There is progress to report on the Archbold wind turbine project.
David Deskins, Archbold Area School District superintendent, reported the molds for the blades of the 750-kilowatt electricity generating wind turbine were shipped from India last week.
The molds are expected to be “on the water” for about two weeks. They will arrive in Virginia, then be shipped to a factory in Evansville, Ind., where production will begin.
The blades have long been a holdup in the school district wind turbine project.
Much of the money for the project is coming from federal and state grants. One grant, $750,000 from American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, or economic stimulus money, has a “Buy American” clause.
The clause requires that a certain amount of the parts for the turbine must be built in the United States.
Therefore, rather than ship finished turbine blades, each more than 75 feet long, from India, the molds are being shipped to the U.S. for manufacturing here.
Other money for the project comes from cash the school has on hand and no-interest Ohio Qualified School Construction Bonds. The bonds can be repaid with money the school saves on electricity after the turbine is operational. Tower
The Archbold wind turbine will feature a 246-foot tubular steel tower. It will stand on an already-in-place foundation at the southwest corner of the Archbold Athletic Stadium.
Deskins said the tower is currently under construction at a factory in Monroe, Mich.
The first turbine is going to Kenston Local Schools, in Geauga County.
Archbold is in line for the second, followed by a similar turbine for Pettisville. Deadline
Currently, the requirements of at least some of the grants being used to fund the wind turbine call for it to be in operation next month.
However, Deskins said because of the delays caused by the manufacture of the blades, construction of the Archbold wind turbine won’t take place until June or July.
Deskins said officials still are waiting on an official, written extension of the deadline by the U.S. Department of Energy.
He said officials with the Ohio Department of Development are confident the DOE is aware of the situation, and will issue an extension.– David Pugh