CEDAR RAPIDS – A big wind turbine like those that populate today’s rural wind farms appears on its way to the campus here of Kirkwood Community College.
The City Council last night voted unanimously to refine the city’s six-month-old wind-turbine ordinance in a way that allows the $5.5-million project to move ahead. Two more routine votes are required.
The change in the ordinance will allow the flickering shadow caused by the turbine’s blade rotating in the sun to touch residential properties up to 30 hours in a year.
Kirkwood’s engineering analysis shows that the shadow flicker reaching homes from its turbine will not exceed 20 hours a year, and in most instances won’t exceed 10 hours a year.
The college has secured a $1.05-million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for the project as well as a $1-million, no-interest loan from the state’s alternative energy revolving loan fund.
The college says the 417-foot-tall wind turbine will help teach turbine technicians and engineers while saving the school $300,000 a year in electricity costs, or one fourth of its annual costs. The school estimates the wind turbine will pay for itself in 10 years.
No one objected to the college’s proposal either by letter or at last night’s council meeting.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding