Wind Turbine Spins in Lenox, Iowa

March 01, 2004

A new 750-kW wind turbine went online in December in Lenox, Iowa. The city-owned turbine is expected to generate 10% of local electricity needs. A grant of $400,000 from the Iowa Department of Economic Development helped pay the turbine's installation costs. Municipal facilities will consume about one-tenth of the power output from the turbine, and the balance will be blended with the rest of the utility's power supply to benefit all its customers.

Because all Iowa electric utilities are required by law to offer their customers a green power choice, the utility allows customers to contribute to a fund to support further renewable development. Currently, almost 10% of the households in Lenox have signed up to contribute $2 per month toward renewable energy through Lenox Municipal Utilities' Green City Energy Program. "When you add the wind generation to the 60% of our energy that is already coming from hydroelectric power," said Dave Ferris, general manager of Lenox Municipal Utilities, "we now are supplying a large majority of our energy from clean, renewable sources."

Source: December 12 issue of Wind Energy Weekly.