Just in case you were waiting with bated breath, I have the update. This evening at the Instituto Cervantes a Spanish company, Kliux announced their entry into the American wind market amid tapas and their regional red wine. Why was this exciting? As I mentioned in my last blog, wind energy companies are located in Illinois but our state doesn’t produce enough wind for us to be marketable. Kliux has created a very sculptural vertical wind product that combines wind and solar application. As Inaki Eguizabal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer stated, there is rarely an instance in which there is no wind and no sun. AND The Kliux system is noiseless which means suitable for urban installations.
The morning before the evening of tapas and red wine I attended the panel discussion about community wind projects at the American Wind Energy Association. (An aside, thanks AWEA for allowing bloggers to attend) Though it was exciting to hear about all the megawatts replacing dirty coal plants across our nation there wasn’t a whisper about urban environments and wind. I actually asked the question and no one had even a partial answer. It just doesn’t exist. Granted the data on alternative systems like the Kliux are still not suggesting the big turbines are on the way out. Big turbines are getting bigger and taller and more important as an alternative energy source. In Texas where they have to do everything bigger, their community systems rival utility scale wind farms! That’s good news to those of us who care about the planet. Kliux coming to a community near me was good news too. In fact I’m adding an open letter to Mayor Emanuel, Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Governor Quinn as part of this post.
Dear Elected Officials:
I had the opportunity to attend the American Wind Energy Association conference held at McCormick Place. There were hundreds or people from all over the country and abroad researching and shopping for ways to increase their energy portfolio content of sustainable and alternative energy sources. The fact that though Illinois is wind resource poor does not seem to impact the importance our state plays in the manufacture of wind energy equipment. Chicago is host to multinational wind energy corporations. To this already impressive list a new company, Kliux is making their United States base of operation in Chicago. They are donating a wind turbine to Oak Park, Illinois. From our conversations I conclude they have a willingness to do more and do it not only in other parts of Cook County but right here in the Ole Windy City. What are the chances of a new paradigm of collaboration, State, County and City at the same table a public private community experiment in urban community based energy? Sounds like a breath of fresh air to me.