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Bucksport councilors to consider wind power option for industrial park

BUCKSPORT - Councilors this week will consider whether to investigate the potential for wind power on town-owned property near the industrial park off Route 46 that could reduce energy costs for businesses in the park and, potentially, for the town's schools.

Town Manager Roger Raymond will ask councilors at their Thursday meeting to authorize him to obtain proposals from consultants to study the feasibility of developing wind power for the industrial park. Raymond said Monday that the town owns property in that area that could be used if it proves to be a viable site.

"One of the disadvantages we have in attracting new businesses is the high price of energy," Raymond said. "This seems like a good opportunity, if it is feasible, to help offset costs for the occupants of the park."

Cheaper power also could be a draw for business owners who consider locating in Bucksport, he said.

Wind power also could provide a way for the town to manage some of its energy costs by creating power for the town's schools.

"If it's feasible for the industrial park, it might be feasible to do it for the schools," he said.

Both the industrial park and the town's school complex are located in the vicinity of Central Maine Power's transmission lines and that proximity to transmission lines is a key factor in determining the feasibility of a wind power project at the site, he said.

"We wouldn't plan to store the energy," Raymond said. "We would be creating it and feeding it to... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Town Manager Roger Raymond will ask councilors at their Thursday meeting to authorize him to obtain proposals from consultants to study the feasibility of developing wind power for the industrial park. Raymond said Monday that the town owns property in that area that could be used if it proves to be a viable site.

"One of the disadvantages we have in attracting new businesses is the high price of energy," Raymond said. "This seems like a good opportunity, if it is feasible, to help offset costs for the occupants of the park."

Cheaper power also could be a draw for business owners who consider locating in Bucksport, he said.

Wind power also could provide a way for the town to manage some of its energy costs by creating power for the town's schools.

"If it's feasible for the industrial park, it might be feasible to do it for the schools," he said.

Both the industrial park and the town's school complex are located in the vicinity of Central Maine Power's transmission lines and that proximity to transmission lines is a key factor in determining the feasibility of a wind power project at the site, he said.

"We wouldn't plan to store the energy," Raymond said. "We would be creating it and feeding it to the transmission lines. The key to producing electricity is how to transport it to where it needs to go. Being close to the transmission lines is definitely an advantage for us."

The power lines run near a ridge in town that Raymond described as the "windiest spot in town."

"The wind comes right off the bay and up on that ridge," he said. "If there's any wind, it's there on that ridge."

If the council approves, the town's first foray into alternative energy would focus initially on the industrial park.

The town's economic development plan calls for the town to investigate alternative energy production and the town has investigated other energy possibilities including steam and natural gas. Because the project could boost local development, the town can draw on tax increment financing funds to cover the cost of studying the wind power project, Raymond said. TIF funds can only be used for economic development projects.

Raymond said he has no estimates yet on how much it would cost to develop a wind project nor how long it would take if the council authorizes the study.


Source: http://www.bangornews.com/n...

JUN 28 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3252-bucksport-councilors-to-consider-wind-power-option-for-industrial-park
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