To the Editor:
I am writing to praise to Richard Andre, the CEO of Vineyard Power, and his longtime associate Erik Pekar for their consistently relentless efforts to bring green energy to our Island. I also offer my praise for the grassroots efforts of my husband, Paul Pimentel, and Kate Warner, who were there at the very beginning, and for Susan Wasserman, David Damroth, Sue Hruby, Ted Bayne, Warren Doty, Ron Dagastino, and the other 1,400 Vineyard Power (VP) members. It’s a perfect example of how communities should work. Because of VP, 100 percent green energy is viable here on our Island. Martha’s Vineyard already has more than 100 solar arrays that produce 17 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy — almost 10 percent — and save Islanders $4 million annually. Bravo!
Because of Vineyard Power, our Island is moving closer to the goal of the Island Plan of 2008 to be fossil-fuel-independent by 2050 — a wonderful legacy to leave our grandchildren. It’s no accident that Islanders got to choose placement of the first utility-scale wind farm in the U.S. 14 miles south of the Island. And it’s no accident that clean energy jobs are coming to the Island in the form of the wind farm’s operations and maintenance facility, specialized training, and 40 good-paying permanent jobs, all funded by Vineyard Wind.
We can’t know for sure how these global things will turn out. but this shift to renewables is a great bet. While the fisherman have been part of the planning from the beginning, new concerns will arise that we can work out as we have. I’m convinced Vineyard Power and Vineyard Wind are doing everything possible to ensure that the wind farm will be environmentally and economically safe for our beautiful Island and for our ocean, fish, whales, turtles, and birds. I encourage you to become a stakeholder, join in, be heard, and help Vineyard Power prevent the annihilation of our little part of the planet.