Fayette councilor Craig Rower looks at green energy 1.30.08

Written by David Green.

Somewhere down the road, Fayette village council member Craig Rower hopes to see alternative energy options at work in Fayette.

As a member of the Fulton County Planning Commission, Rower reported to council members Thursday about the commission’s Jan. 22 meeting.

Rower will join Fulton County commissioners in February on a trip to Wood County to visit several solar installations.

A story in the Toledo Blade in December told about the optimistic attitude of the director of Ohio’s Department of Development regarding solar energy. He believes Northwest Ohio could become the solar capital of the Midwest due to the amount of research and manufacturing relating to solar energy.

Fulton County Regional Planning  Commission director Steve Brown agrees that solar energy development looks good for the area, noting there are so many new materials available compared to only a few years ago.

Brown wasn’t quite as optimistic about wind power in the area due to large start-up costs.

Rower talked about a test project that would collect wind data in Fayette and in the Lyons/Metamora area. After a year, the data would be analyzed to determine if erecting turbines would make sense in the area.

Brown said the study would cost about $15,000, although no funding is secured for the project. Green Energy Ohio will fund four test sites through the Ohio Anemometer Loan Program. The deadline to apply for funding is March 31.

In Michigan, the Lenawee County Commissioners pledged $20,000 in December to conduct wind turbine feasibility studies. General data for the area shows a lack of sufficient wind for energy production, but studies have not been conducted in specific areas. Lenawee’s study will collect data at the 50-meter height for one year.

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