Renewable resource offers alternate power to city

Columnist and Columnist

One of the most well-known characteristics of Bowling Green is the wind, which the city has now turned into a source of energy.

The city is home to four turbines, all of which provide electricity to the city. Named the Bowling Green Wind Farms, they are located on the west side of town.

“The first two wind turbines were built in 2003,” said Brian O’Connell, the utilities director for Bowling Green. “The third and fourth wind turbines were added a year later, in 2004.”

Providing power to Bowling Green and other municipalities, the wind farms can produce electricity to 1,700 homes in Bowling Green.

“Each [wind turbine] can generate 1.8 million kilowatts,” he said.

For some time, the city wind farm had the only wind turbines in Ohio. Now, more than 200 wind turbines stand in Ohio.

The wind farms aren’t just for providing energy to the city, but also a stop for visitors.

“The wind farm is the number one tourist attraction in Bowling Green,” said Wendy Stram, the executive director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For junior Chad Walker, the wind turbines are both useful and considered an attraction.

“The wind turbines are a great attribute to the city of Bowling Green,” Walker said. “They help power a good portion of the city and are very efficient. They also look sweet from the air.”

American Municipal Power, a power provider operating through seven states, installed the wind turbines in the city to lower the cost of electricity. AMP has 129 electricity systems working with the company to install wind turbines.

A project that started off in two areas shortly had nine others join, expanding the project.

The wind turbines in Bowling Green were the first industrial and commerce grade in the state, making it a small scale project until more wind farms were built after the farm in Bowling Green.

“The former director always believed BG would be a great place for wind turbines,” O’Connell said.

O’Connell said Bowling Green has always had an interest in renewable resources, making it a good place to build wind turbines.

Sue Clark, the executive director of Bowling Green Community Development Foundation, said that even though companies don’t look into the renewable energy, it is a plus.“It’s a benefit to the companies already here. Companies are encouraging plants to use power from a renewable source… It doesn’t have a huge impact, but looks good at corporate,” Clark said.