Additional wind energy proposed for the Bowling Green area last year will at best be delayed and at worst not occur at all.
“It’s really at a standstill right now,” said Kevin Maynard, director of utilities for Bowling Green. “At this point there does not appear to be anything active on the project, but we certainly are looking at additional wind energy whether it is here in Bowling Green or elsewhere.”
The project is in the feasibility stage, which includes research on electrical interconnections, cost assessments and turbine technology, according to Pam Sullivan, vice president of marketing for American Municipal Power-Ohio, which partnered with JW Great Lakes Wind LLC of Cleveland in proposing the additional wind generation back in 2007.
Initial estimates called for construction to begin in 2008-2009, but a delay has caused the date to be pushed back, if the project goes through.
“There has been some personnel changes with the person working on the project who is now no longer with the company,” Sullivan said of the JWGL representative for the Bowling Green area project, which did delay the study.
While a definite timeline could not be given by AMP-Ohio, Sullivan said the company hoped the feasibility study would be completed in the next six months.
From there, the city, along with AMP-Ohio’s other member communities eligible for distributed generation of the wind energy, would have to decide if additional turbines would be a good fit, financially speaking.
If deciding to move forward with new wind energy, the quantity and type of turbines would have to be determined and from there, lead time for the turbines is around two years, according to both Sullivan and Maynard.
“It’s pretty difficult to come up with units in a timely manner,” Maynard said.
The amount of change residents would see in the way their electricity is provided would be dependent on how much the city participated in the potential wind energy project, according to Maynard. Currently, 1.5 to 2 percent of Bowling Green’s electricity is provided through wind generation.
Sullivan, who worked to bring the four turbines already in place in Wood County, remains optimistic on the possibility of bringing more wind energy to the area to provide up to 50 additional megawatts of power.
“We would certainly like to develop more wind generation in the area but I can’t say if it’s going to turn out to be feasible at this point,” she said.
But despite the project being left up in the air, Maynard sees more wind energy as inevitable for the area.
“I think there will be additional wind development in the Wood County area. I don’t think we can be isolationists here,” he said and expects wind farms to spread across Northern Ohio over the next 15 years.
“I think in general people support it and frankly even if people don’t support it I’m not sure we are going to have a choice,” he said in reference to global warming and the need for alternative energy resources.
While the future of additional wind energy in the area remains unknown, Maynard said the city maintains open communication with AMP-Ohio and will continue to monitor progress of wind energy throughout Ohio.
By Jordan Cravens
Sentinel Staff Writer
12 July 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding