Vertical axis wind turbine will be set up for testing
Fogo Island exploring green energy through Vertical axis wind turbine.
FOGO ISLAND, NL – For centuries, Fogo Islanders harvested the sea – now they’re looking to harvest the wind.
At a Saturday session of Fogo 2067 – a conference exploring ways to secure the island’s future for the next 50 years – two concepts were introduced related to green energy that will explore wind turbine technology on Fogo Island.
Dieter Sauer, owner of California-based Sauer Industries, presented at the function.
As opposed to traditional windmill operations, Sauer has developed a vertical axis wind turbine that has 15-foot blades and is mounted on a 30-foot pole. The turbine has environmental protection agency certification in the U.S., and the design makes for a quiet operating system – unlike traditional models that have produced white noise linked to increased migraines and depression – and is much more bird friendly.
The turbine is capable of withstanding winds more than 100 mph, and has a life expectancy of more than 25 years.
However, the turbine is field tested in a very different climate than that of the northeast coast of Newfoundland.
Questions brought forward by those in attendance regarded generation outputs, cost, and how the unit will stand up to a salt-rich environment, freezing rain, and snowy conditions.
Those questions couldn’t be answered as the data is California based, but it was noted a pilot turbine is being set up at the Fogo fish plant within the next two weeks to determine those answers.
“Ask us again in six months and we should have a better understanding,” said Ian Strachan, creator of Goose Baybased North Wind Power.
If successful, it could lead to Canadian and international certification.
And this is where Strachan sees the potential for Fogo Island to create most of its own power needs. Given North Wind Power is developing smaller, residential-based turbines for home use, it could also lead to manufacturing jobs on the island.
Fogo Island Co-op general manager Phil Barnes is in favour of the approach, stating diversification of the economy is needed to ensure the island’s survival.
“This is where we want to be, on the cutting edge of technology,” said Barnes.
“If we can take 75-80 per cent of our power needs off the grid, then I think that’s where we should be. I’m not afraid to say we stepped up to be self sufficient and self sustaining.”
Dieter Sauer, owner of Sauer Industries Limited, talks about one of the latest initiatives underway on Fogo Island.
A floor display of the home/ cabin-based model of the vertical axis wind turbine.