EcoEnergy LLC (EcoEnergy) has slowed down its projects in Magnolia and Union townships, Rock county, in the wake of the recession in the economy. The Magnolia town board has approved a one-year renewal for a conditional-use permit for the wind measurement tower at County B and highway 213. Gathering data from the tower is the first step in a proposed 100-megawatt project proposed for the township. The 197-foot tower went up in April 2007 to collect wind data.
The company officials are pleased with the findings from the wind data. Calculations using tower data show the average annual wind speed should be 15 mile per hour at 264 feet, which would be the hub height of a wind turbine.
Overall, that project (Magnolia) and a number of others pretty much industry-wide have … slowed down on activity, EcoEnergy Vice President of wind development Wes Slaymaker said.
Slaymaker and other developers expect things to pick up with the country’s push for renewable energy.
There’s really no movement since October, Slaymaker said of the Magnolia project. Nobody’s able to close any deals a lot of belts are tightened.
In Union township, the company is working with Wisconsin Public Power Inc. on a three-turbine project. Another measurement tower went up in 2008 in the township at County C and highway 104. Slaymaker said that initial results showed average wind speeds of about 15.5 mile per hour at 264 feet.
It’s providing more data to better characterize the whole area, Slaymaker said.
Slaymaker said attention was focused on legislative reform for wind turbine existing rules. He called Union Township’s ordinance restrictive but said he hoped that the state would reach a compromise for statewide standards.
A bill proposed in 2008 that would have overridden local ordinances, was pulled from the Senate floor near the end of the session. Legislators plan to reintroduce the bill or similar legislation in coming weeks, Slaymaker said.