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Wind turbines have hurdles to clear  

The Holland Board of Public Works has a few more hurdles to jump before it can start putting up wind turbines around town.

The Zoning Board of Appeals will today review a request to install a meteorological tower at Windmill Island Gardens. In 12 to 18 months, the BPW could install a wind turbine.

A proposal to install three residential-sized turbines on the roof of the Civic Center, 150 W. Eighth St., would require special permission from the city’s planning commission.
Each turbine could produce up to 1.5 kilowatts.

The turbines would be 7 feet in diameter and could power a third to half of a household’s electrical use, BPW Planning and Engineering Manager Mike Radakovitz told the city council during a study session Wednesday, July 23. The $11,000 turbines made by Grand Rapids-based Cascade Engineering should be available to the public next month, city officials said.

A 45- to 110-foot high wind turbine is planned for the northwest corner of the Civic Center parking lot next to Seventh Street.

“This is to demonstrate to the public you could put one of these on your house” City Manager Soren Wolff said.

The proposal includes a kiosk with a real-time display of how much energy the turbines are producing.

“We need to show what it can do, but also what it can’t do,” Kurt Dykstra said, suggesting the kiosk show how much electricity is being produced and what it could power. “At times you’d be lucky if it powered your night light.”

“We’re not trying to sell something here,” he said.

Mayor Al McGeehan told the council some residents were concerned with noise from the wind turbines.

From across the room, a dosimeter measured McGeehan speaking as 60 decibels. Each turbine is supposed to produce less than 35 decibels.

By Andrea Goodell

The Holland Sentinel

23 July 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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