Permits extended on possible Columbia Co. wind farm

Posted on August 4, 2010. Filed under: Wind |


From an article by Lyn Jerde in the Portage Daily Register:

Another Columbia County wind farm – this one in the county’s southern tier – is still up in the air.

The Columbia County Board’s planning and zoning committee Tuesday extended, by one year, conditional use permits to two landowners, which would allow for another year of testing wind speeds, using two 197-foot test towers set up by the Madison-based Wind Capital Group. The towers have been in place for two years.

One of the towers is in the town of Arlington, on land owned by Sherri and Lloyd Manthe. The other is in the town of Leeds, where the landowner hosting it is Alan Kaltenberg, a town supervisor.

Planning and Zoning Director John Bluemke said the extension of the conditional use permit to Aug. 1, 2011, as approved by the committee, is contingent on approval from the Arlington and Leeds town boards.

Thomas Green, senior manager for project development for Wind Capital Group, said results from the test towers (which don’t have bladed turbines, as electricity-generating windmills do) have shown that southern Columbia County could have wind that is strong enough, and frequent enough, to make the area a viable location for a wind farm.

But discussion is still in the early stages, he said.

“Thus far, we feel pretty good about the wind capacity in the area,” he said. “We know we have to have the data to take further steps.”

Another year of testing the wind would provide additional information while the Wind Capital Group assesses other factors that might determine whether their wind farm might be in Columbia County’s future.

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