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Opinion

May 23, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Solar, wind power were considered

Ms. Madella Gellinger voiced some questions in her letter to the Pharos-Tribune April 21 about the new power plant. She asked why solar panels and wind turbines were not being considered. These options were considered early in the study process but were quickly dismissed. There have been a number of public hearings of the City Council and the Utility Service Board addressing this very same questions. The simple answer is that wind and solar energy are neither reliable nor consistent enough and cannot produce the required load at the right times to meet our customers’ energy needs. The new power plant will have to produce 150 megawatts every day for 365 days a year — even if the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

For those LMU customers who wish to utilize wind energy and/or solar technology on their property, LMU offers a net-metering program. Once a customer installs one of these energy generators, LMU will allow a credit (directly from their bill) for whatever power is produced through the customer’s solar or wind power system.

The power plant will run on Municipal Solid Waster (MSW). The gases produced in the self-contained airless system to run the turbines are just as clean as natural gas and are scrubbed to prevent any harmful emissions to the environment. These gases have been approved by G.E. and Siemens as an effective replacement for natural gas. It’s important to note that the MSW we will use will no longer be disposed of in a landfill; rather, it will be redirected to produce green energy.

The new plant will meet the most stringent environmental standards, and must continuously operate and consistently demonstrate compliance with emission limits required by State and Federal agencies.

The new power plant will bring more jobs to the community and will also allow energy to be provided to you at  a more competitive rate. If you have any additional questions or concerns, I encourage you to visit the LMU website www.logansportutilitites.com and look at the presentation labeled “LMU presentation January 29, 2013,” or feel free to contact me directly at 574-753-6232.

Paul A. Hartman

LMU superintendent

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