John Rancich doesn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. He needs this huge tower. Together with Enfield’s rolling hills, he sees an opportunity.
“It’s a perfect place to build a wind farm,” Rancich said.
He envisions batches of huge windmills supplying energy to Enfield and other parts of the county. The tower measures wind speed and which way it’s blowing–a key step before a wind farm can go up.
“If you’re going to go and ask for 40 or 50 million to put this wind farm up, you can’t go to a lender and say, ‘oh, it blows like hell up there.’ You need some documentation,” Rancich said.
So, that’s what the tower does. He plans to be taking measurements until November, get the money, and then encounter his biggest obstacle: permission from the powers that be. But, he’s confident.
“The wind farm is a good idea to put up. Sustainable energy is always a good thing, but we need to have regulations put in place,” said Enfield Town Board member Rob Harvey.
If it does happen, the windmills could power between 20,000 and 25,000 homes, which is enough for each home in Tompkins County.
“The wind is blowing all the time, and we might as well use it,” Rancich said.
So far, the tower is clocking healthy wind speeds, giving momentum to his pitch to a financial backer, which he’ll officially make in about a year.
By: Evan Axelbank
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