City to draft wind turbine ordinance, proposes moratorium on growing medical marijuana

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

The City of Rockford Planning Commission listened to advice from Cascade Engineering’s Jessica Lehti on crafting a wind turbine ordinance. She spoke before the group on Thursday, January 28 at Rockford City Hall after a dinner of pizza and soda. Cascade Engineering’s Renewable Energy Solutions has sold turbines around the world and has worked with municipalities that have ordinances in place and those that do not. According to Rockford City Manager Michael Young, there have not yet been any proposed wind turbine installations in Rockford, but Wolverine World Wide has considered putting in large wind turbines in years past. Leiti said Wolverine has contacted her company more recently and has a meeting set up to discuss wind turbines. “We waste a lot of energy in America,” Lehti said. She said it is important to look for new ways of creating energy. “The way we are doing it now [creating energy] is not very efficient.” She said it is important to look for new ways of creating energy now before we have rolling blackouts, and stated that the way we make energy now, from coal and natural gas, will not last forever. Lehti explained the output of different wind turbines in kilowatt hours and said ten 100 kilowatt-bulbs use one kilowatt of energy, and left on for one year use 8,760 kilowatts (kW) of power. In her household she took on a company challenge of lowering energy use and is leading with a low 6,000 kW per year. Smaller wind turbines, those up to the size of a water tower (a large small, Lehti said), generate considerably less energy than larger ones, whose energy creation is measured in megawatts. One megawatt is 1,000 kWs of energy. Lehti said a beneficial aspect of wind energy is that wind is often most powerful at the hours of the day when more energy is being used, between 12:30 and 4 p.m. Unfortunately, Michigan is not a particularly windy state. Wind quality in Rockford is not substantial, she said. Lehti advised Rockford to create an ordinance for both residential and industrial areas of the City and said some cities only allow installation through special use permits, which is expensive and time consuming. She said that the Federal Aviation Association already […]

City switches to windpower, turbines installed

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

photos by Melanie Ragsdale In an effort to support President Obama’s efforts to move the country to alternative energy sources, the City of Rockford has switched to windpower. “It only makes sense to harness the Earth’s natural flatulence,” said Izzy Toe, who is on the City’s committee to implement alternative energy, the Joint Open Konsumer Energy (JOKE) committee. Luckily, Rockford is known far and wide for the strength of the local winds, and is often referred to by the common nickname of “The Windy City.” The City made the leap away from electricity on Wednesday, April 1 in a ceremony where turbines installed at a tannery rooftop officially began powering the town. “I would have had to wipe tears of happiness from my eyes if the wind hadn’t blown them dry,” said the City President. “This is a life-long dream come true for me. I’ve always hated the electric company.” The City partnered in this venture with the local funny paper, the Rockford Square, which also made the switch on April 1. “We built our office wind turbine ourselves,” the newspaper spokesperson said. “We have a talented group here and are very handy.” The wind turbine is very common for residential use and can significantly decrease the global footprint of a family home. It was installed on the north side of the Squire building at 331 Northland Drive, just two doors down from the Michigan State Police Post. The Square staff would love to share our blueprint for the turbine with any readers who are interested and are currently offering tours. Within minutes of installation, the turbine began powering all Square electrical equipment. Square paper carriers are also going to windpower with their moms’ and dads’ cars. At right see the money-saving and popular auto wind turbine. “We are so, so grateful to the City for going along with us on this exciting venture,” a Square staffer said. “Wait until we tell them about our next great idea. It involves a large herd of pigs (which are surprisingly speedy animals) and a few hundred yards of velcro.  We’ll have them using zero gas for their City cars lickity split.”