LAKE COUNTY – After nearly a year of research, Progress Energy claims wind power just isn’t practical here in Florida.
They put a wind turbine up along the Florida Turnpike almost a year ago to see if it could generate enough electricity to make wind power worthwhile.
Progress Energy official Tim Leljedal said, “The results so far have been reflective of the general understanding of wind power in Florida. It appears as though wind is not as viable in Florida as it is in other parts of the country.”
Homeowner Jim Dotson does not agree. He paid out of pocket to install a wind turbine at his own home in South Lake County.
Dotson claimed it’s saving him big on his electric bill.
“We’re very happy with the results that we’ve got here. This property that I’m on is probably a very prime location. So you may not get the same results inland or on a flatter piece of property unless you go on a higher tower,” said Dotson.
Progress Energy said they looked at wind data from 200 spots around the state and none of them had wind blowing consistently enough to make installing turbines make financial sense.
Tim Leljedal with Progress Energy said, “While wind may not be the option for Florida, the best option for Florida, there are other potential ways that we can meet our customers needs.”
While Progress Energy looks at other possibilities to create power, Jim Dotson said he thinks it is much too early to give up on this technology here in Florida. In the next couple of weeks he is going to be helping another homeowner in South Lake County install a residential wind turbine.
Progress Energy had plans to put up five wind turbines as part of their research project, but to date they have only put up one.They said after a year it’s clear wind power will not work on a large scale in Florida.
Progress Energy’s research project was supposed to run through the end of 2011, but with the lackluster results they will wrap up in January and write up a report for the state.
Florida taxpayers kicked in around $20,000 for the research project.
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