The historic DeZwaan windmill at Windmill Island Gardens could soon have a neighbor.
In what may be the first step toward development of a wind turbine at the downtown attraction, city officials are discussing placing a nearly 200-foot pole northwest of the windmill to collect wind and other weather information.
The information, which would be collected over a 12- to 18-month period, could help the city decide whether building a wind turbine to generate electrical power for the Holland Board of Public Works is feasible.
“We need to have good data so we can make an intelligent decision,” City Manager Soren Wolff said.
The discussion over the monopole installation comes as city planners develop a proposed ordinance to address requests for wind-energy projects for residences and businesses.
“It’s a valid thing for us to be looking at,” said Mark Vanderploeg, a city planner.
“There will probably be some people who want to do it.”
Vanderploeg foresees an ordinance similar to what city officials approved about 10 years ago regulating cell phone towers.
The Planning Commission is expected to consider a wind-energy ordinance later this summer and fall.
While the city is considering construction of the monopole, the Board of Public Works also is looking at mounting three wind turbines on the east facade of the Holland Civic Center.
Each would be capable of producing 1,500 watts, along with a 45- to 60-foot tall turbine in a nearby parking lot off of Seventh Street that could generate another 1,800 watts.
The latter project also may include a 10-kilowatt solar unit that would connect to an educational kiosk in the Eighth Street Market Place.
The city’s Board of Zoning Appeals would have to approve two variances for the Windmill Island monopole.
Current city ordinances limit the height of a pole to 165 feet, and such poles require a conditional use approval.
The BZA is expected to consider the variance requests in July.
By Greg Chandler
The Grand Rapids Press
22 June 2008
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