Wisconsin Public Service closing Kewaunee County wind energy farm
TOWN OF LINCOLN – Windmills are disappearing from the horizon as Wisconsin Public Service is in the process of shutting down its Lincoln Wind Energy Facility.
The facility off Kewaunee County S opened in 1999 as one of the state's first wind farms to generate utility-scale energy, Matt Cullen, WPS Senior Communications Specialist – Media Relations, said Wednesday. It had 14 wind turbines: two were taken down last week, two more this week and the remaining 10 are scheduled to be down by the end of the year, Cullen said.
Cullen said the windmills are coming down because, at nearly 20 years old, they simply are not as efficient as the modern windmills WPS operates elsewhere.
"It was one of the state's first utility-scale wind farms," Cullen said. "(These) turbines have reached the end of their useful life. They create 70 percent less energy than newer turbines. They're no longer efficient to operate."
The windmills were 292 feet tall, with the hubs standing 213 feet above ground and the circular blade pattern having a diameter of 154 feet, according to the WPS website. The facility had an estimated output of 24.283 million kWh annually, enough to service the equivalent of 3,600 homes.
That doesn't mean 3,600 homes in Kewaunee County will have to scramble to find a power supply. The energy from the Lincoln facility went into the WPS distribution grid and was available to customers where needed, Cullen said. And, energy from the Forward Wind Energy Center in Fond du Lac County and Crane Creek Wind Farm in Iowa will help make up the loss.
"Wind energy remains an important part of our renewable energy portfolio," Cullen said.
WPS leased the land where the windmills sit. Cullen said WPS plans to honor the terms of the leases before they expire, although the company won't reveal those terms.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Wisconsin Public Service closing Kewaunee County wind energy farm