2011-05-19 / News

Town unveils sodar at wastewater treatment plant

By Tim Riel

State Rep. Deb Ruggiero, along with Jamestown officials, were on hand Tuesday for the unveiling of a sodar, which was erected at the Taylor Point wastewater treatment plant in order to determine if it is an efficient location for a wind turbine.

Sodar stands for sonic detection and ranging, and is an instrument used to measure the “scattering of sound waves by atmospheric turbulence.” The sodar being used in Jamestown is the Triton Sonic Wind Profile.

Town Administrator Bruce Keiser, Town Planner Lisa Bryer, Public Works Director Mike Gray and Town Council members Bob Bowen, Mike White and Bill Murphy all went to the “ribbon-cutting ceremony.” State Sen. M. Teresa Paiva Weed had to cancel at the last minute, according to Keiser.

“As chairwoman of the Small Business Renewable Energy Task Force and the representative from Jamestown, I’m thrilled that our town is working to make clean, renewable energy a reality locally, reducing our carbon footprint and creating green jobs,” Ruggiero said. She added that, “I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results.”

The sodar will determine if Taylor Point is an adequate place for a 363-foot turbine capable of generating 1.65 megawatts of electricity.

Although the sodar is an important step towards the town’s construction of a turbine, its presence in Jamestown doesn’t guarantee that the proposed turbine will be erected. Keiser said that if the eletrical grid studies come back and it’s “not economically feasible,” the proposed turbine – which would be about the same size as the one at Portsmouth High School – would have to be scaled back.

“This is a pivotal issue,” said Keiser, referring to the outcome of the impact study. “I think there is a very strong likelihood that a turbine of some size will be installed at Taylor Point. If this one isn’t feasible, then I think a smaller unit, 750 kilowatts for example, will prove cost effective. It’s just a question of the size.”

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