Orion raises first urban wind tower in Manitowoc County

Posted on August 13, 2010. Filed under: Wind |

From a news release issued by Orion Energy Systems:

MANITOWOC, Wis. — Aug. 12, 2010 — Orion Energy Systems Inc. (NYSE Amex: OESX) on Thursday raised the first urban wind tower in Manitowoc County, which will help offset energy consumed at the company’s technology center.

Based on average wind speed, the 20-kilowatt wind turbine is expected to generate up to 32 megawatt-hours a year. The wind turbine was manufactured by Oshkosh, Wis.-based Renewegy.

The monopole tower is the first urban wind turbine in Manitowoc County. Urban wind is the process of generating electricity through wind power to be used at an adjacent load center in an urban setting, significantly reducing the inefficiencies of transmitting and distributing electricity generated in rural areas.

“Urban wind is smart because the turbine is located at the load center, eliminating the need to transmit and distribute the power over long distances, which can result in the loss of up to 15 percent of the energy,” said Orion CEO Neal Verfuerth. “Like Orion’s growing suite of energy solutions, which now includes efficient lighting, wireless control systems and renewable solar technologies, urban wind will create permanent distributed load reductions — delivering capacity to the stressed energy grid and delivering energy savings to the end-user.”

“I’m proud to be standing here today for the erection of the first wind tower in the city of Manitowoc,” said Mayor Justin Nickels. “It’s truly amazing to have a company like Orion that, like the city of Manitowoc, continually looks to the future. We’re proud to have Orion in Manitowoc and to work with them to continue offering technologies that provide real energy solutions.”

About 40 people watched from the balcony of Orion’s tech center as two hydraulic lifts erected the fully assembled wind tower into place.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Petri, R-Wis., said the wind tower and Orion’s suite of products and services that deliver permanent distributed load reductions will “make our country stronger, help us consume less, yet have a higher standard of living.”

“Orion is a change agent in the energy sector,” Petri said. “You’re looking at the problem in a different way and thinking of new solutions to energy use.”

State Reps. James Soletski, D-Green Bay, and Ted Zigmunt, D-Francis Creek also attended the event, along with media, civic leaders and Orion employees.


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