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FPL eyes Marineland for energy-producing wind turbines

MARINELAND -- Florida Power & Light customers may plug into wind energy in Florida sometime next year if a coastal project shows promise.

Engineers are evaluating wind speeds on Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico beaches to find a location to erect four to six electricity-producing wind turbines.

The turbines would stand 415 feet tall and create enough power for a city the size of Ormond Beach. The display would be the first of its kind for FPL on Florida sand.

"We're facing tremendous growth for demand of electricity by our customers," said FPL spokeswoman Rachel Scott. "We're trying to extract as much renewable energy as possible."

Flagler County is one of several Florida locations eyed by FPL engineers for the experiment. The company has spoken to officials of the town of Marineland about a possible demonstration, but a utility spokesman questioned whether a wide-enough section of beachfront property could be found here.

Because turbines must be spaced at least 1,000 feet apart, the company is looking for up to 6,000 feet of property near the ocean.

The project follows a state effort to diversify Florida energy sources. In February, Gov. Jeb Bush approved a four-year, $75 million plan -- called the 2006 Florida Energy Act -- that provides tax incentives and grants to companies testing alternative... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Engineers are evaluating wind speeds on Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico beaches to find a location to erect four to six electricity-producing wind turbines.

The turbines would stand 415 feet tall and create enough power for a city the size of Ormond Beach. The display would be the first of its kind for FPL on Florida sand.

"We're facing tremendous growth for demand of electricity by our customers," said FPL spokeswoman Rachel Scott. "We're trying to extract as much renewable energy as possible."

Flagler County is one of several Florida locations eyed by FPL engineers for the experiment. The company has spoken to officials of the town of Marineland about a possible demonstration, but a utility spokesman questioned whether a wide-enough section of beachfront property could be found here.

Because turbines must be spaced at least 1,000 feet apart, the company is looking for up to 6,000 feet of property near the ocean.

The project follows a state effort to diversify Florida energy sources. In February, Gov. Jeb Bush approved a four-year, $75 million plan -- called the 2006 Florida Energy Act -- that provides tax incentives and grants to companies testing alternative fuel sources, plus expedites permitting of new power plants.

In April, FPL announced intentions to expand its energy resources by 27 percent by moving beyond its traditional oil, coal and natural-gas generation methods.

Plans are in the works for solar power generation in Sarasota, and the company might build another Florida nuclear power plant, Scott said during a telephone interview last week from her office in Juno Beach. FPL has two plants in the state in St. Lucie and Turkey Point.

Scott said FPL may pursue state funds to pay for the wind project, but the company has not settled on financial arrangements.

Engineers hope to find a location with constant 9 mph or faster winds and where the local community would welcome a site.

Scott said the Florida project could demonstrate the viability of turbines in an area with little wind. An FPL subsidiary company, Florida Power & Light Energy is one of the largest producers of wind power in the country, with projects in 15 states like windier Oklahoma and California.

According to the European Wind Energy Association, Denmark and Germany are the world leaders of "safe" and "clean" wind power, growing a centuries-old industry after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown in the Ukraine.

Volusia/Flagler Environmental Action Committee chairwoman and Sierra Club member Alexa Ross said she wouldn't support a nuclear plant but would love to see a wind or solar project.

"(I'm) very supportive of a nonpolluting energy source," she said. "The Sunshine State is falling a little behind on that."

Bob Coleman, an FPL spokesman for the region that includes Volusia and Flagler counties, approached Marineland Mayor Jim Netherton several weeks ago to see if town officials would like to see a test site in their area.

"I, personally, wish we had renewable energy," Coleman said.

The Marineland Town Commission was scheduled to discuss FPL's proposal May 18 but postponed it after deciding the current town boundaries do not contain a large enough section of available land.

Residents of The Hammock, a residential area south of town, have asked Marineland officials to consider annexing the area. If annexation goes through, the town might discuss the matter again, officials concluded at the May meeting.




Source: http://www.news-journalonli...

JUN 6 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2945-fpl-eyes-marineland-for-energy-producing-wind-turbines
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