wind energy

"Wind turbine blades" by Flickr User Patrick Finnegan / (CC BY 2.0)

Officials at a Stephenson county jail hope to install a 120-foot wind turbine in an effort to cut electricity costs by 40 to 70 percent.

The Journal-Standard reports that Stephenson County Sheriff Dave Snyders and jail administrator Dean Schroeder have partnered with Highland Community College's Wind Turbine Technology department on the project.

An instructor obtained a donated wind turbine after a two-year study found it's consistently windy at the jail.

About $30,000 is needed to erect the tower. The county and college hope to pay for that with grant money.

The wind energy industry is anxiously awaiting a decision by Congress. The renewable energy tax credit is due to expire at the end of the month. Advocates say the uncertainty is affecting the status of future wind farm projects.