Harnessing the Wind’s Power

The owner of Brighton Car Wash and Detail Center Jason Morin was able to wash away all worry regarding his latest energy efficient initiative.

He already has thermal solar panels on the roof, which pre-heats water used for the carwash, reducing the heating bill as much as 70% a month.

His most recent proposal to add a wind turbine to his business gained unanimous council approval at the latest city council meeting.

“I think he has put together a project that’s now going to be good for the city in terms of leadership in the clean energy area and not infringe on the residents as well,” said Councilman Robert Fieseler.

“It’s unbelievable how much time and effort it’s taken in getting this permit passed through city council,” said Morin. “It’s just a relief.”

That relief comes a year after the council turned down his initial proposal.

“What he brought before us was a different style unit, more of what you see along [route] 88,” said Councilman Paul Hinterlong. “It was closer to the residents [and it] makes more noise and is 40-something feet tall.”

After hearing the council’s concerns, Morin revamped his plans. The new turbine will only be 32-feet high and have far quieter blades yet it will be powerful enough to benefit his business.

“With the spinning prop blades on it, it creates a current between magnets and copper coils,” said Morin. “And that current is put into an inverter which is switched to AC power.”

That power will then be used to operate the entire facility including the car wash and vacuums. The turbine cost about $33,000. Part of a grant from the greener business program will pay for about $10,000 of it, while Morin will apply for other state and federal funds. Though Morin expects to save only $500 a year on utilities, the real value is being a leader in green energy.

“We’ve implemented many systems here at Brighton Car Wash for saving in electricity, natural gas, efficiencies, water usage and I hope other people follow,” said Morin. “It’s the responsible thing to do.”

Morin expects to have the wind turbine installed by Thanksgiving.

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