Monhegan Island Prepares for Wind Farm
November 4, 2010
Bangor Daily News: It will be 2 years before a deepwater offshore wind turbine appears near the remote midcoast island of Monhegan, but already researchers and island residents are getting ready for the changes it might bring.
Environmental scientists have set up bird radar arrays on Monhegan, deployed underwater microphones and cameras around the island, and begun analyzing data collected during earlier environmental studies. At the University of Maine in Orono, small-scale wind turbines less than 10 feet tall are being tested so that mid-scale prototypes can be developed for research off the island’s southern shore.
Meanwhile, island residents are anticipating what kind of effect offshore wind power development could have on the island’s economy — be it on the island’s status as a tourist destination, its fishing community or its precarious electrical system.
“We’ve spent 2 years with a rather vigorous debate out here,” island resident Douglas Boynton said recently. “We’re willing to put up with [offshore wind power development] within limits.”
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