Medford benefit from wind power? The Medford Clean Energy
Committee has begun studying the feasibility of a wind turbine
by installing a weather station
at Hormel Stadium. The device monitors wind speed, providing
data that will help determine if the site is appropriate for
a wind turbine that would provide clean power for the McGlynn
and/or Andrews schools.
Mayor Michael McGlynn created the Medford Clean Energy Committee
in January 2004 to augment the city's effort to become a municipal
leader in the use of clean power. Medford began using clean
biodiesel fuel in several municipal vehicles in 2002 and has
been generating solar power at city hall and Hormel Stadium
since 1999. This would be the first wind project undertaken
by the city.
The Hormel weather station was donated by Clean Energy Committee
member Bob Paine and installed atop a 110-foot stadium lighting
tower with the assistance of the citys Building Department
and the Medford Fire Department. Weather data is collected
and transmitted wirelessly to a secure computer hosted at
the nearby McGlynn Middle School. From there it is uploaded
to Weather Underground, a web site that hosts local weather
data all across the world.
Were excited by the prospect of potentially generating
wind power in Medford, said Patricia Barry, the citys
Environmental Agent. A small wind turbine would supply
less expensive cleaner energy for our schools, and provide
an educational tool for our students.
The solar-powered Davis Vantage
Pro2 system measures a variety of weather conditions including
wind speed and direction, temperature, relative humidity,
dewpoint, and rainfall down to a 100th of an inch, making
it a valuable educational tool as well. Wind speed and wind
gust data will help determine whether the site is appropriate
for a wind turbine.
Wind power is one of the worlds fastest growing energy
sources. Global wind power generation increased by 24 percent
in 2005 to 59,100 megawatts, a twelve-fold increase from a
decade ago. According to the Department
of Energy, the U.S. installed more new capacity than any
other country, bringing total wind energy production to over
9,000 MW enough to power 2.3 million homes. Good
wind areas, which cover 6% of the continental U.S., have
the potential to supply more than one and a half times the
current electricity consumption of the United States.
city received grant funding to hire a consulting firm to evaluate
the McGlynn and Andrews school site. Sustainable
Energy Development, Inc. of Ontario, New York, will be
conducting a wind study and make recommendations on the project
location and scale. If approved, the turbine would provide
the schools with 10 - 100 kilowatts of electricity.
Data from the Hormel weather station can be viewed online
in the Medford Transcript, February 8, 2007.