Maine Coast Guard Powers Up With Wind

In Maine the U.S. Coast Guard marked the start of a year-long effort to green its operations with a “wind turbine raising” ceremony in Southwest Harbor. The turbine–one of  several methods the Coast Guard has pursued to harness the power of Maine’s sunlight, wind, tides, and bio-fuel resources–will provide power for Coast Guard housing in the area.

With multiple projects involving solar panels and pellet boilers already complete–as well as the recent, first-ever successful implementation of tidal energy at a federal facility in Eastport, Maine in conjunction with Ocean Renewable Power Company–the Coast Guard Harbor is now ready to add wind into their renewable energy mix. On August 27th they raised the 70-foot tower and 2.4-kilowatt “Skystream” wind turbine system, positioned to take advantage of the prevailing winds that carve through the housing site.

U.S. Coast Guard

image via U.S. Coast Guard

The goal of the turbine is to provide electrical power to homes where Coast Guard crew members and their families live–in particular, the duplex housing building directly adjacent to it. The turbine begins producing power with an 8 MPH wind speed, and the Coast Guard is hopeful that the electricity generated will cover a large percentage of the building’s needs, especially during the windy winter months, helping the Guard  to realize its goal of net zero energy for all homes in the Southwest Harbor Housing.

“Anyone who lives and works in Maine’s coastal environment sees the potential power of the wind, the water, and even the sun”, said Capt. James B. McPherson, commander of Coast Guard forces in Maine, in a statement.  “Our forestry industry also gives us a great alternative to heating oil in the form of non-toxic, clean-burning wood pellets.  Our goal is to put those clean resources to work for us, saving money and the environment at the same time.”

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.