Wind power to support Northport water treatment plant

Next month, Leelanau Community Energy plans to start the process of constructing a wind turbine in Northport.

The organization already has the green-light to build.

A 163 foot windmill will send electricity underground to an electrical panel used to power Northport TMs water treatment plant.

The estimated output for energy for a year is about 180,000 kilowatt hours and that compares to the treatment plant usage which is about 330,000 kilowatt hours per year, so we'll be providing a little over half of the energy to the treatment plant, said engineer, Tom Gallery, Leelanau Community Energy.

Gallery said the project will save the Village of Northport and Leelanau Township close to $24,000 a year.

That number can fluctuate depending on energy prices and wind production.

When the wind turbine provides more than the treatment plant needs, it feeds the extra power back into the grid and we get credit for it at full retail. When it is under producing, producing less than the treatment plant needs, we pull power from the gird to complete the requirements for the treatment plant, Gallery said.

Local investors have committed over $275,000 to the project.

Revenue generated will be used to pay them back.

The village will receive a lease fee.

Once the loans are repaid, all revenue will be used directly to pay Northport TMs electric bill.

It TMll take about 12 years to pay off the wind turbine. At that point, it is owned by the Village. We give it to the Village at that point. They can operate it or we'll continue to operate it and give them the money, said Gallery.

7&4 news understands that many people oppose wind turbines.

Projects, like the Gail Wind Project, have even failed to gain approval to build.

In this fact finder, we simply wanted to show how Northport is using their turbine to fund their water treatment plant.