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How many turbines?  

Credit:  Falmouth Enterprise, 18 October 2011 ~~

The governor wants to install 2,000 megawatts of wind power in the state by the year 2020. Some of that will be installed offshore, let’s say 1,500 megawatts (about three more Cape Winds.). That leaves 500 megawatts to install on land. Presently, there are about 40 megawatts installed in the state. About five of those are installed in Falmouth.

Falmouth represents .68 percent of the total land area in the state.

If we split the 500 megawatts evenly across the entire state, Falmouth will need to supply about 3.4 megawatts of that total. So presently we are at about 147 percent.

But, of course, most of the land in the state is unsuitable for wind turbine development. Not enough wind. How much land is usable?

Let’s assume 10 percent, and let’s also assume that Falmouth is in that 10 percent. With this assumption, Falmouth will have to support an additional 29 megawatts of installed wind power. That’s 18 additional turbines of the size of the ones presently installed at the wastewater treatment plant. We could go with smaller turbines, say, 600 kilowatts. (600 kilowatts is about the size of the turbine at the Mass Maritime Academy.) We would then need to install about 48 of this size. That’s about one per square mile.

Or we could go even smaller, with 100 kilowatt turbines. (This is the size of the one installed at Woods Hole Research Center on Woods Hole Road.) We need to install about 290 of this size to meet the goal of our governor.

Robert S. Laird
Blacksmith Shop Road
West Falmouth

Source:  Falmouth Enterprise, 18 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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