Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard is not blowing hot air when he talks about investigating a different way to generate electricity at the sewer plant. He is thinking about a windmill. They are not uncommon out west, but you do not see many windmills generating power in the Midwest.
“The testing we’ll do will confirm whether it’s a cost effective measure or not,” said Mayor Brainard.
Within the next six months, Mayor Brainard says a meteorological tower will be erected at the Carmel sewer plant to see if there is enough wind to warrant an electricity generating windmill.
“In other words, if the windmill costs a million dollars, can we recoup enough of that cost to get an eight to 10 percent return on that investment or not,” he said.
Brainard says windmills help the environment and could help the wallet by keeping sewer bills lower. He says this is a logical place to put a windmill because there are not any homes in the immediate vicinity.
Even if a windmill or two would not affect property values, one Carmel taxpayer calls the mayor’s idea “a joke.”
“There’s nowhere near the kind of wind they need down there to generate any real power. If you drive by there I think by the odor you can tell they’d like some wind to come along, but they’re not getting it so, it’s not real,” said Carmel resident Gary Baugh.
“I think that it’s kind of foolish to think it sounds silly and to close your mind to the idea of looking at it because it could be an option,” said Carmel resident Heather Timmons.
The American Wind Energy Association says the option is steadily gaining popularity, but wind energy still makes up less than one percent of total energy in this country.
By Leslie Olsen
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