Wind farm productive on hottest days, firm says

Critics of a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound have long complained that the wind won't blow on the days New England needs power the most, such as yesterday, when electricity use recorded its eighth-highest peak on record.

But project developer Cape Wind Associates released a report yesterday suggesting that offshore winds continued even as city dwellers sweltered on the region's top 10 power-usage days.

"Our study shows that Cape Wind will be producing significant power at the very times that the electric grid is under greatest stress and needs the power the most," said Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for Cape Wind.

...The company tracked weather conditions on the 10 highest-ever demand days, as identified by the Independent System Operator, which oversees New England's wholesale electricity market. All occurred in summers since 2005. On those days, the wind would have been strong enough, according to the company, to produce 310 megawatts of power, compared with the wind farm's estimated average daily output of 182 megawatts.

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