Tuesday, January 27, 2009

FROM LIGHT POLES TO WIND MILLS?

Boston Globe - Kellogg Warner said he spends a lot of time these days riding his bike around, counting light poles. He counts the poles in parking lots at shopping centers, office parks, schools, and anywhere else there is space and wind. There are more than 60 light poles on the Nahant Causeway, he said, and more than 100 at the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers.

In Warner's vision, all of the poles have turbines on top, spinning in the wind, generating energy and blending into the landscape. "The big question to me is always, 'How many of these can you put up and where can you put them up?' " Warner said. "How big can you make the market?"

Warner is the CEO and founder of Marblehead-based Deerpath Energy, which has proposed putting turbines - featuring three blades with a 16-foot diameter - atop the light poles of the Nahant Causeway. As the turbines spin, they generate energy back to grid. . .

According to Warner, each turbine provides enough energy to power a small home. The energy from several could supplement community or commercial energy needs.

The decision on whether the turbines will go up on the Causeway rests with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, which manages the land. Although installation is relatively simple, Warner said, the turbines require new foundations and poles.

Deerpath's proposal has gained support from Nahant's Board of Selectmen and Alternative Energy Committee. . .

Jen DeGregorio, Times-Picayune - A field of modern windmills is slated for the east bank of the Mississippi River, their thin, white blades designed to generate electricity for a planned waterfront park. Six are planned for the first phase of the city-led riverfront redevelopment that is supposed to begin sometime this year. . .

They may sound exotic, but the windmills are actually relatively inexpensive, "off-the-shelf" devices that are easy to tie in to local power grids, according to Hutchison. The design team has considered three different models from Quiet Revolution, Bluenergy and GE Power.

Indeed, wind power has become as common as a lamp post in some parts of the country: Rock Port, Mo., recently became the first town in the nation to become fully powered by wind energy. .