2010-04-01 / News

Island may get stimulus funding for wind farm

Project will need Town Council ok

Federal officials announced earlier this week that Jamestown was under consideration for a new stimulus grant to build a largescale farm of wind turbines.

Fred. B. Urokrat of the Department of Small Island Development, said Tuesday that $65 million was earmarked to establish a “landscape of electricitygenerating wind turbines.”

“Jamestown is a front-runner for this project because the place has some of the best wind on the East Coast,” Urokrat said. “We hope to meet with town officials in the near future to roll out the program. This will be a big plus for the local economy and should create a number of steady jobs.”

Urokrat said that if approved, Jamestown homeowners would receive an annual stipend to permit the large wind turbines to be constructed on their properties. “There will be some homes where we should be able to site more than one turbine,” he said.

“We are hoping that we can place 15 or 20 turbines on each of the agricultural farms in Jamestown. We are also planning to place wind turbines at Beavertail, Ft. Wetherill and Ft. Getty,” he said.

“We’d also like to place one wind turbine next to the old grain windmill on North Main Road,” he added. “What a contrast of the old and new!”

Urokrat said the project calls for nearly 135 wind turbines to be constructed on Conanicut Island. Most of the wind turbines will generate 1 to 1.5 megawatts of electricity. “This should be enough to meet the needs of the entire state.”

Besides employing local contractors to build the wind turbines, Urokrat said islanders would also be hired to maintain the giant machines. “It will take several weeks of specialized training, but this is something most people should be able to do in their spare time.”

“These machines are pretty high tech,” Urokrat said of the wind turbines. “The most they will need is a little bit of oil now and then.”

If you’ve read this far without suspecting that we’re pulling your leg, just remember that today is April 1.

Return to top