Altona Wind Park investors want a bit more data before that project moves ahead.
“It’s just a slight delay in the financing,” said Mark Lyons of Noble Environmental Power. “They just want to see more wind data than we’ve had time to collect at this point.”
Producing that information will take a couple of months, he said, so the Altona project will be held up for that long.
There’s no possibility this bump in the road could kill plans for the park, Lyons said.
“It’s just a question of filling in all the blanks in the wind-resource story to get the investors comfortable,” he said. “We’ll get there.”
When Noble first came on scene in the North Country, the wind-energy firm started off with historical data from a variety of sources, Lyons said.
“We did computer modeling around that.”
Early on, a 50-foot meteorological tower was erected in the project environs.
“That provides some information about wind in that specific area,” Lyons said, “but only at the 50-foot level.”
Since then, taller measuring towers have collected data. Short-term results show fluctuation in the breeze, the project manager said, “But in the long term, there’s a pretty steady flow.”
And that’s what the investors want to see, he said.
While wind information was gathered from about the same start point and in the same fashion for Noble’s Ellenburg Wind Park and Clinton Wind Park in those Northern Tier towns, Lyons said investors of those projects are satisfied.
“I can’t tell you what’s different about Altona, except they just wanted more data,” he said.
Super computers, he said, were developed for two reasons: to model nuclear explosions and to model wind and weather patterns.
“It’s just very data-intensive,” he said.
By Suzanne Moore
20 May 2007
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