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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Westby Wind Energy Project stalled

From an article by Dorothy Jasperson in the Westby Times:

The Westby Wind Energy project, which has been in the works for over three years suffered a set back recently as Eco-Energy and WPPI try to solicit new backing for the project after a number of the major players were forced to scale back their investments due to the nationwide economic crisis.

According to Westby Public Works Director Gregg Hanson, Westby Utilities and it’s power supplier, WPPI Energy, have a vested interest in continuing to pursue and construct the proposed wind turbine project in the city of Westby, but stressful economic times have temporarily stalled the local project.

“Wind energy is one of the cleanest forms of electric power generation and it has the potential to generate a significant amount of energy for WPPI Energy member communities. Planning and rezoning conditional use permits have been secured for the project and even though project discussions are continuing, current economic conditions will play a large role in determining the projects next step,” Hanson said.

The initial Westby wind project involved the construction of three, 400 foot tall, wind generated turbines at a cost of $3-4 million dollars per unit, with construction of the wind turbines to begin in 2009-10. The 4.5 megawatt wind turbines would have been constructed on the west edge of the city, near the high school track field and the Westby Cooperative Creamery lagoons, on city property and land owned by Glen and Madeline Stalsberg, whose farm was earlier annexed into the city from the town of Christiana.

It was anticipated that the Westby wind turbine project would have generated wind energy equal to 50-percent of the cities annual energy consumption. Energy produced at the Westby site would have interconnected with grid through the substation on Black River Avenue. The wind energy produced would have been sold to the grid and helped to offset the growing cost of utilities for all WPPI costumers, including city of Westby residents.

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