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Friday, October 12, 2012

Wind project proposed for Dane County

From an article Steven Verburg in the Wisconsin State Journal:

Epic Systems plans six wind turbines northwest of Madison

Dane County's first array of commercial wind turbines will rise hundreds of feet above the rolling hills along Highway 12 northwest of Madison under plans Epic Systems of Verona hatched over the last four weeks.

The plan had to move quickly so that Epic can take advantage of federal tax credits that expire Dec. 31, said Bruce Richards, the medical software manufacturer's director of facilities and engineering.

Six turbines — each with three 135-foot blades spinning atop a 262-foot tower — will be visible from the tall buildings in Downtown Madison, including the Capitol, and the electricity they generate will help Epic offset most of its energy needs on its sprawling Verona campus. . . .

A geothermal system heats and cools the Verona campus, and solar panels already generate electricity. The addition of the turbines will mean the company can provide about 85 percent of its own energy needs by 2014, Richards said.

"What sticks out to me is Epic's incredible commitment to renewable energy," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, whose administration has expedited permits for the company.

Morse Group president Lou Rotello said his company will serve as engineering, procurement and construction contractor on the project, which will employ about 75 construction workers.

The site is a good one in part because almost all of the homes that could be affected by noise or flickering shadows from the turbine blades are occupied by family members of the landowners who are leasing their land for the towers, Rotello said.

The ridge isn't the windiest spot in the county, but studies indicate it will be gusty enough to spin the blades at 27 percent of their full-speed capacity each year, Rotello said.
The turbines have a capacity of 9.9 megawatts, which will qualify them as one of 10 "major" wind power generators in Wisconsin, said Deborah Irwin, the state Public Service Commission's renewable energy specialist.

Read the full article here.

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