It takes time to produce wind energy – and it has been nearly two years since the Holland Board of Public Works started the process of looking into a location for a wind project. The BPW Board of Directors approved Monday at a cost of $30,000 an extension until June 21 of the land lease option in Overisel Township. The project began in July 2010. Two prior three-month extensions for the Allegan County wind project were made in September and December. In December, BPW Business Services Director Dan Nally told the board he expected to have more specific plans for March, but Monday, another extension was approved. In response to a question as to whether the BPW now had a developer on board, Nally replied, “While the BPW has met with a number of potential developers, no one has been named as developer. At this time, it appears that if the project moves to conclusion, the BPW will assume the developer role. We have been addressing various items and have not met anything we cannot address. If things continue to look good, it is anticipated that a go/no-go decision will be made prior to the calendar year’s end. If we give the go ahead, construction of this size of project of 20-40 megawatts takes about one and a half to two years.”
Just to recap. The Allegan Wind Project is budgeted at around $100M. It began as a BPW self-build, then became a developer project, now it’s apparently back to being a BPW project. The only wind results we have consist of one slide from a year ago, which showed poor results. We have not had any study results released since then. We have had a total of five lease renewals, whose total cost is over $200,000 by now. All in all, this does not seem like a project with a good chance for success.
The ironic thing, of course, is that we have more practical information about this project than we do about the proposed expansion to the James de Young plant, which when have do have information, suffers from discrepancy between differing forecasts of coal process, (both in the Garforth report and apparently also in the HDR report), projected future demand and projected wholesale grid prices.