Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, November 23, 2011
Deer Isle enacts wind power ordinance
by Jonathan Thomas
In a very short special town meeting on November 17, Deer Isle voters approved a “Wind Energy Systems Ordinance” to regulate the size and placement of wind turbines.
By an apparent unanimous vote, the four citizens present, along with the selectmen, planning board members and code enforcement officer approved the nine-page document without discussion. Town clerk Becky Knowlton opened the meeting and presided over the election of First Selectman Neville Hardy as moderator.
The meeting began at 6:30 p.m. Several people arrived after the meeting adjourned, perhaps mistakenly thinking the meeting would be at 7 p.m.
According to information in the October 20 issue of Island Ad-Vantages, the ordinance provides standards for lot size and setback, and allows a maximum height of 100 feet to the top of the blade. In comparison, large commercial turbines permitted in other towns, such as those in Vinalhaven, can have a blade height of 400 feet.
The nine-page ordinance also requires that the tower owner provide the town with a yearly renewable bond that would cover the cost of removing the system if it were abandoned.