If you listened to BigWind, a turbine is a great deal for a school. Free energy producer, right? In reality, the turbines are often plagued with maintenance issues and rarely perform and produce the power that the school is promised. As a result, the taxpayer is stuck with a big bill. Just look to USV, ONU, other Ohio schools near Lake Erie, and you will find the proof. This one is absolutel proof why SETBACKS are so important. They are protective for the people and the property around the turbine. Yet, Cliff Hite and a newly hired lobbying group, is working overtime to convince our Ohio Senators, RIGHT NOW, to amend our budget to include a shortened setback. Right now, 1,125 feet is all the distance that we have between a property line and a 660 foot turbine with 100 foot blades that spin in excess of 90 mph, but BigWind wants to change that….
At first glance it looks like the Ogle County wind turbine is working normal. But take a closer look and you’ll see a major problem.
“It was coming apart. Literally, chunks were falling off it,” said neighbor Rick Cashen.
Last week lightning hit the turbine creating a gash and throwing the blades out of control.
The turbine is behind Eswood Elementary School in Lindenwood. When Superintendent Joe Schwartz saw the furious spinning he closed part of the school’s building, and moved students to the other side. He also moved graduation to a nearby school….
Since then technicians have stopped the turbine from spinning.
But that’s only where this story begins. It turns out this five-year-old turbine has never produced any electricity.
“There have been numerous problems with the windmill. Breaking issues, air foil issues,” Schwartz said.
As 13 News first told you in 2015, the turbine, which was supposed to save the school money, has never worked…
It’s why neighbors want it taken down.
“I think it’s not worth the risk that it takes and puts people in, it’s not worth that to save a few bucks from an energy perspective,” said neighbor Stephen Hoffman.
Hoffman and his family of five live right next to the turbine. He said not only is it an eyesore, it’s a safety concern.
“At the end of the day it’s not worth any dismemberment, anyone getting injured from something you’re not expecting,” Hoffman said…
Meanwhile, cones fill the school’s backyard warning those to stay clear of a generator that has produced everything but electricity…