school will operate the windmill from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. until the end of the fall sports season, after which he hopes it will run around the clock over the winter.
“I understand some people are concerned with noise, some people are concerned with ice-slinging and student safety,” Cozort said. “The thinking being ‘let’s not have it on while kids are playing.’ Not that I necessarily agree with that thinking, but if I can take that fear away from some people, then I can live with that. We’re almost away from fall sports now. When fall sports become winter sports and students aren’t outside and not outside for PE, we will run it 24/7.”
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