IS MAKING LENOX, IOWA
A GREEN CITY
A new wind turbine that came on-line just days ago is turning Lenox, Iowa into one of the greenest cities in the United States. The large wind turbine will generate 10% of Lenoxís electricity needs, replacing power from fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
The City of Lenox, which owns the wind turbine, is selling the power we donít consume in our municipal facilities to Lenox Municipal Utilities for the use of all Lenox residents and businesses, said Stan Curtis, Lenox Mayor.
When you add the wind generation to the 60% of our energy that is already coming from hydroelectric power, said Dave Ferris, general manager of Lenox Municipal Utilities, we now are supplying a large majority of our energy from clean, renewable sources.
The wind turbine, which towers over the community from a hill south of town, is also generating support from the citizens of Lenox. Almost 10% of the households in Lenox have signed up to contribute $2 per month toward renewable energy through Lenox Municipal Utilitiesí Green City Energy program. All Iowa electric utilities, including those that are municipally owned, must offer their customers a chance to participate in renewable energy through a voluntary payment program.
Across the country, participation in voluntary programs to support renewable energy averages 1-3%. Lenoxís participation rate makes it the most successful current green power customer program in the United States, according to Patti Cale-Finnegan of the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities.
Installing the wind turbine has already provided great benefits for our city, said Norbert Bradley, a member of the Lenox Municipal Utilities board of trustees. Itís a visible sign that Lenox is a progressive community. The City of Lenox received a $400,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development to help pay for the wind turbine.
Each year, approximately 1.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity will be produced by the 750-kilowatt turbine. Each $2 contribution supports the production of 100 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity. It also represents a savings of about 150 pounds of carbon dioxide and 14.6 pounds of sulfur dioxide.
Weíre involved with wind energy in Lenox because itís good for the environment, the economy, and our stateís and nationís energy independence. Supporting renewable energy and making Lenox a green city is a way we can ensure that what weíre leaving to our children and grandchildren is a clean environment, a healthy economy, and a secure nation, said Ferris.
Written by: Lenox Municipal Utilities, 641/333-2550 - Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities
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