USA - Former cold-war microwave towers reused for possible wind turbine sites

WindPole Ventures to fit test kit on nearly 1,200 radio towers to monitor the average wind speed

A wind farm firm has inked a deal to put test kit on nearly 1,200 radio towers to monitor the average wind speed and see if the area would be suitable for installing electricity wind turbines. The towers are owned by American Tower and were originally built by AT&T for cold-war defence purposes.

All of the sites have permitted access roads and power links to the electrical distribution grid thus addressing a cost and permitting impediment to many wind power projects.

The majority of the towers are in the correct location and height to be used to tell if the area is suitable for wind farms. In addition, the communication towers hold operating permits from various Federal agencies including the FAA and FCC. Again, the sites have attributes that can accelerate wind power development and lower the development cost.

Many of the towers are not thin metal structures, but made of hardened concrete and designed to withstand the shockwave from a nuclear bomb no closer than five miles away. Hence their structure can be reused for wind turbines without physical reinforcements.

“We believe access to these sites and evaluation of their wind assets will support our strategy of implementing distributed wind generation resources across the country. In addition, we believe the long-standing existence of these massive towers will hasten approval of attractive sites,” Steve Kropper, CEO of WindPole Ventures, said in a statement.

The contract lasts 18 months, and if the tests prove promising then the company may apply for permission to either build additional towers in proximity, or where possible mount electricity generating turbines onto the old microwave towers directly.

WindPole Ventures is a start-up wind energy company that with affiliated companies aims to develop and operate commercial-scale wind powered electric generating facilities in attractive energy markets throughout the United States. Their five year target is to develop 300MW of wind energy capacity
WindPole Ventures
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist / Author: WindPole Ventures Staff
wind energy, renewable energy, wind turbine, wind power, wind farm, rotorblade, onshore, offshore

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