JONESTOWN, Texas (KXAN) - The Jonestown Wind Energy Project is officially up and running after a dedication ceremony Friday morning. Three of 18 urban wind turbines have been installed. The goal is to reduce what it costs to power the city's municipal buildings
"We have to be innovative in finding a way to reduce the bills," said Mayor Deane Armstrong, City of Jonestown .
The project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 .
CM Energies , started in 2006, designed the wind turbine specifically for urban areas. The turbines are vertically oriented, rather than horizontally. They are bright blue and look nothing like those in West Texas.
"One of the problems that have been much publicized with wind energy is that the creation of the energy is so far away from the people that are actually using it," said Michael Guevara with CM Energies. "It costs billions of dollars to transport the energy to the people who are using it. So, the technology we're working on actually brings the renewable energy, in this case wind energy, to the people who are actually using it."
These turbines produce a fraction of the energy large wind farms do but clustered together they could potentially power as many as 1,000 homes.
"If you've been to Lubbock or been down to the coast and seen the hundreds of the blinking red lights all over the place, it's not going to be like that," said Guevara. "We're not going to produce millions of megawatts of energy. We're working on a 50- to 100-kilowatt system."
The turbine behind the Jonestown City Hall was one of the project's first to go up, despite its less-than-perfect location.
"You have this tree right here that obviously is obstructing the wind and creating turbulence so it's not our optimal position," said Guevara. "But we did come out here and run tests and this is a place that has enough wind that we can produce energy."
The mayor says it's more of a sign of the community's desire to be more environmentally sensitive. Sixteen other locations have already been approved. Five more turbines are expected to be installed next week. All of the turbines will be installed by the end of the year.
CM Energies is looking to make Jonestown its headquarters. They hope to bring 50 to 100 jobs to the area as well.
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