Potential $1.4M wind energy project on Ann Arbor City Council agenda
Three weeks after adopting an ambitious plan to reduce the community's carbon footprint, Ann Arbor officials are pushing ahead with a new wind energy demonstration project.
The Ann Arbor City Council will be asked to accept and appropriate up to $951,500 in federal energy grant dollars for the project when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7.
The grant funding is coming from the U.S. Department of Energy. The project scope includes design and construction of up to two wind turbines, along with public outreach and education related to the benefits of using wind as a renewable and alternative energy source.
The grant requires the city to provide $484,390 in matching funds, but city officials have found a way around making a cash contribution from the city's coffers.
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If the council approves accepting the grant, Steglitz said, the city's staff will return to council at a future meeting with additional resolutions to approve agreements with AAPS and the site developer to complete the contractual arrangements for constructing up to two wind turbines.
Steglitz said it's anticipated the wind turbines will be located on AAPS property, though his memo doesn't say exactly where, and the developer will construct them and provide the public schools with a 20-year power purchase agreement that will guarantee AAPS a minimal amount of power production by the turbines per year. That's expected to be at a rate less than the current market rate for electricity. Meanwhile, the city will obtain renewable energy credits from the installation.
The project would help bring the city one step closer toward achieving its goal of having 5 percent of the community's energy needs met by renewable sources by 2015.
The city's newly adopted Climate Action Plan includes a goal of reducing the entire community's greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent by 2015, by 25 percent by 2025, and by 90 percent by 2050 — all relative to 2000 baseline levels.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.