Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Mar 30

New Wind Turbines for 11 Minnesota Cities

Posted in Energy Industry | Wind Power | Wind Turbines

New Turbines This summer, Anoka, Buffalo, North St. Paul and 8 other Minnesota cities are gearing up for the production of wind energy. They will use recycled turbines for this purpose. In Buffalo, the work will start from June. After the completion of this project Buffalo will have the honor of the first city with one of the 115-foot-tall turbines among the 11-member cities of the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA). They are getting the windmills from Palm Springs, California wind farm . Payment will be done by the joint-powers agency which has agreed to pay about $3.6 million for a dozen refurbished windmills. The Hometown WindPower program is aspiring to meet a state law that calls for most electrical utilities to provide 25 percent of their total electricity sales from renewable sources by 2025. These non conventional sources can be wind or water power. Officials confirmed that Shakopee, North St. Paul and Buffalo have picked sites for the 160-kilowatt windmills. Buffalo utilities director Joe Steffel wants to start work on this project by June 1.

Schools are also sensitized towards the use of clean and green fuels. The City Council approved a windmill permit last week. They will install a turbine near Buffalo High School, which will use it to teach children about green energy. Chaska and Anoka have yet to confirm the exact sites. Anoka leaders are also enthusiastic about the project. They cleared the path for wind energy project by granting preliminary approval to a wind turbine ordinance.

We have skeptical people too who think that implementation of this project will be a waste of money. Anoka Mayor Phil Rice belongs to that category. Rice states, “In my mind it is foolishness. The government is mandating it, and we will comply so we don’t have to pay a fine. We have to try to develop green energy, and we need to be willing to fail a few times.”

But Dave Boyles, who is the WindPower project manager, differs from Rice. He thinks that fossil fuels or nuclear energy will be costlier in future. This fact will make windmills more competitive in 20-year period. He said that in return for tax subsidies, citizens “will be getting a reliable source of renewable energy that does not contribute to climate change and has no carbon footprint.”

The 11 cities are at various stages of getting permits and site approvals, and all are expected to erect windmills by year’s end, officials said. It is estimated that the windmills will not cover the needs of the entire cities. They can share a small portion of each city’s power needs, varying from less than 1 percent to 10 percent. Earlier the project team has completed the studies in the 11 cities to make certain they have strong and frequent enough wind for effective power generation.

Wally Wysopal, who is the city manager of the North St. Paul hopes to have windmills in July this year. He said, “We are very pleased to be in a position to soon offer alternative, renewable energy in each one of the communities.” The windmill sites in all the 11 cities will be on the free public lands. The other member cities are Arlington, Brownton, East Grand Forks, Le Sueur, Olivia and Winthrop.

The agency will procure the dozen windmills from enXco Services Corp for about $300,000 each. enXco Services Corp is renewing them in Palm Springs to last another 20 years. The 12th windmill will be installed by the agency’s Faribault natural gas power plant.

The Danish-built turbines should be prepared by May, Boyles said. The agency will take care of the payment with the proceeds from selling renewable energy bonds. These bonds will provide tax credits to bond holders in lieu of interest. The bonds will be reimbursed by electricity charges the 11 cities bill their customers.

  • sol

    Recycled wind turbines… that’s the first i have heard of that!

  • Daisy Langenegger

    Let’s have this here too! Did I see this in Ilocos?

  • MingMing Du

    The last company I work for made blades for wind turbines. One blade is 5 meters wide 48 meters long. That is huge. My hometown and neighbor cities also will install 1000s of wind turbines. They also settle up new power grid to contains wind turbines. One concern is their effect on migrant birds.

  • Bill Colley

    I would love to talk to someone from the maintenance department of all of the windmill projects that are currently on going. If you could help I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you
    Bill Colley

  • Thomas Dick

    Wind Turbines probably have their place somewhere, but in the East their deforestation, permanent wide roads, non-point source runoff, impact on wetlands, does not justify their existence. I’m in the middle of wind country and I see the destruction of habitat, bats, saw-whet owls and nocturnal migrating birds. They should be built on the millions of acres of surface mines (and occasionally they are) but most often they fragment large areas of intact forest allowing ATV’s to run rampant, and therefore ruining some of the remaining wild areas.

  • Miki Goldman

    Wind farms kill less than 10,000 birds a year. Cats kill more birds than wind farms. Bats use eco location they know where the turbines are. Second coal is the number one fossil fuel used for energy generation and strip mining in West Virginia is destroying the state. Flash floods wipe out entire towns and destroy water supplies. Coal is also the dirtiest and most used fossil fuel so its use creates large amounts of carbon dioxide and sulfur oxide emissions which is causing global warming. Sulfuroxide also creates acid rain that destroys forests. If we don’t switch to renewable energies like wind there won’t be a planet for us to live in. The benefits outweigh the costs. Block off access to ATVs on the roads and you solved that issue. These wind farms are being made for cities in Minnesota, you can’t have them too far away from them because then you lose power. The land is most likely no longer wild. Plus destroyed lands will regenerate after construction and the National Environmental Protection act requires environmental impact statements for all construction projects. You will also be creating jobs for areas that truly need them right now. Lastly its the United States there are no surface mines. There hasn’t been a war on American soil for almost 150 years long before they were invented.

  • Miki Goldman

    Sorry correction. They have made devices to fix the problem with the bats, and surface mines are not weapons they are mines for natural resources. Still wind farms are a good idea and need to be pursued.

  • russ

    The bird thing seems to be a green hangup. They want green energy and then do their best to defeat whatever comes along by coming up with bogus stories.

    Regarding the large commercial new turbines – If you have seen the blades rotating you would have to realize that any bird getting caught in the slowly moving blades must be real stupid and a cat will get it anyway.

    Maybe small higher speed rotors or older style turbines are problematic?

    I suppose many, many thousand percent more birds get killed flying into plate glass windows than into wind turbines.

  • Mark

    I walk by this windmill just about every day. I can’t believe the City of Buffalo, actually the Taxpayers, have to foot the bill for this windmill. Factor in the cost and maintenance and this pipe dream will take a long time to even come close to paying for itself. Until Wind and solar can actually be cost effective in MN, we should just hold off before implementing these options. Our electric company sent us a flyer. Cost of power from coal=5 cents/kwh. Wind=11 cents/kwh.

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