PRESQUE ISLE (AP) — An informal energy adviser to Republican Gov. Paul LePage has repeated a tall tale about the wind turbine at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Refrigeration technician James LaBrecque told WVOM-FM on Wednesday that the university uses outside power to turn the turbine blades when there’s no wind to avoid questions from the public.

That’s not true.

University spokeswoman Rachel Rice said wind is required for the blades to turn.

She said there were electric motors to swivel the unit, operate a cooling fan and run hydraulics but that has nothing to do with the blades turning.

The turbine, which was dedicated in 2009, was damaged by fire in April, and the university is deciding whether to repair it. It produced annual energy savings of $100,000 while in operation.

An informal adviser on energy policy to Gov. Paul LePage, James LaBrecque questions power projects, such as solar and wind, supported by subsidies from taxpayers or utility customers.  (Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald file)


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