Representatives from a large firm inquired about the possibility of locating a wind farm in the area, the mayor of Wapakoneta announced during a meeting on Monday.
Wapakoneta Mayor Rodney Metz reported to Wapakoneta City Council members during Monday’s meeting that he and Wapakoneta Area Economic Development Council Executive Director Greg Myers met with representatives from a company “that is interested in building a large wind turbine farm” in an area northeast of the city.Metz declined to release the name of the company since they are in an early stage of investigating the local process to develop a possible wind farm. He said company officials contacted city administrators because they “knew the city was serious about wind power” from reading newspaper articles in the Wapakoneta Daily News, the mayor said.
“They are talking about something in a much, much larger scale than ours,” Metz said. “We provided them with the names of the Auglaize County commissioners and the names of the township trustees that they need to talk with about the project.”
The cities of Wapakoneta and St. Marys shared the cost of an 18-month wind generation study by Green Energy Ohio. The study indicated wind speeds and durations were favorable for wind turbines and comparable to winds recorded at Bowling Green, which is the site of four wind turbines.City leaders have inquired about two wind turbines.
City councilors also heard the first reading of an ordinance to contract with General Electric Energy Industrial Services to upgrade the city’s electric system including substations. A typical substation upgrade costs approximately $5 million.
Metz said the upgrades are needed because of increases in demand. He noted the upgrades would be compatible to utilizing electricity created from wind power.
“What we are doing and what we would like to do, the upgrades would be able to handle the load,” Metz said. “For what they would like to do, it would be well outside the city limits, but they would still be tying into American Electric Power’s grid.”
Metz said company representatives intend to keep city leaders informed of their plans.
The mayor said he was encouraged by the development.
“I think anytime we can have local generation of electricity or semi-local generation then it is a positive because we know what is going on, what is there, what is required and it is close to us,” Metz said. “The less distribution system then the fewer problems that can interrupt power such as severe weather.”
Metz, who is in his first term of office as mayor, said he favors green energy sources because it is the wave of the future.
“I think green energy is a good idea because the figures show that in the not-to-distant future that we will have more demand than generation,” Metz said.
“We all have to find ways to conserve and the producers have to find more ways to create electricity and to do so more efficiently.”
By William Laney
22 July 2008
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