The city committee studying the concept of building a windfarm off the Evanston shoreline in Lake Michigan will urge aldermen tonight to continue preliminary research on the project.

The committee concludes that in the present uncertain regulatory environment it would be a minimum of several years before such a project could be built.

But it calls for Evanston to attempt to take a leading role in getting new rules for offshore windfarms adopted by the state.

And it suggests that the city explore whether it should from a municipal utility to buy power from the windfarm or form some other entity to aggregate residential and small business demand for power.

The committee report notes a variety of gaps in the proposals provided by two wind farm companies last year in response to a city request for information about the project.

The committee report does not address the relative merits of relying on land-based sites outside of Evanston rather than offshore locations for generating electric power from the wind.

Related document

Windfarm committee report

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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2 Comments

  1. Wind Farm work is exploratory at this point

    Thanks to the hard work of the Wind Farm Committee, whose first report was offered at last night's City Council meeting. Evanston is lucky to have so many knowledgeable and dedicated people!

    Judging from ongoing comments, it seems worth recalling some basic facts: that the Wind Farm Committee was created to evaluate responses to the City's RFIs (Request for Information, not RFP/Request for Proposal); that the Committee is chock full of engineers, architects, energy commissioners and others who may individually have opinions on a project but together represent an impartial body of experts; that the only way to intelligently move forward with a wind farm – or determine not to do so – is to continue this process of careful exploration; and that likely if Evanston does not take a stake in an offshore wind farm, we can watch as silent spectators while someone else (Chicago? Waukegan?) does.

     

     

  2. Wind farm, politics and the truth

    Evanston Wind Committee Minority Report” (Minority Report) is significant; please read it: http://www.cityofevanston.org/government/boards_committees/Minority%20Report%2020JUN11.pdf

    The Minority Report by the Mayor's Wind Farm Committee members, Joe Jaskulski and Fred Wittenberg, is in strong opposition to any further development of offshore wind and articulates why the City should immediately stop any further involvement. An informed decision by the City Council and residents cannot be made without the crucial information contained in the Minority Report.

    While all members of Mayor’s Wind Farm Committee bring to the table a breath and depth of expertise, Joe Jaskulski’s expertise in the energy industry far surpasses, most, if not all of the members of the Mayor’s Wind Farm Committee.  Joe Jaskulski is a Senior Executive with a strong record of leadership and thorough knowledge of the energy industry in the United States and international experience in United Kingdom, Canada, Guatemala, and Guyana. His green energy experience includes wind energy construction, smart grid implementation, building energy conservation measures.  Joe’s experience is comprehensive and in all aspects of the independent power industry; development, financing, operations, maintenance, asset management, and facility acquisition. Fred Wittenberg’s enterprise is in a long history of environmental & mechanical engineering. A summary of their expertise: Fred Wittenberg is an Environmental & Mechanical Engineer, licensed in Illinois for 31-1/2 years. Retired from 30 years of governmental service, he worked for the City of Evanston and is now President of Envimech.

    On Thursday, the Minority Report was eventually posted on the City’s website, but only because I made an issue about its omission to the City’s Sustainable Programs Coordinator. Her response was she needed to the consult the City Manager regarding my request.  I sent email copies of my correspondence to Sustainable Programs Coordinator to the Mayor and Council members.  Shortly afterwards, one of the Council members emailed the Sustainable Programs Coordinator: “I would like all information, including the minority report, shared with the council and posted wherever the majority report appears on the city's website. These are professional environmental engineers who happen to disagree with the findings. Why would we want to exclude this information?” Following the City Council member's email to the Sustainable Programs Coordinator, the  Minority Report was posted online on the City's website.

    There are serious, underlying and prevalent problems in Evanston’s pursuit of an offshore wind farm; including, but not limited to the exclusion of factual information on any issues raised. This problem is indicative of a much larger problem; how things are being handled by our current City government. The City’s “business as usual” is a highly political and exclusionary process that does not always translate into what’s best for Evanston residents. We should all be concerned about this significant example of what's been going on from the start of the proposed wind farm.

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