As energy prices continue to skyrocket Rockford may soon find itself leading the way to a cheaper source of power. As oil and gas prices soar to record highs, alternative energy sources are looking more and more attractive. The Stateline may not have any oil reserves, but we do have plenty of wind and one local group is hoping to use it. Stanley Campbell of Rockford Urban Ministries says, "Rockford is in an area that generates quite a large amount of wind and it could generate a lot of electricity."
Rockford Urban Ministries hopes to put a wind turbine on the roof of their building. The project will not only generate electricity for the building, but will also serve as an example of small-scale electrical production in an urban business setting. Stanley adds "And not only will you be able to look at it as you drive by over here on seventh street and first avenue, but you'll be able to view it on the internet to see how sucessful or unsucessful that we are."
Although the turbine will probably save money and energy in the long run, Rockford Urban Ministries needs to raise $41,000 in order to purchase and install it. The JustGoods fair trade store, which would receive the majority of the energy, has pledged $3000 and an additional $4000 has been raised from other sources. The state says that if they get local support, they will match the funds raised dollar for dollar. Stanley continues "This type of experimentation is a way of really solving our home-grown energy problems and concerns and is better for the environment and people working at it in their own backyard, through their congregations, through their businesses, that's really going to help this country." If you are interested in learning more, Rockford Urban Ministries is hosting a dinner party tomorrow night at 5:30 at 201 S. 7th St. Engineers will be on hand to explain how the project works.
This won't be the first roof wind turbine in the city of Rockford. The Burpee Museum of Natural History already has one. If the necessary funds are raised, Rockford Urban Ministries plans to have the turbine working by August.