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Plan for windmill is up in the air

The state will play a major role in deciding whether a windmill is installed at Green Tree Park to generate electricity and help pay for the town's energy costs. The borough has applied for two Department of Environmental Protection grants, each for $168,000, to fund a proposed $173,000 windmill and solar electric system. The borough would pay $5,000 toward the overall cost. ...Council President Mark Sampogna said, however, he is unsure if council will approve the project, even if funding is secured. The height of proposed installation, 100 feet to 120 feet, could detract from the appearance of the park, he said.

The state will play a major role in deciding whether a windmill is installed at Green Tree Park to generate electricity and help pay for the town's energy costs.

The borough has applied for two Department of Environmental Protection grants, each for $168,000, to fund a proposed $173,000 windmill and solar electric system. The borough would pay $5,000 toward the overall cost.

Borough Manager Dave Montz said if one or both grants are awarded, the total received would not exceed $168,000.

Council President Mark Sampogna said, however, he is unsure if council will approve the project, even if funding is secured.

The height of proposed installation, 100 feet to 120 feet, could detract from the appearance of the park, he said.

Talk of a windmill surfaced in October 2007, when Vox Energy Solutions, of McCandless, approached Green Tree about installing a windmill at the park behind Aiken Elementary School.

Its purpose would be to generate electricity to offset the borough's $5,000 annual electricity costs at the park for its walking track, parking lot, ball field lights, restrooms and concession buildings.

It also would reduce the borough's overall electricity bill by selling any... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The state will play a major role in deciding whether a windmill is installed at Green Tree Park to generate electricity and help pay for the town's energy costs.

The borough has applied for two Department of Environmental Protection grants, each for $168,000, to fund a proposed $173,000 windmill and solar electric system. The borough would pay $5,000 toward the overall cost.

Borough Manager Dave Montz said if one or both grants are awarded, the total received would not exceed $168,000.

Council President Mark Sampogna said, however, he is unsure if council will approve the project, even if funding is secured.

The height of proposed installation, 100 feet to 120 feet, could detract from the appearance of the park, he said.

Talk of a windmill surfaced in October 2007, when Vox Energy Solutions, of McCandless, approached Green Tree about installing a windmill at the park behind Aiken Elementary School.

Its purpose would be to generate electricity to offset the borough's $5,000 annual electricity costs at the park for its walking track, parking lot, ball field lights, restrooms and concession buildings.

It also would reduce the borough's overall electricity bill by selling any electricity that was generated but not needed to Duquesne Light.

As part of a recently completed six-month study, a wind-monitoring device was erected to determine whether the site was feasible for a windmill.

Jason Clark, director of renewable energy systems for Vox, said the study revealed the area is not as windy as was believed.

"We were a little disappointed. We thought there was a good, consistent source of wind up there that would provide us with energy savings," Mr. Sampogna said.

As a result, the company proposed a hybrid system consisting of a windmill and a solar electric system.

With a solar system, sunlight striking semiconducting material is used to produce electricity.

The solar electric system would be placed on the roof of the garage structure at the park.

Mr. Clark, who prefers the term wind turbine to windmill, said it would be roughly 25 feet wide and 100 to 120 feet high.

Mr. Sampogna said while council likes the idea of a windmill because of the energy situation in the country, members are not greatly impressed with the payback because it will take a few years to break even on the initial investment.

Technological factors also must be weighed.

With technology advancing at rapid rates, he said, it might it be better to wait for a more advanced, and maybe cheaper, solar electric system.

The borough expects to learn later this year whether its proposal will be awarded funding.

Green Tree won't be the first community to experiment with wind power.

Late last year, the state Department of Environmental Protection delivered a windmill to Economy in Beaver County with the capacity of generating 1.8 kilowatts of power on an ongoing basis to produce electricity for its municipal center.

The windmill was erected on a Beaver County hillside. It generates enough electricity to power a typical home for about a week. The results so far are less than expected.


Source: http://www.post-gazette.com...

NOV 6 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17776-plan-for-windmill-is-up-in-the-air
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