Saturday, January 17, 2015

Green-Energy Inspiration Off the Coast of Denmark -

Green-Energy Inspiration Off the Coast of Denmark -

by Dawn Cardwell

Before dawn one morning in October, a handful of Americans gathered at a lonely pier on Samso, a small Danish island about four hours from Copenhagen. Bundled in layers of fleece and wool, the Americans, mostly from islands off the Maine coast, had come to get a closer look at a wind farm — 10 mighty turbines spinning in the Kattegat strait — that has helped make Samso a symbol for a greener future, one powered entirely by renewable energy.
Monhegan Island- Rockwell Kent

Among them was Marian Chioffi, the bookkeeper at the electric company in Monhegan, Me., whose population of about 60 swells to include hundreds of residents and thousands of tourists in the summer. They — along with generations of artists like Edward Hopper, Rockwell Kent and Jamie Wyeth — have been drawn by the island’s lost-in-time charm and picturesque setting in the Gulf of Maine.

Monhegan faces challenges as stark as its beauty. Foremost among them — and the spur for the journey to Denmark — is dependence on expensive, dirty fuels for heating and electricity. Even with the recent fall in oil prices, Monhegan residents pay among the highest power rates in the nation — almost six times the national average — and the electric company, locally owned and operated, struggles to keep the lights on.

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