Maine, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Members of the Fox Islands Electric Cooperative from the islands of Vinalhaven and North Haven, Maine, last week, voted 382-5 in favor of siting a wind-power project in their community. This vote included both the seasonal and year-round communities and gave the nod to what could be a nationally precedent-setting renewable energy project.
This project will be the largest wind-power development in the coastal zone of the northeastern U.S., and will produce a total output of between 3.5 and 5 megawatts of power. It will also enable these two communities to sell power in the winter when the offshore wind is strongest, and buy power in the summer when energy consumption is the highest. According to the cooperative the first benefit will flow directly to island residents, reducing their cost of buying power by between US $0.03-0.06 per kilowatt hour, and stabilizing the price of electricity for the next 20 years.
“Over the past five years, island ratepayers have seen significant increases in their electricity bills, even before the current energy crisis. Now we have a unique opportunity to stabilize and, ideally, lower our electricity rates while also producing our own renewable energy,” said Hannah Pingree, a Maine state legislator from the island of North Haven.