Wind turbine update, Fayette schools 8.12.09

Written by David Green.

Wind Turbine Project

             

Project Update August 2009

 

By RUSSELL GRIGGS

Fayette Superintendent of Schools

Fayette Local Schools, in partnership with the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC), is pursuing a wind turbine component for the recently constructed K-12 School facility. Wind power has been discussed for the past 18 months by the Fayette school district officials, Buehrer Group Architect, Barton Malow Construction Management, and OSFC Project Administrators.

A consultant was hired in 2008 to study the project, work on zoning issues and seek grant opportunities. Michael Spacek of Engineered Process Systems of Huron was the lead engineer on the project. The study was paid for through project funds, 81 percent state, 19 percent local.

Over the course of the past year, much has been accomplished. A grant application was made to the Ohio Department of Development (DOD). The district was awarded a grant in the amount of $200,000. Mr. Spacek worked with Village of Fayette officials and council on zoning and the district has a permit to construct a wind turbine on the school site.

At a meeting in Columbus on June 20, 2009, the OSFC gave the approval to proceed with the project. Remaining funds in the school project may be used for the wind turbine project. Buehrer Group will be the architect for the project. Barton Malow will continue as construction manager on the project. The budget was set at $900,000 to $1,000,000.

Soil borings were completed on site during the month of July. The architect is in the process of submitting specifications to the construction manager for review and approval. OSFC officials requested that multiple turbines be considered as an alternative to the single 250 kwh turbine the district had been researching for the project. Wind study information from a recently completed tower project in Archbold, as well as an earlier study from Northwest State Community College, has been used in determining the wind supply in the area.

The consultant has calculated an annual savings of $30,000 to $50,000 in electrical costs to the district utilizing a 250 kwh turbine. The district share of the cost of the project could be returned in 2.67 to 4.43 years. The DOD grant and OSFC would fund the remainder of the project. If project funds are not utilized for the wind turbine project, over $600,000 would be returned to the state.

Bids for the project will take place later this year with possible completion in 2010. Many other school districts are looking into wind turbine projects. Fayette Local Schools is the first OSFC project district with approval to proceed with a turbine of this size. The turbine would be located in the field south of the building, with controls located in the new maintenance building.

Fayette Local Schools is interested in pursuing alternative power sources which are good for the environment as well as being cost effective for the district and community.

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