Everyone should count on fairly significant decreases in the amount of electricity produced by the Archbold and Pettisville wind turbines during the summer months, said Aaron Godwin, wind energy consultant.
“There just isn’t as much wind in the summer,” he said.
The issue came up during the special Pettisville School Board meeting, Wednesday, June 26.
In a report to the board, Steve Switzer, Pettisville superintendent, said it appeared the turbine is “continuing to under-produce predictions.”
He said projections done in March 2012 indicated that for June 2013, the Pettisville wind turbine should have generated 80,000 killowatthours of electricity.
“Current projections look like we will generate about 46,000 kWh,” Switzer said.
“How much is due to a decreased wind month and how much is due to underproduction are yet to be determined,” Switzer told the board.
Aaron Rex, Archbold superintendent, said, “We have been talking about production. This month, we will be similar to where Pettisville will be,” Rex said.
Poor Wind Month
Godwin said the 80,000 kWh projection was based on a 20-year normalized average, based on wind speed.
In an email to this newspaper last week, he said, “I am not sure where the 46,000 kWh projection came from, as we are still in June.
“That said, June has been a fairly poor wind month so far.
“Just like stocks, you can drive yourself nuts trying to follow the day-to-day trends. You really need to look at the long-term realities.
“A couple of good storms could change all of this.
“Everyone should count on fairly significant decreases in production as we enter the summer months, as there just isn’t as much wind in the summer.
“This was all laid out in the initial fatal flaw feasibility studies.”
Godwin said Norwind, the turbine builder, monitors the operation of the three turbines that were built using a combination of federal, state, and local grants.
Turbines were built at Archbold, Pettisville, and the Kenston Local School District in Chagrin Falls.
Norwind is monitoring turbine performance and still is making adjustments to the turbines, a process called optimization.
Godwin said the school districts still are holding “significant funds” from the contractor.
The districts are waiting on completion of “punch list” items.
Punch list is a construction term. It is a list of issues that must be done before a project is officially complete.
Godwin called optimization a punch-list item.
In addition, Godwin said, “availability, production and savings (generated by the turbines) still have been very significant at all sites.
“That said, we all want to optimize (the turbines) to maximize the savings.”
How concerned should people be about the report of underproduction?
“Not very at this point,” Godwin said.