BRICK – The township has become the latest in Ocean County to investigate the use of wind turbines to produce energy.
The Township Council last week approved the construction of two wind-energy system demonstration units by Manasquan-based Turbine Advantage. A 600-watt wind turbine will be installed at 475 Normandy Drive in the Normandy Beach section of the township, while a four-kilowatt turbine is slated for 72 Beaton Road, just off Mantoloking Road and near the bridge connecting Brick and Mantoloking.
Unlike traditional wind turbines, which look like airplane propellers, these units will have blades resembling those of an eggbeater, officials said.
“There will be less noise, less visual effect,” Councilman Michael Thulen said Friday at the council meeting. “We’ll try it out and see what the neighbors feel.”
Council President Anthony Matthews said that if approved past the one-year demonstration period, the use of the turbines would be a continuance of Brick’s policy of becoming more environmentally friendly. Already, the council favors electronic communications over paper, and the township has solar panels erected not only on the town hall roof, but in the parking lot as well.
Turbine Advantage will build and operate the turbines at no cost to Brick.
The state Board of Public Utilities requires all electricity suppliers to provide a percentage of their electric portfolio to be produced from renewable resources. Currently set at 6.5 percent, the state goal is to have 20 percent of the electricity produced come from such renewable resources – whether by solar, wind, biomass (energy stored in green plants and other organic matter) or hydroelectric – by 2020.
In 2009, Ocean Gate was the first municipality in the state to have a wind turbine. But elsewhere in the county, private companies have been looking to implement such technology in order to save money on electrical power.
A 50-kilowatt wind turbine has been proposed at a Route 9 motor inn in Waretown, as well as a 10-kilowatt unit on a farm, also in Waretown. In December, two 40-kilowatt wind turbines were placed on private farms in Lacey. Spyro Martin, one of those farms’ owners, said it cost $160,000 and it would be cheaper than a similar solar-power system.
The Walters Group, developers of the Stafford Business Park, a mixed-use community of apartments and businesses, is not only using wind, but also solar and geothermal processes to heat, cool and provide power to the park.
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