Tiverton considering wind power

July 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Town officials will consider ways to harvest the wind at a workshop tonight.

The Town Council will meet with town volunteers investigating the possibility of locating a wind farm on town land.

Garry Plunkett, the town’s representative to the East Bay Energy Consortium, asked the council for a meeting last May after telling the council EBEC had no active plans for developing wind power.

“The idea of a consortium offering wind energy probably won’t happen,” Plunkett told the council. “It is just too hard.”

So the town is considering going it alone, and it will get experts in to tell them what is involved.

Initial plans were drawn up to build a 25-megawatt wind farm on land that the town’s two water authorities own next to the industrial park.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes, electric companies say. New England’s peak electricity demand is 28,130 megawatts.

The site in Tiverton was selected in a study by Apex Wind Energy because the spot is surrounded by undeveloped land, is close to a main road, has consistent wind and is right next to a facility that will accept the power, consultants reported.

There is a gas-fired power plant in the town’s industrial park and a high voltage power line running from it. A wind farm could plug into that line to get power onto the grid, Plunkett said.

The council is set to meet tonight at 7 in Town Hall, 343 Highland Road, to speak with the Planning Board about how the town can prepare for a wind farm.

Also scheduled to speak to the council are representatives of North Tiverton Fire District and Stone Bridge Fire District, the town’s two water companies, to discuss their negotiations with developers of wind farms.

Representatives of Apex Clean Energy and People’s Power and Light will also lay out plans for the council.

EBEC was formed in 2009, joining eight East Bay towns to develop a wind farm. The site in Tiverton was determined to be the best.

But the logistics of getting eight towns to agree on anything and the failure of the General Assembly to pass enabling legislation in 2012 left the organization in limbo, Plunkett said.

The meeting will be the first step to determining if Tiverton is willing to attempt the project on its own, he said.

The meeting is open to the public.

Email Kevin P. O’Connor at koconnor@heraldnews.com.

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