Wind Power For Peaks Island?

By Carol McCracken

A group of forward-thinking Peaks Island residents is exploring the feasibility of bringing wind power to the Island sometime in the future. To that end, Peaks Environmental Action Team (PEAT) is preparing a report to be presented to the Peaks Island Council on February 11th, said Sam Saltonstall, a member of the group. PEAT is made-up of residents of Peaks Island.

George Baker, economics professor at the Harvard Business School and wind energy consultant for the Island Institute, Rockland, described the process of the development of a wind turbine project happening on Vinalhaven. Known as the Fox Island Wind Turbine Project, it will be located on a 75-acre hilltop on Vinalhaven. But, Peaks Island could face challenges that Vinalhaven did not; such as inadequate wind and lack of funding. However, PEAT members decided to go ahead and explore the possibility more fully.

Peaks Island has long been interested in environmentally friendly projects – dating back to the 80s when the Star Foundation did some preliminary research – all of which has been lost. More recently, however, the Island has focused on weatherization of homes and other energy saving methods because of the escalating price of heating oil.

“We don’t know whether the Island will accept wind power. We’ll just have to see,” said Saltonstall in a telephone conversation.