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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yes to turbines

From an editorial in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Wind turbines on the lakefront would be a good sign for the city's renewable energy portfolio.

Milwaukee's lakefront may in some ways indeed be sacred to local residents. Its natural beauty is a defining characteristic of the city and the region. But it is not so sacred that worthwhile projects can't be developed for the lakefront.

One such project that deserves serious consideration is placing one to three wind turbines near the Lake Express car ferry terminal to provide renewable power for the Port of Milwaukee administration. It also is designed to demonstrate the city's commitment renewable energy. These are all good things.

The project would be funded with a block grant from federal economic stimulus dollars, Erick Shambarger, a city environmental sustainability manager, told Journal Sentinel reporter Thomas Content. "No property tax dollars would be involved," Shambarger said.

Most of the $5.8 million block grant would go to programs aimed at boosting energy efficiency and conservation, but city officials saw the wind turbine project as an opportunity "to show the city's commitment to renewable power. Having this at the port building would be a visible way to do that," Shambarger said.

The cost of the project would depend on the type of turbine selected. A larger turbine is expected to cost $550,000, but the price could be reduced by incentives that the city would seek from the Focus on Energy program and We Energies.

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