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Posted on Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Manager of Ohio wind energy company questions $1.4M turbine project in Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton

The managing director of an Ohio-based wind energy company says a potentially $1.4 million wind turbine project in Ann Arbor is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

"We did the wind study for Washtenaw County up there, and what we found was there wasn't enough wind for anything, quite frankly," said Joe Woods of North Coast Wind & Power LLC.

"There's not enough wind in that area for commercial turbines, and it definitely isn't enough for anything smaller," he said.


Lake Effect Energy Corp. of Harbor Springs, Mich., says one of two turbines it hopes to construct in Ann Arbor would be the same as this Gaia 11-kW turbine the company recently finished commissioning in Cross Village.

Courtesy of Lake Effect Energy Corp.

The city of Ann Arbor is planning to partner with Ann Arbor Public Schools and New York-based Wind Products Inc. to install two turbines on school property somewhere in the city.

Christopher Stahl, president of Michigan-based Lake Effect Energy Corp., said his company will be partnering with Wind Products Inc. to construct the turbines and make sure they work properly.

Stahl said he's confident the turbines proposed — a 50-kW turbine and an 11-kW turbine, both atop 120-foot monopoles — will produce good results.

"The last thing we want to do is be spending public dollars irresponsibly — it's not going to happen," he said. "We're a smaller company. I like what I do and I want to be doing it 20 years from now, and I can't do that if we're not spending public dollars responsibly."

The Ann Arbor City Council voted in January to accept and appropriate up to $951,500 in federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Energy for the renewable energy demonstration project.

Brian Steglitz, a senior utilities engineer for the city, said the purpose of the project is to demonstrate the viability of wind technology and use it as an educational tool for the community.

"People are sort of misunderstanding the purpose of it," he said, adding it meets the federal government's educational goals.

"I don't think that we are, as a city, indicating that we think Ann Arbor has this great wind resource and we want to tap into it," Steglitz told the City Council in January.

"What this is really about is educating the community about renewable sources of energy. And to have a wind turbine in the city, which is sort of a monument to renewable energy, sort of speaks a little bit to the community's goals and interests."

The grant requires a $484,390 local match, but city officials have found a way around making a cash contribution. It's the city's intent to partner with AAPS and the developer to provide the site and financing required for the match, so the city's contribution will be $18,590 in staff time.

Woods, whose company conducted a 13-month wind feasibility study on behalf of Washtenaw County between 2008 and 2009, said he's appalled to see the city pushing forward with the project.

"It's a waste of money from the Department of Energy to invest in that project because we already know the wind regime is below marginal," Woods said. "It's just not going to produce."

An executive summary of the wind study Woods' company completed can be found on the county's website. It shows data was collected from an 80-meter meteorological tower at Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds west of Ann Arbor from 2008 to 2009.

The data showed an average wind speed of 11.5 mph at 78.6 meters high, which is the typical height for a commercial or utility-scale wind turbine. The report noted utility-scale wind power plants require minimum wind speeds of 13.4 mph to be financially viable.

"The consultant concluded that the wind resource would likely not support the development of a utility-scale wind farm," the report states.

The study found the average wind speed at 100 meters to be 13.4 mph and at 30 meters to be 7.9 mph, concluding that 100-meter installations might be "marginally financially viable."

Russell Tencer, chief executive officer for Wind Products Inc., said he finds it "a little bit odd" that Woods is using a four-year-old study of one location in Washtenaw County to argue there's no potential for wind energy in Ann Arbor. He said every location has a unique wind resource.

"There are certain locations where it makes sense, and plenty that don't," Tencer said. "Our experience is in figuring out the optimal locations to get the best return on investment."

Tencer said his company, which does wind modeling and financial modeling all over the world, performed an initial wind study in Ann Arbor and he's comfortable with moving ahead.

"The way this project is set up, we would own the machines, so it's critical for us that it make good financial sense," Tencer said. "Otherwise it's not a good use of our time."

Woods argues it only makes sense for Tencer's company because of the large public subsidy involved. He fears it's going to be a repeat of what happened in Lordstown, Ohio, where two wind turbines installed in 2011 have failed to meet expectations.

Woods' company recently purchased Minnesota-based Ventera Wind Inc., which is manufacturing 10-kW turbines at a plant in Duluth.

"I've seen far too many bad installations out there," he said. "We have to be smart about wind. If you offered me the project, I would turn it down."

Stahl said it's important to note what's proposed are "point-of-use turbines" directly connected to what they're powering. He said nobody's looking to set up a commercial wind farm in Ann Arbor.

Woods said he knows that and he still fears the project will be bad for the wind energy industry and the turbines will be little more than "lawn ornaments."

"Any time you have a turbine that is not performing, it's just bad for the industry as a whole, and that's what we'll end up with here," he said.

Steglitz said not much has happened on the project since the City Council voted to accept the federal grant in January.


Brian Steglitz

"We're still working on trying to develop agreements with the stakeholders and parties involved," he said.

The federal grant expires June 30, 2014. Steglitz said the construction would have to be completed by then.

Steglitz said the exact location still hasn't been determined, but the plan remains to install two wind turbines as renewable energy demonstrations on school property.

"In terms of it being viable, it will spin and it will make power," he said.

It's expected the developer will construct the turbines and provide the public schools with a 20-year power purchase agreement that would help AAPS save on electricity costs.

Steglitz said the turbines would provide a hands-on tool for AAPS to teach students about wind energy, and there would be an online tool where data from the turbines would be available.

Steglitz said he's confident there's sufficient wind to operate turbines in Ann Arbor, but he said the project is still in its infancy and the design details haven't been worked out.

Woods argued the two turbines the city is talking about installing should cost significantly less than $1.4 million.

Project officials explained the $1.4 million is covering more than just the cost of the turbines — it's also paying for a public outreach process and educational efforts. Stahl said it's also possible it could help fund a documentary on the project, which has been talked about.

Steglitz said once the contractual arrangements between the parties are finalized, an environmental assessment process will begin, and that will include public engagement. has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city asking for wind study data submitted by Wind Products Inc., the project budget the city submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy, and any correspondence between the city and AAPS regarding turbine locations.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:33 a.m.

Good grief. Even wind-happy NREL says Ann Arbor has a "poor" wind resource at 50M. But at least Ann Arborite's aren't being faced with this: Kevon Martis Director


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 5:35 p.m.

Pretty amazing how desperate some people are to do anything that sounds good, even if it doesn't make sense, they are more interested in appearances by far.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.

It's quite apparent that little attention is paid to the devastating effects that windmills and wind farms have on bird populations. Instead of a "Silent Spring" from DDT, the killer turbine blades will continue to silence these winged creatures.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

Don't blame the leaders of Ann Arbor for their love of government subsidized projects. The whole concept of Ann Arbor, is based on government subsidies. Without the University's (38 percent tax payer subsidized) economical impact, what would Ann Arbor be? Some might say, "Dundee? Tecumseh?" Don't blame the leaders. They most likely were raised, educated and employed in a government subsidized utopia (Ann Arbor). My only question is, "How can I sell ocean front property in Arizona, to these people?"

West Side Mom

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Where does AAPS stand on this? There are no quotes from Liz M. or anyone else at the district. And it appears that AAPS has not committed a school site to the project. If this means that AAPS is on the fence about the project, I say no thank you. The district has enough on its plate right now. We don't need a $1.4M folly.

Richard Wickboldt

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

I am a proponent of clean and renewable energy in the cause of protecting the environment and eventually the survival of the human race. I have a natural gas burning whole house generator (for emergency outage use) with a capacity of 12 Kw which will power every device in my house on the hottest summer day. The proposed total power output of 66Kw of the two turbines (only when the wind speed is optimum) would likely provide power to about 15 homes on average. The project/deal is for 20 years of supplied power at a reduced cost. 15 homes over 20 years will have approx $28,000 - $48,000 in electrical energy bills. Let's say the reduced electric rate cuts that cost in half. The return on investment of total taxpayer monies (approx $970,000) is 40 years. 20 years past the agreement terms and probably past the actual life time of the wind turbine itself. This is a total waste of taxpayer's money with a main goal of educating our citizenship. Whom I think are already highly educated and informed. Gosh I learned about wind power back in high school 40 years ago. We already have an education wind turbine on top of the Skyline high school (which should have been able to give all the data needed to see how often the wind will be effective). Another perspective: Lowe's has a 20Kw natural gas generator on sale for $4,589. Would take three of them at a cost of $13,767 to almost equal the same power output costing $1.4 million of this project. This expenditure of tax payer's money is irresponsible by our council and federal government. Any of our elected officials (federal/local) who support and voted for these expenditures should be voted out of office. This is one of the reasons why this country is going broke with over 16 Trillion dollars in debt.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 11:32 a.m.

$1.4M educating the community about renewable sources of energy. ....what a waste!


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 11:36 a.m.

$1.4 million would by over 4000 $300 laptops.....a much better use of $ to educate.

A A Resident

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 11 a.m.

If this is primarily for educational purposes, how about mounting inexpensive and small ones on top of existing flagpoles at the schools? Kids can watch videos of the large ones.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 1:53 a.m.

This is why taxpayers want the government to spend the money they already receive responsibly before raising taxes on anyone. What a colossal waste of everything. Time, money effort, resources. A total joke.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 12:52 a.m.

Here we go again - being liberal for the sake of being liberal. Part of being "cutting edge" is doing things that are actually viable instead of trying to show the rest of the world how special we are. Again and again our city council shows just how clueless they are. Do we really need a loss leader to promote renewable energy? I think Ann Arbor is already behind things like this. At least if you are going to waste the money, put it in a place like Detroit or better yet, don't spend the money! I'm sorry, but this money comes from taxpayers to which there is a $16B debt. All this spending is killing our communities and nation and it has to stop. I am all for wind energy, but it has to make sense. Maybe it's time for me to run for city council as an independent, but I probably wouldn't win because I have common sense :)

Peter Eckstein

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 12:33 a.m.

The critics of this project fail to recognize how much it can contribute to both science and education. As for science, some have alleged that wind power will not be economical in areas where there is not much wind, but has this ever been proven scientifically? Likewise, young people may suspect that that proposition is valid, but have they ever seen it dramatically demonstrated? The scientific and educational fallout from this project will extend well beyond Ann Arbor. Many news organizations will want to come and take video of the wind turbine in action--or inaction, as the case may be. Fox News, which fosters skepticism on other scientific matters, like global warming, will be sure to come in, and for one of the few times it would be spreading scientific truth rather than skepticism. Then people around the country will be able to learn from this experiment. Fox might try to use this to discredit energy projects and characterize them as a waste of government money, but they say that about everything, so why should we care. Others, more concerned about global warming, may say that the million or so dollars cost of this project would contribute more to a greener world if it were spent on a wind turbine in a high wind area, where more power would be generated and less greenhouse gas would be emitted into the atmosphere. This is simply shortsighted. Let's have the courage of our convictions and go ahead and make our unique contribution to science and education! In the interim, however, the Hands-on-Museum might create an exhibit in which an electric fan can be turned on to spin the blades of a miniature windmill connected to a small generator that would power a small light bulb. That would not only demonstrate that windmills don't generate power when the wind is not blowing but also that they can generate it when the wind is blowing. I will happily donate $100 to seed such a project if it does not already exist. That should cover a good share of the cost.

Charles Armentrout

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

Peter, I like your wry comments. I'll add my $100 to your effective HOM demo, too, if you get it going. Seems some trolls are so politically bent they cannot see irony when it whomps them in the face. The Proving Ground study is all I need to base my own go/no-go decision. The problem with passive generators is that they passivate when you need them most. Cloudy windless winter days come to mind (just after an ice storm?). Or same thing during 100º F humid summer days. AA is not a good place to put wind turbines, and solar is just OK except when the bright light in the sky isn't available. I have dreamed for decades of wind farms 50 miles off the coast, generating a gazillion MW of power and sending it to shore. This would be a high tech engineering experiment, though. Michiganders have some excellent areas to test because we do have some great lakes around here. But no one wants to invest the $$ to overcome the clear obstacles to success. Or of even doing the initial test of wind suitability. If I were the Czar of energy development, I would start funding efficient energy *storage* techniques, and ASAP! -- Charles Armentrout


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 2:43 a.m.

Peter. One word: Baloney!


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

The federal money is already set aside..all Ann Arbor is spending is 18K....Well worth the money for kids to learn. How many of you have kids? They need to be able to see things up close and be reminded of what they have learned or it does not stick with them. For this to be on a local school property, I am exited. Many kids and parents who have no idean what wind energy means will get the opportunity to see it up close. I love the idea. This is a great investment, for many years to come think of how many people will be exposed the the idea.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 1:57 a.m.

The same $18K that they won't spend to install 400 feet of sidewalk leading into Bandemer park off of Barton Drive? So that the school kids and their families in the neighborhood won't have to walk along the road to get to a park? Priorities, people.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 1:01 a.m.

And this money comes from a magic money tree? No idea what wind energy means? I'm pretty sure people get the concept that wind blows a prop, which turns a turbine, which creates electricity. I would like to know what your reaction would be if your property taxes went up $2000 a year to pay for this. It's so easy to be for stuff when we are not directly paying for it, but in the long term we do. And even more sadly, our grandchildren will pay for it with interest. Typical Ann Arbor thinking....


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 12:12 a.m.

For that amount of money, you could bus the kids up to Ithaca, Michigan for a day to see the wind farm there. Better yet, just video it. Having wind turbines locally does not mean an improved educational experience. I'm surprised that anyone would spend public dollars without a definitive wind study showing that wind energy in this area would be profitable, absent any public subsidy.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 2:42 a.m.

The Ithaca County Wind Farm (about 40 miles north of Lansing) is, simply stated: Awesome. Awesome. Awesome!!!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

A project of this sort would most likely benefit by a higher elevation. Isn't Skyline at a higher elevation than Pioneer?


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

By the way, I've been in other cities and towns where they have tried these turbine projects. When they are turning, they are very loud. Funny how the specific properties being considered (school properties) are not outlined. I doubt they will install one near an elem school, but whether it's a middle or high school, they are all near residential areas. The noise will be an issue when they are turning. Also, these things are huge and an eyesore in a city. HUGE mistake. All for show, nothing else.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:46 p.m.

Total waste of money. Not enough wind in AA to make a turbine viable. End of story. Vote OUT the city council members who approved this debacle.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

"And to have a wind turbine in the city, which is sort of a monument to renewable energy, sort of speaks a little bit to the community's goals and interests."" This very much speaks to the goals and interests of the comunity leaders; they are willing to pay 1 million of your dollars for nothing more than a monument. Plain and simple. Just like the "fountain." It's really time for people to start storming council and mayor offices and demanding lower property taxes; I mean, you SEE what they're doing with it, right? We can't continue to let this happen, people


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

Anticipating "wise guy" replies, at few weeks ago, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I tested it and it Does Not Work!!!


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

I value art, but, I tell you, the City Hall "fountain" is no more than a urinal that does not work. Perhaps the "art selectors" were well-meaning, but what Methodology did they apply to selecting the German "artist" and, after receiving his RFP, Why did they select it? These are questions that subsequent generations will go to the Bentley Historical Library (or, perhaps the Ann Arbor District Public Library) and search the archives for answers.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:56 p.m.

Yeah it's a "monument" all right. Just like the blinky-blue-light fiasco sitting outside City Hall.

Gene Curry

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

This sounds like a makework project, conceived only after the federal money offer was made known. It seems to me that a real educational benefit would follow from refusing the project and teaching the students why.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

That would be a lesson in civics as opposed to a lesson in poliltics.

Jay Thomas

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

I just wanted to add that they recently discovered that windmills raise the earth's temperature. You folks who believe in global warming might take that into consideration here.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

What ever happened to the notion of using the Huron River dam to produce a few gigawatts? Would the same amount of money spent on hydro have a better chance for sucess ? Your windmills will kill thousands of endangerd English sparrows and other flying rats. Removing this much energy from the wind will starve countless downstream communities of their right to also have propeller-heads in their midst.. This is what climate change is all about..


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

@cibachrome. Yer posting must be "tongue-in-cheek." English Sparrows are Not an "Endangered Species" . . .


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

If you want kids to see windmills, take them on a field trip. For example, I planned the Carpenter fifth grade field trip to Greenfield Village. There's a windmill there. For more modern ones, there are oodles of them in Ontario, where our Boy Scout Troop 7 visited. I'm no scientist, but if this is not cost effective, please don't do it. Like somebody else said, if we have money to throw around, how about continuing bus service so kids around here can get to school instead of having to walk 6 miles a day AND take a city bus.

An Arborigine

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

Eternal motionless monuments how committed AA is to appearing green. Much like the motionless German art project at City Hall proclaims AA's artsiness.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

Brian, you should either resign or be fired for gross incompetence. Your performance is appalling and simply the most arrogant and cockamamie use of tax money I have seen in quite awhile.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

With all the Engineers in this city (we have an Engine School at Univ Mich, ya ken?) govt leadership should be capable of reaching decision on the basis of science and applied engineering. Where is the University when we need them? Just because Uncle Sam will give us a lot of money for the experiment is not a reason to attempt it if the science and engineering does not support the project.

Jay Thomas

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

Well, the U receives a lot of money from the .gov. Pointing out that the "grant" money is wasteful may not be at the top of their priorities.

Stephen Landes

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

Children need to see adults acting in a responsible manner, so they have proper role models to pattern. This project does nothing to satisfy that need.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

Oh, brother! The only way this thing could be economically viable would be if it was built outside of Hieftje Hall, where all that hot, gusty, wind from the interior could be directed outside in such a way as to drive the blades - could probably power the entire city every time council was in session. Otherwise... fuhgeddaboudit!!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

I remember that study that determined the wind up here just doesn't support any projects. Overall, it isn't worth the money anywhere. Stick with natural gas and nuclear. We can't be wasting money with the economy as it is.

C. Montgomery Burns

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 6 p.m.

They can take this entire $1.4-million wind turbine idea and blow it out their collective "arses"! However a small nuclear electric plant built over at Burns Park is something I could get behind. Oh, and by the way...."Release the hounds!"

Ron Burgandy

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:47 p.m.

....what next...$2.2-million worth of solar panels installed inside of the basement of Ann Arbor City Hall?

Ron Burgandy

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

I love it.....Ann Arbor will have the only wind turbine that will need to be plugged into a diesel generator in order to see it spin!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:53 p.m.

Best comment yet thanks for making me laugh :)

Jim Wiegand

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:38 p.m.

From the article............"The last thing we want to do is be spending public dollars irresponsibly — it's not going to happen," If this statement were true then every project in North America would be cancelled. My experience with the wind industry is that nothing is as it seems and every statement has to be scrutinized. No one should ever ignore the fact that taking billions and billions in profits off the taxpayer's backs is a clear motive to lie. I suspect that this statement has to do with the fact that they (wind industry) are again asking Washington for an extension of the PTC. For people that do not know, the Protection tax credit gives this industry billions from the TAX PAYERS. Another point to never forget is that the titans of industry behind wind energy are lifetimes away from being altruistic. It is not in their make-up to ever do what is best for the taxpayer, they do what is best for them. One of their commandments is to create as few jobs as possible so they can keep more for themselves. Automation, killing employee benefits, and outsourcing are perfect examples of this behavior. I also suggest readers look up the sprawling wind projects (Ocotillo for example) being built in the marginal wind areas of the Southern California deserts.

Frustrated in A2

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

This doesn't surprise me as far as our current city government goes. It's sad that it doesn't surprise me though...

Kai Petainen

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

"a little bit odd" that Woods is using a four-year-old study of one location in Washtenaw County " Perhaps readers would be interested in this link. North Coast Wind & Power final report -- 2007 I have to disagree with Ryan and Woods -- it's not just one location that was studied. That report lists a number of locations. I see 9 sites. So the 'one location' comment is incorrect.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:44 p.m.

Thanks for the reporting, Ryan.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:39 p.m.

I am proudly one of of those liberal greenies who thinks that wind power should be an important part of our energy mix and that federal $$$, spent wisely, are appropriate to take us in that direction. But I think the sites should be selected optimally. Isn't there a better site for this project?


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:14 p.m.

Best in lower peninsula is out in Lake Michigan and a few places along the shore (but not all) and the highest area in LP around Cadillac. I sincerely doubt there is a commercially viable place in Washtenaw County. Probably the best place in our county would be somewhere in the Sharon Hills, but there are higher places just west in Jackson County so maybe not. Same is true for Peach Mountain (higher places to the west) and Peach Mt really isn't so high anyway about 200ft above surrounding area. The problem here, no constant breeze and no place to compress airflow to make it .


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

Either: Have the contractor guarantee performance or turn the money down under the heading of "good government".


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

Has anyone on school board ever taken high school physics? Do they understand the basic equation E = MV2 ? With the windmill the M is air and is a very small number for mass. The V is wind velocity and even if you square it the number is small. Therefore with these or any other wind turbines the E simply cannot be large enough to be a significant amount of energy. It is just not possible for wind energy to be productive enough to warrant the cost and ugliness of the operation. To be dumb enough to think wind is a good source of energy is to reject the laws of physics.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

Once again Ideology trumping reality.........we've got plenty of that going on with "someone else's money"

Howard Usitalo

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

A "feel good" project


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

It doesn't make me feel good when someone wastes taxpayer money!

Dog Guy

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

We must also consider the cost of installing and powering huge fans to blow air at these two educational whirlydoodles.

Jeffersonian Liberal

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

The Leftist will never stop wasting our money on green energy because it is part of their religion. They are never concerned with results, only about patting themselves on the back for the effort. The Marxist in the White House spent hundreds of billions of dollars paying back his political supporters to start up phoney green energy companies. These led to a handful of jobs in an industry that cannot compete with communist backed companies. Then as a kicker we sell off these failed companies and their technology for a song to the Commies. Congratulations.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

"Stahl said he's confident the turbines proposed — a 50-kW turbine and an 11-kW turbine, both atop 120-foot monopoles — will produce good results." Then guarantee the promised power returns. Who will be held accountable if this is just hot air?"


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

They'll produce "good results". Electricity - not so much. Yeah, they'll produce FEEL good results for some.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Fact: The cost for a wind turbine is considered to be grid competitive when the cost is $5000/kw. Thus, for a total of 61 kW, the cost should not exceed $305k. Fact: The price tag for this project is four times that. Conclusion: This project will never pay for itself. Further, what is being taught by the outreach efforts is completely wrong - alternative energy has to be competitive with traditional sources and holding up this boondoggle as an example is a farce.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

The Springfield (A2) Monorail


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:15 p.m. 1-8-13 "Steglitz said AAPS had wanted to put a wind turbine at Skyline a while back, but that fell through" After reading comments regarding Skyline already having one, I took a quick look on Google and found its true. Seems it doesn't produce much power, but was put in place as a learning tool. @ryan- whats up with this ? Is Steglitz out of the loop or misleading the public ? Anybody know the cost of Skyline's ? A you tube comment claimed $9,000 .

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:45 p.m.

I don't know a lot about the Skyline project, but if you look it's a little different in nature than what's being talked about here. Here's a picture of it:


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

They admit it really won't generate much of anything but would be a great educational prop. I bet for the same investment you could take many busloads of kids up to Cadillac for many years where a dozen or so turbines actually work reasonably successfully. We have no wind here but we could have natural gas beneath us. I think some test wells would be far more interesting and educational and since private sector speculators would drill them it wouldn't cost taxpayers anything. Best of all if successful royalties could actually generate income for our schools. There are districts around the country that benefit from oil and gas royalties. It would be a wonderful multi disciplinary educational prop too. Oh wait, never mind, we can't do that, it is grounded in reality and capitalism.

Charles Curtis

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Great the AAPS super resigns, the school is discussing slashing athletics by 1/3, cutting music by 20%, increasing class sizes, closing schools, but the AAPS can spend close to 500,000 on this project and the payback is 50 years if were lucky and the system never needs to be serviced? Just because you can get a grant, a discount on the full price of something doesn't make it worthwhile. How can the public continue to allow these morons to keep wasting our tax dollars. If the schools need a science project, perhaps a smaller turbine would be in order? Does the teacher's union support this project? Is it something they deemed they needed to teach with? Who is driving this project? I hope the public will begin to vote for some people who are more responsible.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

The only way it makes sense is if they can use sinking fund dollars in order to reduce their general budget electricity spending. Solar panels on the schools would probably be a better idea.

Terry Reilly

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

God knows there is enough hot air in Ann Arbor to power this project, eh?

Kai Petainen

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

"The managing director of an Ohio-based wind energy company says a potentially $1.4 million wind turbine project in Ann Arbor is a waste of taxpayer dollars." Ohio, Usually you are my opponent (football), but today we meet on the same page and I greet thee as a friend. If it doesn't work efficiently, then Ohio wins. If it works, Michigan wins.

Arno B

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Wow! We certainly do need "more educational tools" to provide "a monument to renewable energy." Looks like a lot of make-work boondoggles too: Now we can have a "public outreach" and "help fund a documentary" while we're at it! The astute backers are silent about the financial benefits to themselves. Nothing is said about the tax credit paid to these developers which make this type of project quite lucrative. The credit was (unfortunately) extended for another year in the New Year's eve budget which was passed to avoid the "fiscal cliff" (a NASCAR welfare check was also part of the "cliff" solution.) Someone mentioned "spending like drunken sailors." More apropos would be "like drunken Democrats"! (The "drunken Democrat" analogy has been used to illustrate squandering during Bush"s last two years in office.) Ah well - at least something else is coming along to make the liberals feel good!

Kai Petainen

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

""We did the wind study for Washtenaw County up there, and what we found was there wasn't enough wind for anything, quite frankly," Not enough wind... isn't that what I was saying at City Hall in my public comments? At least I'm not the only one who thinks so. "a little bit odd" that Woods is using a four-year-old study " What? Has the climate changed that much in Ann Arbor in 4 years, that a 4 year old study is out of date?

John Floyd

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 4:27 a.m.

Place the turbine at city hall - there's plenty of wind there.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 6:02 p.m.

Topology has a lot to do with wind speed and overall wind profile. Probably in the vicinity of the Huron River where there are good hills on either side and a straight fetch for the wind, there would be a reasonable wind profile, but the turbine would have to be right in the middle of that kind of a funnel. Long flat open spaces work too, like out on the surface of the Great Lakes. Neither is an area that most residents would prefer. Wind profiles tend to get better with height, so maybe a 500 foot tower at Skyline would provide a better profile, since at 260 feet the profile is "iffy". The national wind maps are built from a small-ish number of samples and very good computer models. One sample site in Washtenaw Country is not a bad number given the quality of the models that NREL has built.

Kai Petainen

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

The study was at 80 meters, or 262 feet. There wasn't enough wind. Although the new pole will be at a different location, the monopole is at 120 feet, or 37 meters. At 120 feet, that's considerably lower than the 262 foot pole. So I highly doubt any location in Ann Arbor will provide more wind.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

You're missing his point by cutting the sentence short. Tencer was more questioning Woods using a study of one location in Washtenaw County to argue there's no potential for wind energy in all of Ann Arbor. He said every location has a unique wind resource. It might be wise to wait until we see the wind study of the potential location for these turbines before passing final judgment. I was really hoping to have that for this story but hopefully that will turn up in the city's response to my FOIA in the next couple of weeks.

Bob W

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

Plain and simple Ann Arbor is not suitable for solar (latitude issues) nor wind (too low average wind speed). I'm for green but the truth is, well the truth.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

Ross, you need to get your facts straight! Even if every solar panel was operating at 100% of rated output at the same time, there's no way they could generate more than a few percent of Germany's power needs, let alone 50%. And if solar power was so viable in Germany, why did their two largest solar manufacturers, Bosch and Siemens, decide to exit that business? As for return on investment for installations around town, the paybacks you cite are only achieved after subtracting taxpayer and utility rate payer subsidies from the initial project costs. Without these subsidies, the payback is much longer if not forever.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

Ann Arbor is absolutely suitable for solar! You would probably say the same thing about cloudy Germany, right? Well on some days last year they made over 50% of their electricity from solar panels. The return on investment (financial payback) is under 20 years for most installations around town here. If you were truly "for green" you wouldn't disparage a proven technology that is already performing well in your local environment. Get your facts straight.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3 p.m.

mgoscottie, Yes, higher latitude solar panels get less solar radiation because the sunlight travels a longer path through the atmosphere. Also, the solar variation is worse over the course of the year as the seasons change.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

Why does latitude matter? You should be able to adjust the angle of the panels. Is there more absorption by the atmosphere because of the increased length?

Kai Petainen

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

I think Ann Arbor might be good for solar... we get more sun here than in other places around Michigan. We are a lousy spot for wind.

Howard Beale

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

This is the kind of stuff that happens when we, the people leave our elected officials unchecked and don't hold them accountable. I've started paying closer attention to all of my elected officials and their decisions, including the Mayor, City Clowncil, Ann Arbor school board, etc. and plan to make my displeasure heard at the polls from now on. "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

John Floyd

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 4:25 a.m.

Good for you!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

We'll try this again the " censors " don't like it when you mention prince john and his merry band or the county commissioners in less than high prase and glowing terms ...sometimes I forget this forum and the first ammendment...finally an enlightened opinion on windpower for this county that is realistic in comparison to the hyperboyle that is propagated by yet more spending of ( opps almost capitolized something ) my tax $$$..on this foolishness

Boo Radley

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

"...sometimes I forget this forum and the first ammendment..." I often have to remind myself that the first amendment does not apply here on a privately owned web site. If we want more free speech in a online forum, we have to buy our own web sites.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

Worth a look: Windfall (documentary) Summary - Wind power... It's green... It's good... It reduces our dependency on foreign oil... That's what the people of Meredith, in upstate New York first thought when a wind developer looked to supplement this farm town's failing economy with a farm of their own -- that of 40 industrial wind turbines. Attracted at first to the financial incentives, residents grow increasingly alarmed as they discover side effects they never dreamed of, as well as the potential for disturbing financial scams. With wind development growing rapidly at 39% annually in the US, WINDFALL is an eye-opener for anyone concerned about the future of renewable energy.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

Since a negligible amount of our electricity is generated with oil, how does wind power reduce our dependence on foreign oil?


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

Woods is correct. I have a large residential turbine that I installed and took advantage of federal tax rebates available at the time. AFTER rebate the turbine cost $10,000. I average ~$175/year in energy generated, and I'm on one of the highest points in the county with no obstruction to the wind. NOT a good investment for energy production; fine if you simply want to make a green statement. Would I do it again? Not likely.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

In a time where we are making drastic cuts to police, fire fighters, and teachers, this is what these people want to spend our money on???? All these people need to do is click on any day of the week and they will clearly see that our pressing problems are crime, public safety, and educational funding...not spending $1.4-million on a stationary wind turbine! Their logic and priorities are frightening.

Usual Suspect

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

Nobody tops liberal greenies at wasting the public's money.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

I'm with Usual Suspect and Zman. If a business venture is likely to be profitable tax money should not be spent on it, it shouldn't need it and it is too risky, as noted above by Arborcomment. It also seems out of whack to me too. The Chevrolet Volt costs over $40 grand, a rich people's car so you get a $7500 biscuit from the feds. Yet people much less well off may be able to afford a low cost high MPG car: Chevy Spark, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris or Nissan Versa that all get over 30 mpg. You could give three buyers $2500 for what one Volt buyer gets. Volt production stopped twice last year due to high inventory.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

Conservatives do have their own ideas...Let the free market and the economics drive such projects. If it makes economic sense to install a wind turbine, then do it. If not, then find something else to do that makes more sense. Here's another conservative idea: Don't waste the taxpayers money and our children's and grandchildren's money on green boondoggles that make no economic sense.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

I would be impressed if the right wingers came up with their own ideas other than the propaganda & speaking points spoon feed them by the likes of Fox News & Rush

Usual Suspect

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

Nice try.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

ever heard of Iraq? (1 Trillion and counting) The Laura Bush Memorial hospital? (171 million) The Sgt York tank? (1.8 billion) F-35? (1.5 Trillion) Time to get off the high horse.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

Why not have the students, our future leaders, study current average wind speeds from the turbine, bought and owned, from atop AAPS skyline high school?


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Excellent idea!

NE Steward

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

Do we know which sites are being considered to locate these towers. Why not share this information and start getting local public input.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

If you paint it orange it will match the little ones in that park. What if it actually doesn't work?


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

I believe Skyline already has a wind turbine thing on its roof. Ryan can you inquire about the actual education and energy production of Skyline's chimney art?

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

That's not a bad idea


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

What "educational purpose" is he referring to? We are all aware that wind exists and don't need an ugly, expensive, and apparently useless device to prove it to us.

Kai Petainen

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

The education of greed and poor decision making.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

"Brian Steglitz, a senior utilities engineer for the city, said the purpose of the project is to demonstrate the viability of wind technology and use it as an educational tool for the community... What this is really about is educating the community about renewable sources of energy. And to have a wind turbine in the city, which is sort of a monument to renewable energy, sort of speaks a little bit to the community's goals and interests." Wow, this is incredible. This is incredibly arrogant and misguided thinking to justify a project of questionable use at an outlandish price tag with little return in educational value. How many of the kids in AAPS are already inundated with "green" and "eco" instruction from K through 12? Are you telling me AA and AAPS need to throw $1.4M out to show kids what a real windmill looks like??? Are you telling me there aren't any simulation programs out there to give some basic info on electrical generation methods? I think the only thing the kids will learn is that tax dollars are meant to squander. AAPS is thinking of stopping busing, it's considering closing school buildings and consolidation of facilities. But, it and City Council and Mr. Steglitz find $1.4M to throw away on a windmill. The only lesson here is to get federal dollars for anything no matter how useless or impractical simply because they are there. What a lesson to teach! This is a monument alright. A monumental waste., please keep digging into the story demanding the wind studies, financing details, etc.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

No, Ann Arbor is going to spend less than $20,000 on it, per the article.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

Google "wind turbine model" and you'll see all type of things suitable for "hands on". For a few hundred dollars each or so. But this is Ann Arbor, so unless we spend a load of money we'll still have that nagging doubt that someone, somewhere has something better. And that logic is how you wind up with $250K school supers.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

This project would only serve to "demonstrate" things that are already well understood - that it isn't windy enough here, and that our "leaders" are all about feel-good fluff stuff.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

The only prevailing wind is from your tax dollars flying out the window. Quite an expensive "educational tool for the community."

average joe

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

"In terms of it being viable, it will spin and it will make power," he said. (Steglitz) Therefore, it meets the federal requirements for the Dept. of Energy grant. (sigh)


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:54 p.m.

"In terms of it being viable, it will spin and it will make power," The same can be said for the little wind-powered LED whirlygigs around town.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

sad isn't it?


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

Another boondoggle!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

It's called green because it costs a lot of green. Happy Senior is right....this imoney comes from us...It is not FREE money. When will people realize this...maybe when EVERYONE pays into the tax system


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

Of course it's not "free money" but that doesn't mean it isn't financially viable. A certain wind speed is necessary and they need to ascertain what spot they want it and if the wind speed is high enough.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

"Woods, whose company conducted a 13-month wind feasibility study on behalf of Washtenaw County between 2008 and 2009, said he's appalled to see the city pushing forward with the project." This whole thing is insane. A complete waste of taxpayer money. 16 trillion and counting. There is so much wrong with this story i don't know where to start. To teach kids about renewable energy we don't need a barely functional shrine. Looky here kids, here is what NOT to do. Don't build windmills where the wind doesn't blow (enough) Hands on learning? Right like there isn't going to be a big chain link fence with danger signs all around it. I have no problem putting windmills where the wind blows i have no problem putting solar panels where the sun isn't covered by clouds 54% of the time.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 8:48 p.m.

Sparty question: "do you honestly think the US Dept of Energy is going to allow wind turbines to be built with taxpayer funds with no likelihood of success? Answer: 1) Raser Technologies $33 million 2) Ecototality $126 million 3) Nevada Geothermal $98.5 million 4) First Solar $400 million 5) Beacon Power $43 million 6) SunPower $1.2 Billion 7) Brightsource $177 million 8) Solyndra $535 million 9) Fisker lays off all but 70 employees. 10) and a favorite, A123 at $150 million plus. Short answer: yep.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

@Piney : "Something about ultra-violent rays getting thru the cloud cover." Gotta love auto-correct


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 3:22 a.m.

Craig, do you honestly think the US Department of Energy is going to allow wind turbines to be built with taxpayer funds with no likelihood of success? The article gives ONE opinion. How many hundreds do you suppose at the DOE looked at the proposal and believe otherwise?


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 1:59 a.m.

Actually Craig, Solar Panel companies claim that solar panels work even on cloudy days. Something about ultra-violent rays getting thru the cloud cover. Check with the Road Commission out on Zeeb Road. They have a big "Solar Panel Farm" to power their building. They must have some got statistics to compare with DTE stats.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

sparty, If home owners want to install solar panels good for them. But as a national policy I want any federal money spent where bang for buck is maximized. To spend 1.4 million dollars on somthing that isn't going to work well and calling it OK because it will sort of kind of work a little bit is not helping us turn the tide on a 16 trillion dollar debt. If the 1.4 million dollars was spent on wind turbines over on lake Michigan I wouldn't object. We can no longer afford to spend that sort of money on less than optimal results.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 7:01 p.m.

Don Bee, Do you seriously expect anyone to believe that the people in Ann Arbor and in the rest of Michigan who have solar installations on their roofs are getting next to no return on them ? Seriously? The installation at the UofM Research Complex (former Pfizer) is projected to be able to power 100 homes, as one example. Your "mathematical" numbers are ludicrous. In fact, Michigan is in 26th place and moving up in terms of US Grid Connected Photovoltaics Capacity (MWp) --- regardless of our weather!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

So does a reduction in solar effectiveness due to cloudy days eliminate the fact that THEY STILL GENERATE electricity? They still pay for themselves over a 7 year period. In terms of wind power, the individual quoted in this article stated that the county wasn't suited for a UTILITY SCALE WIND FARM. Well, this installation is NOT THAT. Do you seriously think the investor, which will own the turbines, would make the investment with no possibility of return ? That the Department of Energy would approve if it wasn't technically logical ? The City is making an investment of less than $20,000.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

sparty, I am choosing to believe the guy who did the 18 month study for ther county and concluded washtenaw county is a bad spot. He is the same guy who builds windmills where they work. If a guy in the windmill building business says this is not a good spot for a windmill I am inclined to believe him. Solar panels: Yes I realize solar panels work on cloudy days. But here is the catch. They work at greatly reduced efficiency. In some cases reduced to as little as 25% of their theoretical capacity. A 50% reduction is typical. So given that here in Michigan we see the sun less than 50% of the time its up during the course of the year and solar panel efficeincy is reduced to 50% or less 50% of the time it becomes questionable to sink millions of tax payer dollars in to it around here.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Sparty - Only at about 30% of the efficiency of a non-cloudy day for the most common panels, and then only if the clouds are not "opaque". Some technologies still in the lab do much better, but the common panels most people buy do not. In Ann Arbor the total production for solar is less than 12 percent of the mathematical maximum for a year. For instance if you install 1 kilowatt of solar on your roof - you would expect that if it ran 100% of the time it would produce 8.7 MegaWatt hours in a year. Instead because of the realities of the weather here it only produces about 1 Megawatt hour in a year. This is according to the models at the National Renewable Energy Lab. NREL.GOV is the URL


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

Do you know the wind won't "blow" where the turbines will be built? Do you realize that solar energy panels collect energy even on cloudy days?


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

The term "Spending like drunken sailors" comes to mind.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

It is sort of accurate - Drunken Sailors beg money for another drink when they are broke...


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

Lol! Jack it's only a term, the drunken sailors I've known don't even spend money like this.

Jack Gladney

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:57 a.m.

Why are you attacking drunken sailors? These people spend money like government leeches. Oh, wait.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

The real questions is whether we are doing this solely to be "green" and because this is "free money". The simple solution seems to be to actually choose a location and measure the wind speed.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

@Elaine: They only tested one location. The wind isn't the same everywhere. @Goober: Why exactly do you think I put "free money" in quotes?


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

Pardon me?! What free money? A federal grant is paid for by all tax payers, unless we have found a way for other countries to give us money like we do for the rest of the world.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

We wouldn't even have to spend time or money on that since someone has already done the testing.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:08 a.m.

Typical and consistent with past spending patterns.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

Maybe we could add "energy economics" to the to the list of things we are going to teach by installing this giant lawn ornament.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

What is with these left-thinking government types? The DOE money came from our pockets as federal taxes. The AAPS money came from our pockets as local taxes. The "staff time" money came from our pockets as local taxes. They are proposing and working toward spending $1.4 million of our money on some stunt as a demonstration. The continued push to waste our money is enough of a demonstration. The limited use of intelligence that decides no cash outlay equals no cost is very sad.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

Oh thats right because "right-thinking government types NEVER spend the taxpayers money badly. Wake up there's only 1 party & thats the party of the corporations, for the corporations, & by the corporations.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:58 a.m.

The question to ask yourself when spending money is: If I had to go out and earn this money by working for it in an hourly job at minimum wage, would I really spend the money this way? If every government official asked that question before they spent tax money, a lot of fraud, waste and abuse would disappear. No commercial wind developer would ever do this in Ann Arbor with their money. There are a number of ways to provide access to wind energy data to AAPS students without wasting this money. I am sure DTE would be happy to provide a remote screen that shows the status and production of several of their wind farms in the Thumb (which are commercially viable in today's market conditions) if someone asked.

Jim Wiegand

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

From the article............"The last thing we want to do is be spending public dollars irresponsibly — it's not going to happen," If this statement were true then every project in North America would be cancelled. My experience with the wind industry is that nothing is as it seems and every statement has to be scrutinized. No one should ever ignore the fact that taking billions and billions in profits off the taxpayer's backs is a clear motive to lie. I suspect that this statement has to do with the fact that they (wind industry) are again asking Washington for an extension of the PTC. For people that do not know, the Protection tax credit gives this industry billions from the TAX PAYERS. Another point to never forget is that the titans of industry behind wind energy are lifetimes away from being altruistic. It is not in their make-up to ever do what is best for the taxpayer, they do what is best for them. One of their commandments is to create as few jobs as possible so they can keep more for themselves. Automation, killing employee benefits, and outsourcing are perfect examples of this behavior. I also suggest readers look up the sprawling wind projects (Ocotillo for example) being built in the marginal wind areas of the Southern California deserts.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

If you were working an hourly wage at minimum wage you wouldn't be able to afford rent and food, much less anything else. Your argument is invalid.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:52 a.m.

A great example of wasting money because "it's there". Talks to what's broken in government today.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:48 a.m.

We don't need any more education about corporate welfare and spendthrift government.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:37 a.m.

Just call it " art ".Problem sloved


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

If you want to see real windmills, go to Holland Michigan.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

right paid for by the department of energy - I hear ya Jay can't make this stuff up

Jay Thomas

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

It's about education and not the generation of electricity. You can't make this stuff up!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

I'm trying to decide what type of art it would be considered; realism or surrealism - with the dead birds around the base hmmm Steilgatz is correct; It would be monument like the ash borer piece in front of city hall