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CANYON WIND MAY PROVIDE POWER FOR SPANISH FORK

SHARE CANYON WIND MAY PROVIDE POWER FOR SPANISH FORK

The winds of change are blowing in more ways than one for residents living near Spanish Fork Canyon - they may be looking for those brisk winds to provide them with power soon.

The Utah Municipal Power Association reported recently that tests are under way to determine whether the winds are strong enough to provide an economically feasible power source.City Councilman Rex Woodhouse has been working with the group and said that the study will test average wind speed and time and strength of wind movements, in addition to a cost analysis report.

For testing purposes, a three-bladed propeller has been installed atop a tall tower in the canyon. Additionally, a 17.5-kilowatt Jacobs turbine engine (donated by a local individual) will help test the wind power efficiency.

Association officials said the site was chosen because of the existing tower facilities and the accessibility to the canyon winds. "We didn't have to buy land and erect a new tower to put the turbine on," one official said.

Officials say they also hope to discover why earlier test propellers have been blown away during heavy gusts.

"There is wind potential there and we want to find out why props were thrown on other wind generators that were there," another official said.

The board has already put $70,000 into research for the study. Anemometers (which test wind speed and force) have been placed at three other sites along the canyon road.

So far, the study indicates that winds in the area could have energy-producing potential equal to promising experiments performed in Amarillo, Texas.

Officials say the project coincides with wind-prospecting efforts in the Provo Canyon area.