Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Blueskin Bay pioneers new approach to wind power

By the editors

The signing of a memorandum of understanding between Blueskin
Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) and Our Wind Ltd (OWL) last month
to work together towards a community owned cluster of wind turbines at
Blueskin Bay wasn't as accurately reported in the Otago Daily Times as
it might have been.
The report stated the community was "behind the plan" when in fact a
full consultation programme to gauge public support is being planned.
The MOU will see OWL provide technology support, wind resource
measurement and negotiations with local lines companies, or Trusts,
and users.
Scott Willis, manager of the BRCT says, "This may be our opportunity
to create a local electricity supply that we can largely control. It's
time we deconstructed the stranglehold the big energy companies have
on our local energy. We hope the MoU may lead to a business
partnership to bring the wind cluster to fruition."
At the signing of the MoU, Dr Morgan Williams, chair of the OWL board,
said, "Local ownership of renewable generation is a powerful
contribution to the resilience of communities. It strengthens
community engagement, provides a local investment opportunity and
diversity in electricity supplies."
OWL is a new company with a vision of communities owning their own
electricity generation, and being fully involved in the decision
making.
By contrast, Blueskin Bay Resilient Communities Trust has long
experience in sustainable energy, having run a number of projects to
improve energy efficiency, insulate local homes and share transport.
OWL says it is delighted to work with a group with such good community
understanding of the issues.


Pic: The pupils of Waitati School welcoming the OWL representatives to
Blueskin Bay with a haka.

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