Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. will experiment with high-tech California windmills as an alternative means to produce electricity, company officials said.
The utility will contribute $4 million to a five-year, $20 million project, to begin in 1992, and build two windmills near eastern Lake Ontario, said David Devendorf, the company's manager of electric research. Similar devices, called wind generators, are being tested in northern California.
Niagara Mohawk wants to learn if it can generate electricity more cheaply than with natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear power and water, said spokesman William Romano.
An advanced, 33-meter variable-speed turbine being developed by U.S. Wind Power of Livermore, Calif., allows the rotor and the generator to speed up with gusting or stronger winds without straining the drive train.