NEWBURG, Md., June 1 /PRNewswire/—The State of Maryland has installed an anemometer as the first step towards turning the Cobb Neck peninsula into the first wind-dependent community in the mid-Atlantic. The digital device was installed on Friday, May 28, 2010 on top of a 30 meter (just under 100 foot) tower on the highest point on Cobb Neck. It will provide data over the next year to determine if the site produces enough wind to make a turbine feasible. "You need specific wind speed data before embarking on such an ambitious community-based initiative," says Andrew Gohn of the Maryland Energy Administration.
Located three miles northeast of the Windmill on the Potomac, which was the first residential wind turbine in Southern Maryland, the Cobb Neck wind turbine, if constructed, will generate between 1 and 2.4 megawatts of electricity.
The Windmill on the Potomac has been producing a significant amount of electricity for its owners Sheryl Elliott and Ken Robinson. "We have seen a significant reduction in the amount of electricity we need to use from SMECO, the local energy provider since our wind turbine went on line in March, 2009," according to Robinson.
Robinson, who was President of the Swan Point Property Owners Association, approached neighbors in nearby communities to see if they would partner on this project. The land for the anemometer and perhaps a future turbine is owned by Newburg resident Wayne Lindstrom. "This is a community effort to locally explore alternatives to fossil fuel-based electricity. We see this project as a way to maximize both environmental and economic benefits," said Mr. Lindstrom. Mr. Lindstrom volunteered his construction expertise to supervise The Windmill on the Potomac project. Cobb Neck currently has about one thousand residential units in the communities of Cobb Island, Swan Point, Mount Victoria, Issue and Newburg.
"The community is excited about this," says Swan Point resident Cathy Warfield. "Almost everyone I have spoken with is curious to see if we can take Cobb Neck off the grid."
Data from the anemometer will be read monthly over the next year. The anemometer was installed by the Maryland Environmental Service which is charged by the state with providing communities with the ability to create sustainable, cost-effective, and innovative "green" solutions to energy problems.
The Cobb Neck peninsula is bordered by the Potomac River on the west and the Wicomico River on the east.