Friday, 21 June 2013

Sunny thoughts on both sides of the pond


Above: Photo courtesy of Christopher Wroten
Every so often my attention is drawn across the ocean to the affairs of Budleigh Salterton’s sister town of Brewster, on Cape Cod. Nothing official has ever been done to seal the relationship between the our two communities in spite of references to twinning on the internet and even on that Brewster road sign: some might say that maybe it’s better that way.
I’m just happy to see via Google news alerts how a small American coastal town which has so many similarities to Budleigh Salterton deals with the issues of daily life that affect us all, ranging from town finances to dog poo. Yes, the battle over whether Brewster’s Drummer Boy Park should have a special dog-walking area has raised hackles and made headlines in much the same way that the Longboat saga has done in Budleigh.

The issue of wind turbines in Brewster was another bitterly fought-over area that we in the UK would recognise, though we’ve yet to see plans for a wind farm in Lyme Bay.  More acceptable perhaps, to solve the energy crisis would be solar power. That at any rate is what our own East Devon District Councillor and Friend of Fairlynch Alan Dent believes judging by the thoughts he expressed recently on his Facebook page.

“Solar panel farms,” he writes. “Hundreds of solar panels over large areas of countryside. No noise. No pollution. Little damage and no danger to wildlife.

Are these the way for green energy?”


Perhaps Brewster’s example was something that had inspired Cllr Dent because solar power was a possible solution that Brewster people had been considering for some years as I wrote at
And now, it seems, the solar garden idea is about to grow into a solar farm according to recent reports from Cape Cod. An agreement has been signed for the construction of solar arrays which will provide all the electricity used in Brewster’s municipal buildings. The arrays include 12,518 solar panels covering 13.73 acres at one site, capable of producing 3,630,220 watts; a second site of five acres with 3,366 panels will have a 976,140-watt capacity. The electricity generated by the project in addition to one already constructed will offset all of the town’s energy requirements - plus a little more.
The announcement of these plans follows the town’s second annual ‘Brewster Goes Green’ Fair. It’s all part of the aim of making Brewster a certified Green Community. Other ‘green’ measures include the conversion of its 127 streetlights from high-pressure sodium bulbs to light emitting diodes - a measure which could save $3,000 a year - and a pay-as-you-throw trash plan to be implemented in October.


No comments:

Post a Comment