While the development of large scale renewable energy projects is well and good for large population centers, some might argue that future types of energy sources like solar and wind will not truly see their potential until they come to small town America. If this is indeed the case, Painesville, Ohio and its new corporate renewable energy partner NexGen Energy, very well could be leading the charge into this frontier.
NextGen Energy recently said it was working with Painesville to develop a “first-of-its-kind” municipal-scale wind power project. The project in itself, a 3.2 megawatt mix of commercial-scale wind turbines on multiple sites across the city’s Municipal Electric Utility’s service territory, might not seem at first like that big of a deal in the face of large scale wind farm projects. What is important though is that this project, given the scale of its size and the fact it is a first of its kind for a smaller service area, showcases the ability to provide renewable energy in close-in scenarios that don’t require huge wind farms and miles of cable to carry power.
Plans for this project will see six to eight wind turbines being built and operational by the end of the year to provide enough electricity to power 439 homes. NexGen Energy will sell the energy generated by the turbines at a predictable rate for 10 years, “giving Painesville Municipal Electric fixed priced power as well as a tool to help stabilize the load of the local electricity grid.”
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