Smooth sailing for new turbine

OCEAN GATE, N.J. — This tiny town on the south bank of the Toms River took a giant leap forward - at least with regard to green energy - four years ago when it became the first municipality in New Jersey to install its own wind turbine.

Leap number two arrived Thursday when the town installed a second turbine. It will use the fierce winds that sweep off the river and the nearby Barnegat Bay (renowned among sailors who use the spot for competitions) to harness enough power to generate electricity for its firehouse and water treatment plant. The $750,000 cost of both projects has been funded through federal energy grants and low-interest loans.

While some residents have complained about the “swoosh” sound the giant blades sometimes make when the turbine is running, Mayor Paul Kennedy said the payoff in the form of a more efficient government was well worth it.

"Many obstacles have come in the way of this project ... I can finally say the day has arrived," Kennedy said. "Ocean Gate is moving forward with many energy-efficient projects throughout the borough’s facilities, and this second turbine adds to it."

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