Nunda Township Considering Two Small Windmills to Alleviate Electricity Cost

The 120-foot windmill blade looks like an airplane propeller.

I went to a township meeting north of Crystal Lake last night in which no one raised his or her voice, no one insulted anyone, people asked sincere questions and heard a proposal to save money.

Getting over before 9, it was a long meeting for Nunda Township, but only because of a presentation by a windmill company and a construction manager.

The regular items of business seemed to take about a minute apiece. I’m talking approval of minutes, bills, stuff like that.

Starting township officials thinking about windmills was the Aurora Township Road Commissioner John Shoemaker, whose windmill will go online within a week, if nothing unforeseen occurs.

What tipped the decision point for Aurora Township was the cost of street lights.

Nunda Township Supervisor John Heisler holds up McHenry County's windmill guidelines.

While the energy generated on site will be used on site most of the time and will only offset street lighting costs (for which the township is billed a monthly rate that does not vary with use), any surplus electricity sold to the grid could be used to offset street light costs.

Com Ed is seeking to raise electric rates by about 7%, which was presented as a reason to try to cut electricity.

And, grants seem to be available to offset construction and equipment costs for the first ones applying.

Emmit George and Mark Baum make windmill presentation to the Nunda Township Board.

Aurora Township, for instance, asked for almost the maximum amount it thought available from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs–$39,900–and was said to have gotten even more. The program is called the “Solar Energy Rebate Program” administered through the Renewable Energy Resources Program.

Nunda Township had electric bills of $51,900 during a recent twelve month period.

Mark Baum looks on as Emmit George makes his windmill presentation.

With two windmills annual kilowatt output is estimated at 39,902 by the company selling them, ElectriTech out of Naperville. An average wind speed of 12 miles per hour is assumed.

That’s less than 25% of power Nunda uses, excluding street lights.

Township Supervisor John Heisler said he would hold a hearing after notifying local residents before proceeding.

Other local governments considering buying the 10 kilowatt Bergey windmills are Algonquin Township and the McHenry Township Fire Protection District.

Helping with the pitch was Mark Baum of the construction management company R.C. Wegman. It supervised the Aurora project and would be paid 12% of the cost of construction and the windmills.

The windmills, including installation, are estimated to cost something from $150,000 to $175,000, plus it seems to me the 12% charged by R.C. Wegman for construction management.

That’s what ElectiTech’s Emmit George’s paperwork said.

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