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TVA revises plan to make power using windmills
More electricity, but no storage unit for it
By Bob Fowler, Anderson County editor
December 5, 2002
OLIVER SPRINGS - TVA has quietly scrapped plans for a $25 million energy-storage system at the base of Windrock Mountain as part of its proposed huge "wind farm'' on adjoining Buffalo Mountain.
At the same time, TVA is expanding the amount of power it wants to generate atop 3,300-foot Buffalo Mountain, and that means as many as 18 new windmills may be spinning there by the end of next year.
TVA spokesman Gil Frances offered no explanation for the decision not to build the Regensys station that would have stored electricity the wind turbines generated.
TVA is building a similar facility in Columbus, Miss., which is the first of its kind in the nation, Francis said, and had looked at four sites around Oliver Springs for the energy-storage station.
No final decision on the wind farm has been made, Francis said. Various components of the project, however, are proceeding.
Francis said TVA is reviewing proposals from eight companies interested in erecting the wind turbines. One, Invenergy, had filed a request for site-plan approval for the project with the Anderson County Planning Commission. Its application to go before planners Dec. 10 was withdrawn, said Anderson County Engineer Keith Grayson.
TVA is considering a wind farm that could generate up to 27 megawatts of power. Greg Fay, general manager of the Clinton Utilities Board, said that's enough to serve between 10,000 and 15,000 homes under normal conditions.
Electricity generated by the wind turbines would probably tie into the CUB power grid, Fay said. Francis said the project may require TVA to upgrade some power lines. Estimated cost for the wind farm has been put at $25 million.
The new wind turbines, each about 350 feet tall, would dwarf the trio of three windmills TVA already has running on Buffalo Mountain as part of its Green Power Switch program.
In that program, power users pay slightly more to support TVA efforts to generate power from sources such as windmills, solar panels and methane gas produced by landfills and wastewater treatment plants.
Every kilowatt generated by those renewable sources "is one less kilowatt that would have been generated from traditional methods like coal-fired plants,'' Fay said.
Bob Fowler may be reached at 1-865-481-3625 or email@example.com.
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