The first stage of wind power feasibility studies at Northern Pines Farm in Tisbury and Allen Farm in Chilmark are complete. Nelson Mechanical Design erected 165-foot meteorological (MET) towers at each site in December 2009. The engineering firm has now logged four months of wind data.
Results from the first stage of the studies show very promising wind resources at both farms, according to Bryan Nelson. He described the data collected recently as demonstrating “a sufficient resource that proceeding to the second stage of the studies is warranted.”
This year, NMD will coordinate the study of the aviation issues (FAA permitting), noise and shadow flicker, local and regional permitting (farm structure permitting and MVC approval), electrical interconnection, and economic factors. A final feasibility study report for each farm will result.
The engineering firm received a $40,000 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative for the Northern Pines Farm study and a $50,000 grant for the Allen Farm. Nelson Mechanical Design also received a matching grant of $10,000 from the USDA REAP program for the Allen Farm study.
Wind feasibility studies help determine the technical, permitting, and environmental hurdles to installing a wind turbine at each site. Each farm is investigating wind turbines up to 900 kW in size.