ENVIRONMENT: TCL&P’s wind turbine sets record high electricity production

TRAVERSE CITY – The howling winds of November powered Traverse City’s wind turbine into record-setting energy production for that month. Located on the radio tower ridge on a private farm two miles west of the city, the wind turbine is owned and operated by Traverse City Light & Power, the city’s municipal power source.

The 160-foot turbine cranked out 113,615 kilowatt-hours of wind-generated electricity, creating enough power to supply 237 average TCL&P residential customers.

The November output was nearly 10 percent higher than the previous record-high month of December 1998, when 105,000 kilowatt-hours of energy were produced.

The turbine has produced 2,700,000 total kilowatt hours of energy since its construction in June of 1996.

“It’s a thrill to see such an exciting project succeeding,” said Jeff Feldt, Executive Director of Traverse City Light & Power. “This record setting production is an indication of the increased output capacities that are possible with the wind turbine. It’s an excellent complement to our mix of generation resources, that includes fossil fuel and hydro power, and has turned out to be a great all-around investment for us and for the community.”

The windmill was the first utility scale wind turbine installed in Michigan, and has been providing the cleanest, most efficient energy possible since its inception. It was made possible by community support of the “green rate”–voluntary residential and commercial rates available to customers willing to pay a premium for wind-generated electricity.

The greatest beneficiary is the environment. By choosing wind energy, an average residential customer will avoid the burning of three tons of coal and air pollution annually.

Traverse City Light & Power provides service to 9,400 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Traverse City, as well as parts of Blair, East Bay, Elmwood, Garfield, Peninsula and Paradise townships. BIZNEWS