PITTSFIELD – While town officials await word about whether they have been awarded grant money to help pay for a municipal wind power project, they are proceeding with planning board approval of the site and scope of the project.
Town Manager Kathryn Ruth said Friday the pool of funds in the grant applied for was small, but if the town’s application is rejected it will seek another grant to continue the project.
“We feel that this project is of significant value to the community and the region,” she said. “Therefore, we will seek other grant-funding opportunities.”
The Pittsfield Planning Board will act on a shore land zoning permit application for the wind turbine at 7 o’clock tonight.
Ruth said the project fulfills many needs for Pittsfield, including providing electricity for the town’s recycling center and transfer station, boosting the environment, and teaching local schoolchildren about energy alternatives.
“We feel that this is an exciting project that ties in well with environmental studies in the school system and will be of interest to the region,” Ruth said.
The grant is being sought through a Maine Public Utilities Commission community development project under the state’s Voluntary Renewable Resources Fund.
She described the turbine as a Bergey 10-kilowatt wind turbine – or similar model – with a grid tie inverter and tower to be located at the Pittsfield Recycling Center-Transfer Station. The wind turbine will be 100 feet tall and sit on a small concrete pad. It will have three cable guy wires, each anchored 125 feet from the base.
Ruth said the project could serve as an example. “It can be used to demonstrate to the public how electricity is generated from the power of the wind and creates a renewable resource that complements and aids the town’s recycling center,” she said. “The wind turbine will be seen by all users of the facility and by traffic on the main road, and will remind customers that the town is providing power which is free of pollution.
“Ever since this project has been discussed at meetings, the town has been receiving calls from citizens interested in obtaining more information, as they have expressed interest in looking into a wind turbine for their property,” Ruth said.