Carol Wersich, Evansville Courier & Press

— Interest in creating electricity via windmill generators is spreading to an urban area near Downtown Evansville.

Dennis Conwell, president of a startup company called American Green Energy, is the latest person showing the interest.

He says he wants to have three residential-size windmills installed outside his office in the U.S. Incubator at 815 John St.

The proposed site overlooks the Lloyd Expressway, near the U.S. 41 exit east of Downtown.

Conwell said he would use the windmill generators to reduce his office energy costs and that of 39 other offices in the east end of the incubator, which Evansville businessman Frank Peterlin founded in 2001.

Conwell estimated the total savings could be $4,900 a year.

Conwell said he also would use the windmill generators as selling points when introducing American Green Energy clients to wind energy.

Last February, Connie Engelbrecht had a 100-foot-tall business-size windmill generator installed on her Engelbrecht Orchard property off Christ Road on the city's North Side.

Donna Holderfield, a zoning enforcement officer for the Evansville-Vanderburgh Area Plan Commission, said Engelbrecht's windmill generator was the first installed within the city limits.

She said Conwell's project would be the second producing one within the city limits.

Conwell's plan was recently approved by the plan commission's Site Review Committee, said Holderfield.

The plan is scheduled to go before the Board of Zoning Appeals March 18 at 4 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Conwell seeks a special use and variance permit from the board.

Holderfield said Conwell must notify area residents in the John Street neighborhood of his plans before the meeting.

The neighborhood includes homes as well as businesses.

According to Conwell, the blades of the two 45-foot-tall residential windmills and the 60-foot residential windmill, which he plans to have installed, are designed to be noise-free.

Conwell seeks to change the variance to place the windmills a few feet closer to the incubator's property line, aligning them with parking-lot light posts, he said.

He anticipates having the windmills installed and operating by May.

Conwell said his goal in starting his green energy company is "to bring forth products that will leave a footprint as close to zero carbon for area residents and businesses."

"I will carry a variety of products for use in reducing emissions and electrical bills."

American Green will deal in high-efficiency heat pumps and in solar energy materials, among other products.

Conwell presently owns Net-Well Investments and Net-Well Properties, both in Evansville.