A large windmill project located on the facility of the Bayshore Regional Sewage Authority (BSA) is very close to its completion.
The project originally began in 2007-2008 with wind analysis and a proposal was introduced which would install a single 262 foot 1.5 megawatt wind turbine, capable of generating between three point two and three point five million kilowatt hours per years; roughly half of the energy consumption of the BSA’s waste water treatment plant in Union Beach.
However the project has not been without its setbacks and controversy’s, specifically concerns over delivery of the massive windmill.
Bob Fischer, Executive Director of the Bayshore Regional Sewage Authority says the project is nearing completion, with all that is needed is a green light from Marlboro Township and Monmouth County to use its roads.
For some time now components of the windmill, which have been delivered from as far out as Iowa, Texas, and Florida have been in storage in Newark due to hold up’s over fear that getting the giant structure to its location could cause damage to the road ways.
Fischer says there should be no concerns over safety, noting some of the precautions that would be taken for delivery.
“The contractor has placed bonds to take of any damage that may have occurred. They are going into all the streets and they are videotaping the pipes before and they are going to video tape the pipes after the components pass by them.” Says Fischer, adding, “the route has been checked and rechecked and bridges have been analyzed by the special engineers and they signed off on those bridges.”
He does however expect the approvals to come through and says once the turbine is delivered to its destination; it will take roughly three weeks to assemble it. He expects it to be operational in late April or mid May.
The delay along with the storage in Newark will be responsible for a 300K change order for the 5.9 million dollar project. However Fischer anticipates once it is set up rates for customers should be lowered as well.
While some there has been opposition from residents to the large structure over safety and noise complaints, Fischer says they are unfounded. He notes that especially now it’s about relief for customer’s wallets.
“In this economy anything that you can do to reduce the cost of doing business really should be looked at.”
He adds that if the windmills are installed and are successful that it could open the possibility for more alternative energy options for the BSA.
“It’s not unforeseeable that sometime in the next five to ten years that with the combination of smaller renewable energy projects get to a point where we are not paying for any electricity whatsoever.”
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