Waverly Light and Power, the first public power system in the midwest to own and operate a wind turbine, wants to make renewable energy the source for 20 percent of its overall needs by 2020.
General Manager Glenn Cannon says the trustees who voted unanimously at their annual retreat aren’t limiting the effort to a specific kind of renewable energy. There’s no specific requirement that the utility own and operate the source, or that it be located in Waverly.
The city-owned power company will look only at where the best opportunities are, and the best portfolio to meet that standard. Waverly Light and Power first installed a wind turbine on a local farm in 1993. Cannon says they recently tried to install another. They issued a Request for Proposals back in September, but got no bids. Cannon says manufacturers told them there were so many large scale wind projects underway nationwide they wouldn’t bid on one that small.
Cannon says that’s bad news at the local level but good news overall, since it means so many big projects are going up that there are no generators to be had for the next few years. The utility is currently generating just under 4 percent of its needs from renewable energy. Cannon says the community has been supportive of renewable energy and encouraged an increased commitment.