The largest community-owned wind facility on the East Coast and the largest off-shore wind farm in New England is now open for business.
This press release says the Fox Islands Wind Project in Maine features three large-scale wind turbines that will generate 4.5 megawatts of electricity for the islands of Vinalhaven and North Haven, providing cheap, clean energy to the islands’ residents, who currently pay twice the national average for their power, for decades to come:
Governor [John] Baldacci and Maine House Speaker Hannah Pingree joined leaders of the Fox Islands project to dedicate the wind energy project, a model for communities up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
“The Fox Islands community wind project demonstrates that a local community can harness the power of a local, renewable resource and become an example to the rest of the State and the nation,” said Gov. Baldacci. “This new wind installation puts Maine at the cutting edge of renewable energy development, and proves that coastal wind is a viable, low-cost energy source.”
The turbines’ dedication is the result of strong support from the entire Fox Islands community since the project’s inception. In a nearly unanimous vote in July 2008, island residents ushered in a new era of renewable power in Maine by approving the project, and the arrival of the turbines earlier this summer was hailed by local residents. Several other island and coastal communities are now looking at community wind power as a viable alternative to traditional energy sources.
The GE Power & Water-supplied turbines can generate about 11,600 megawatt hours of electricity per year and reduce carbon emissions by a total of 5,400 tons.
Several New England-based companies and organizations, including the Island Institute, Cianbro Corporation, EOS Ventures, Diversified Communications and Fox Islands Electric Cooperative, collaborated on the effort.
More information is available here.
And more cool pictures of the project are available here.