For those who have been anxiously waiting for the wind turbines at Archbold and Pettisville schools to get their blades, there is good news.
Aaron Godwin, wind turbine consultant for the school districts, said a set of three blades for the Archbold wind turbine are finished and are undergoing a final inspection.
Blades for Pettisville are now being built, he said.
Godwin said the Archbold blades could be delivered this week.
“But there’s been a storm,” Joe Long, Archbold superintendent, said facetiously
Shipping and installation will be dictated by the weather.
“They are trying to stage so they are ready to go as soon as the weather allows. Obviously, they’re not going to be putting up any cranes in this weather,” Long said.
Steve Switzer, Pettisville superintendent, told members of the Pettisville school board, that contractors said they intend to deliver the blades there by Monday, Nov. 26.
Nov. 26 is the deadline required by the federal grant that will pay for a large share of the cost of both turbine projects.
The $1.8 million wind turbine projects are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as federal economic stimulus money.
The act required that the turbine be manufactured in America in order to create jobs in the United States.
The blades had previously been manufactured in India. The project has been repeatedly delayed while the companies involved moved production to the United States.
A new company was established in Indiana to build turbine blades.
The Kenston school district, which is also part of the wind turbine project, has its blades up and turning.
Pettisville will be the last of the districts to receive the blades, and there is concern as the deadline approaches that the blades may not arrive in time.
Speaking during the Pettisville school board Monday, Oct. 29 meeting, Switzer said, “The contractors told us today (Monday) that the blades will be here by the deadline.”
“We are hoping that is the case.”
Once the blades are installed, the turbines must be commissioned.
During that time, the contractor will work with Toledo Edison to make sure the turbines work properly with the power company’s electricity distribution system.
Long said during the commissioning process, which could last a few weeks, people may see the turbine blades turning off and on.
Switzer told the school board that once the turbine is operational, electric costs for the district will change dramatically and may even result in a positive cash flow as excess electricity from the turbine is sold.–D.J. Neuenschwander and David Pugh