By TOM McCOAG Amherst Bureau 5:57 AM
MHERST — Const. Paul Calder doesn’t know whose electricity he is using to power his computer.
"It could be from our wind turbine or it could be Nova Scotia Power’s electricity. I never know because the system we have is that seamless," the RCMP officer said in a recent interview at his office.
「可能是來自我們的風機，也可能是Nova Scota電廠的。我從來不知道，因為我們用的系統是這麼的無縫隙」RCMP的工作人員在最近的訪談裡提到。（「無縫隙」是啥翻譯啊 -_-）
A 25-metre-high wind turbine sits in the detachment’s backyard. It was installed shortly after the new station opened nearly two years ago and was designed to provide 40 to 60 per cent of the office’s electrical requirement.
"When I say it’s seamless, I mean that when it switches back and forth between the power generated by the windmill and the power generated by the power company, it does so without us knowing," Const. Calder said. "There has never been even a flicker of the lights when the switch is made."
On this day, the wind is barely moving, registering only 4.5 kilometres per hour, and the turbine’s 15-metre blades sit motionless, which means the detachment is using Nova Scotia Power electricity.
"We often get asked if the windmill ever works, but it’s mostly from people who happen to drive by on the Trans-Canada Highway on a day like this when there is no wind," the constable said, chuckling. "I can assure you that it does work."
The three blades on the Atlantic Orient Canada Inc. turbine are designed to spin any time there are sustained winds of at least 16 kilometres per hour. The blades stop spinning when winds reach a sustained 90 km/h or gusts hit 120 km/h.
"That’s why, on some really windy days, you won’t see the turbine spinning," Const. Calder said.
From Jan. 31 to the end of May, the turbine generated 10,829 kilowatt hours of electricity. Of that, 1,800 kilowatt hours were surplus to the detachment’s needs and were automatically transmitted to Nova Scotia Power’s electrical grid.
The detachment’s power bill is reduced when that happens, but "the reduction doesn’t show on the electrical bills we get here at the detachment," Const. Calder said.
The turbine’s spinning blades do create some noise, but "it isn’t any louder than the traffic that passes by us on the highway," he said. "You get used to it."
He said none of the officers have been bothered by shadow flicker, the effect caused by the shadows of the spinning blades.
This wind turbine behind the RCMP detachment in Amherst generated more than 10,000 kilowatt hours from February to the end of May.(TOM McCOAG / Amherst Bureau)