By MIKE MODRZYNSKI
News Staff Writer
The Wolverine Clean Energy Venture project, planned for a site near Rogers City, is more than just a base-load power plant, but its second component, a site near the solid-fuel power plant that potentially could include as many as 35 wind turbines, is seldom talked about.
According to plans provided by the company, the wind farm is to be located on a parcel of land that covers approximately 3,500 acres near Adams Point inside the Carmeuse quarry. The entire project will be located inside the quarry well away from any residential areas. Wind flow testing at the site has been ongoing since August 2007 and, according to Wolverine spokesman Ken Bradstreet, a tentative report on the results of that testing could be released with next three or four weeks.
"When we first started the wind farm project we knew we needed data to support the concept and that's what has been going on for the past (18) months," Bradstreet said. "This report will be pretty much a summary of what wind energy experts we contracted with might call a preliminary feasibility study ... is the location a good one. They will not only tell us if the wind flow is sufficient, but also what size wind turbines are best suited for the site."
Bradstreet said since the wind farm will be located in Pulawski Township, the township board will be traveling south to the John Deere Harvest Wind Farm near Elkton in the Thumb. He said the members of the board will get a first-hand look at what that wind farm looks like and what the impact of the proposed wind farm for their township might be. The John Deere wind farm includes 32, 1.65 MW wind turbines spread out over 3,200 acres and, in its first year of operation generated enough electricity to power 15,000 homes.
Wolverine Power has a 20-year contract with John Deere to purchase all of the electricity generated at the site.
Chad Geiger, project director for the wind farm, said in an interview in the fall of 2008, that the success of the project will be based on the review of all the data collected by a test tower erected in August 2007 on the site proposed for the wind farm. He said the tower collects wind and meteorological data at the top of the tower and several other heights to get a clear picture of wind patterns at Adams Point.
"All that data is collected throughout the day and night and is sent to an off-site computer for collection and it will be about two years worth of data that actually determines the feasibility of the wind farm at that location," Geiger said.
Bradstreet said the data collection period is nearly at an end and the preliminary data soon will be in the hands of wind energy experts for evaluation.
"The wind farm is the second part of the Wolverine Clean Energy Venture to be built near Rogers City, and one we are very proud to be proposing," he said.
Mike Modrzynski can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.