Aldermen Tuesday approved the final pieces of a wind turbine project, although it is slightly different than the one first announced in August.
The city council approved selling up to $6.5 million in general obligation bonds to pay for building two 1.5 megawatt wind turbines.
The original plans called for a single 2.5 megawatt turbine.
The turbines will be built on 26 acres of land Geneseo is trying to buy south of Interstate 80. Each will be approximately 200 feet tall without its blades, and 328 feet tall with the blades.
City public utilities manager Ken Stock told the council Tuesday buying two towers actually would be cheaper than the larger one.
“The pricing is so high (for the 2.5 megawatt tower), you can actually get more from the 1.5 megawatt towers at a cheaper price,” he said.
He estimates the towers, which will provide an estimated 12 to 13 percent of the city’s total energy usage, could save Geneseo more than $6 million in energy costs over a 30-year period.
The city signed agreements with Johnson Controls to build the turbines. The company, with offices in Moline and corporate offices in Milwaukee, Wis., also has been involved in the Erie School District’s wind turbine project.
Mr. Stock said the turbines will be purchased from a German company called Vensys. The turbines will cost more than $200,000 each to deliver, and will go from Europe to Canada, and then to Geneseo.
Work could start next spring, and the turbines could be in operation as soon as 2009, Mr. Stock said.
“This is going to be a good project,” said Ald. Kevin Peterson, 4th Ward. “The location we (are buying) is going to be awesome. They’ll be used as landmarks.”
Ald, Arnie Schmid, 2nd Ward, agreed.
“It will be good in the short term and the long term for the city,” Ald. Schmid said. “This is the cheapest energy we can provide.”
Part of the costs will be paid by a $1.38 million Illinois Clean Energy Grant.
City attorney Virgil Thurman said the contract for the land purchase should be completed before Nov. 1.
In other business, the city denied Pinnacle Property Development a permit to demolish part of the remaining Deck property at 2181 S. Oakwood Ave. The permit would have enabled Pinnacle, under its owner Chris Anderson, to redevelop the remaining structure into a three-story hotel and a separate banquet facility.
Those plans are apparently on hold with the permit denial.
Ald. Schmid said the city’s community development board turned down the permit for lack of a development plan. He said it doesn’t preclude Mr. Anderson from making a future application.
By Stephen Elliott
11 October 2007
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