[ exact phrase in "" • ~10 sec • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]

LOCATION/TYPE

News Home
Archive
RSS

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links

Alerts

Press Releases

FAQs

Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics

Videos

Allied Groups

School board ponders wind farm proposal  

www.phillipswi.com

Ryan Stutzman
THE-BEE
Thursday, August 24th, 2006

The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

That’s what Charlie Schneider, a Focus on Energy specialist working with northern Wisconsin school districts, told the Phillips School Board Monday night regarding a wind farm proposal.

The idea is for school districts to sign on to a bond issue for construction of seven wind turbines, at a yet-to-be-determined site in the region, which would eventually serve the energy needs of all the schools in the program.

The power that is expected to be generated by the farm, approximately 14 megawatts, would not feed directly to participating school districts. It would be sold to power companies, and the proceeds would be used to fund schools’ energy needs. Surplus profits would be available for other school spending.

Johnson Controls is supporting the project with a performance guarantee for participating school districts. And the federal government will pay the interest on the bonds.

Project managers are targeting the commercial sector for bond sales, especially enterprises that want environmentally-friendly investments in their portfolios. They would get the additional benefit of supporting school districts, Schneider said. Tax credits would also be available for whoever purchases the so-called CREB notes. CREB is the acronym for Clean Renewable Energy Bonds.

The Internal Revenue Service, which was flooded out of its Washington, D.C. offices this summer during heavy rains, is late in reviewing districts’ applications to participate in the bond issue. That is one of the last procedural hurdles to getting the project off the ground. Fifteen northern districts, including Eau Claire, Superior and Gilman, have committed.

Phillips has yet to sign on.

There has been a thinly veiled skepticism among local officials with respect to the wind farm plan, which has been pitched as a no-risk, high return enterprise.

Monday night, David Flessert questioned whether income from the farm would count under state-imposed revenue caps. There was no clear answer given. Officials said attorneys are working on that issue.

And then there is the most obvious variable ““ the wind. But Schneider said as long as the wind blows, it’s a can’t-miss proposition.

“We’re getting into this at the right time,” he said, citing the volatile fossil-fuel market. “… And it’s the right thing to do.”

The project also has clear educational applications, Schneider argued.

The four proposed sites in the state do not include Price County or surrounding counties. Officials said a wind-farm project of this magnitude must be sited near an interstate for delivery of the massive parts and near a major transmission line so the mills have clear access to the power grid.

Schneider said with no change to the state funding system in sight, districts that are in tough financial times ““ such as Phillips ““ are going to have to think outside the box.

“Schools are going to have to be creative with the ways they finance themselves,” he said.

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate

Share:


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook

Share

CONTACT DONATE PRIVACY ABOUT SEARCH
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.
Share

Wind Watch on Facebook

Follow Wind Watch on Twitter