Kaukauna Utilities, Wisconsin Public Power Inc. and EcoEnergy are planning a small wind energy project in an area north of Kaukauna – roughly centered around the intersection of Outagamie County J and Outagamie County UU.
The sites under consideration are in the town of Kaukauna and Freedom, and a recent open house sponsored by the three partners in the project drew about 100 people to see displays in the old gym at Freedom High School.
The project was initiated by Kaukauna Utilities and Wisconsin Public Power Inc., and all of the power generated by the wind towers will be used locally by Kaukauna Utilities customers.
The project, as envisioned, would have up to five wind towers generating 7.5 megawatts of electricity.
Wind speed tests identified optimum sites for the wind towers east and northeast of the Fox Valley Golf Club, which is on the south side of Outagamie County UU between Outagamie County J and Wisconsin 55.
Kaukauna Utilities and Wisconsin Public Power Inc. issued a request for proposals that drew several responses from wind energy firms. The EcoEnergy proposal was chosen by Kaukauna Utilities.
EcoEnergy will build and own the wind towers and the electricity they generate.
The area has a limited number of parcels of open farmland where winds towers could be built. They must be in areas with the highest average wind speeds and at least 1,000 feet from any homes or public roads.
The site north of Kaukauna has areas that produce average wind speeds of 6.5 to 6.8 meters per second, about 13 mph – which is considered economically feasible.
Wisconsin Public Power Inc. is a consortium of 50 public utilities, including 40 in Wisconsin. Kaukauna Utilities is the largest member of WPPI, which acts as an agent buying power for its members.
“WPPI would purchase the (electrical) output of this project (from EcoEnergy), and then they would put it right into our system,” Kaukauna Utilities General Manager Jeffery Feldt said. “It comes right into our grid.”
The president of the Kaukauna Utilities Commission, Lee Meyerhofer, said the project is seen as fulfilling part of Gov. Jim Doyle’s initiative to have renewable energy sources provide 25 percent of the state’s electricity by 2025.
By Ed Byrne
Gannett Wisconsin Media
10 April 2008
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