Peru - Introduction of wind turbines considered

Sign of the future

City officials are considering construction of a wind turbine generator as an additional energy source for the city-owned electric utility. The City Council will vote Monday on whether to apply for an easement from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The easement would allow the city to put a meteorological tower and potentially a wind turbine in the southwest quad of the cloverleaf at U.S. Route 251 and Interstate 80. Mayor Don Baker said the wind energy project is still in the research phase, and residents would not see benefits anytime soon.

"We're just trying to find out if any sites would be feasible to erect a generator," Baker said. "It's something that will have to be determined before we move forward." Peru also runs a hydropower plant on the Illinois River in Utica. Alderman Jack O'Beirne said the city is looking at three possible locations for the turbine: the I-80 cloverleaf, east of the Menards store near I-80 and near the Illinois River on the southern edge of town.

O'Beirne said the city would erect the wind turbine at whichever spot generates the most energy. Turbine size and construction cost would be determined after the wind study is finished. O'Beirne said the council has been considering the new energy source since construction of the 54-megawatt Crescent Ridge wind farm in Tiskilwa. "I think that's a sign of the future," O'Beirne said. O'Beirne said the city saved about 200 gallons of diesel fuel in October by using the city's hydropower plant. This saved the city about $115,413, according to a report by the Peru Electric Department. The hydropower plant produces about 7 megawatts of electricity, which O'Beirne said is enough to power the whole residential area of the city.
Online editorial, www.windfair.net
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
Peru, wind energy, wind power, wind farm wind turbine, wind, rotorblade, offshore, onshore

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