ST. CHARLES – The idea of harnessing wind to power the St. Charles Department of Public Works building remains up in the air after Wednesday night’s Village Council meeting.
The council agreed with village Manager Hal Mead’s recommendation to table the possibility of building a $40,000 wind turbine at the DPW site, 555 Entrepreneur.
Mead said the village has studied the idea of building a 10-kilowatt turbine to power the DPW building and help power the village’s aerators at its sewage-treatment lagoon.
A “virtual wind study” of breezes at the DPW site during a 13-year period from 1997 to the present shows a mean annual wind speed of 7.99 mph.
“At this time a 10-kilowatt wind turbine requires a wind speed of at least 11 mph to produce enough energy to be economically feasible,” Mead wrote in a memo to council members.
Though the village would save $226 annually in utility expenses if the turbine were built, it would take 176 years for the village to pay for the generator, according to Mead’s memo.
The council had budgeted $50,000 this year to pay for the wind turbine and related costs, according to Clerk Deanna Koehler.
Council members paid $750 to AWS Truewind LLC, of Albany, N.Y. for the virtual wind study, done using weather data and atmospheric modeling systems.
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