Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) recently claimed that a wind turbine at the University of Maine was actually powered by a "little electric motor" so that the school "can show people that wind power works."
Governor LePage made this false claim at Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
According to BangorDailyNews.com, Governor LePage said: "Now, to add insult to injury, The University of Maine, Presque Isle, anybody here been up there to see that damn windmill in the back yard? Guess what, if it’s not blowing wind outside and they have somebody visiting the campus, they have a little electric motor that turns the blades."
"I’m serious. They have an electric motor so they can show people that wind power works. Unbelievable. And that’s the government that you have here in the state of Maine."
However, the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) quickly debunked this statement.
“If there’s no wind, the turbine won’t spin,” UMPI director of community and media relations Rachel Rice told BangorDailyNews.com. “There has to be naturally-occurring wind in order for the turbine to spin.”
According to the UMPI website:
This $2 million project, the installation of a 600 kW wind turbine, has produced 680,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in its first year, creating more than $100,000 in annual energy savings and keeping an estimated 572 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
The power generated by the wind turbine can actually be checked on this page of the UMPI website.