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Maine Fair Powered by Wind

Date: 10/6/2014

In Maine, the end of summer also brings the end of fair season. This year represented some winds of change in Maine as this year's Skowhegan State Fair was 100% wind powered. Sponsored by Wind for ME and the Maine Ocean and Wind Industry Initiative, the event included a wind blade challenge activity that brought families together to create and test their wind blade designs by pulling a car down a track. The fair created the opportunity to show wind power as a mainstream, substantial, and important environmental and energy solution.

"The Skowhegan State Fair is a historic icon," said Paul Williamson, director and industry coordinator at the Maine Ocean and Wind Energy Initiative. "It represents Maine's rural economy, which is something that wind energy has become a part of, and so we wanted to make sure wind was represented at the fair ."

A draw for families and children, the wind blade competition engaged participants in the engineering process with a fun but difficult challenge. Throughout the fair, banners and a "100% Wind Powered" emblem on the fair program, posters, and website sparked conversations and built awareness as fair patrons considered where and how their energy is generated.

Using the same distribution system as all other sources, the fair was wind-powered thanks to energy credits donated by wind industry partners. "The electricity they are paying for is supported by renewable energy," Williamson said. "There's no guarantee of where it came from, but by using the credits mechanism we ensure that the entire value of the energy used by the fair goes to wind."

The event was a great success and both organizations are looking forward to the 2015 Maine fair season.