HOLLAND – The Board of Public Works extended a lease agreement on about 3,000 acres in Allegan County being considered for a wind-energy project.
The BPW board voted this week to extend the lease option on the parcels, located in five townships of the county, through Dec. 11 at a cost of more than $130,000. The utility originally entered into the lease arrangement with SWMI Wind Energy Development LLC in July 2010.
BPW has been collecting information on wind speed and direction from two meteorological towers, one in Overisel Township and the other in Ganges Township, since fall and could have a recommendation before the end of the year on whether a wind energy project would be commercially viable there.
“Extending these options preserves the value that the HBPW has added to this project and should allow the (utility) to fully recover its investment,” Dan Nally, BPW business services director, wrote in a memo to the utility board.
In addition, BPW approved a contract with Jackson-based Commonwealth Associates Inc. to analyze the potential impact of a wind farm project on the utility’s electrical transmission system. BPW will pay $40,400 for the study.
CAI will develop several potential models for how a wind farm project might work within BPW’s transmission system.
“These electrical models will look for any potential problems that might limit the size of a wind farm connected to the BPW system,” Dan Radakovitz, utility planning engineering manager, wrote in a report to the BPW board.
The study will also come up with cost estimates for the wind farm electrical collection system and interconnection to BPW transmission lines, Radakovitz said.