“PILP” Votes To Uphold Easement As Is On Peaks – Spells Problems For Proponents Of Wind Tests

By Carol McCracken

The first matter on the agenda of the Peaks Island Land Preserve was to address an easement that could decide the fate of the Peaks Energy Action Team’s efforts to place an anemometer atop a World War II observation tower on the Island. The meeting took place last night at 7:00 p.m. on the Island at the Gorman Center.

The easement in question does not allow “windmills” or any additional structure on the property (95 acres) for more than 90 days. An anemometer needs to stay in one place for between one to two years in order to get adequate wind information needed to determine if a wind turbine is justified. Brenda Buchanan who is the attorney for PILP wrote the easement.

By a unanimous vote (6 to 0) PILP voted to tell the Peaks Island Council that the easement precludes them from assisting PEAT in any way and that PEAT must look for an alternative site. There had been some discussion that perhaps PILP would consider changing some of the language in their easement to allow the wind testing to go forward on the WW II tower. Chair Garry Fox whose comments were direct said perhaps PEAT could work out a deal with another island like House Island or Cushing Island. Or even the transfer station. “PEAT’s enthusiasm got out in front of their good sense,” he said.

Another PILP member said that PILP has the legal responsibility to enforce those easements. Not to do so would set a bad precedent for the future.

The transfer station has never been considered by PEAT because it is on low ground and there is also a landfill behind it. The landfill is “capped” and it can’t be penetrated which would be necessary for placement of the wind measuring instruments.

Peaks Island Council meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the MacVane Community Center on the Island.