How ILLogical is it for a community to pay 14 cents per kWh for electricity, when they can purchase it for 10? This is the dilemma of the city of Conneaut, Ohio. You will read that the turbine has $250,000 worth of repairs and NexGen will happily repair it IF the city renews a 10 year purchase contract with them….for more expensive energy than they can purchase from the grid. Once again, another turbine is plagued with expensive repairs. Don’t they pay this electric bill with tax dollars?….
The owner of a damaged wind turbine that provides some of the electricity used at Conneaut’s sewage treatment plant wants a reworked contract with the city in order to make repairs financially feasible.
City Manager James Hockaday told City Council members at Monday night’s work session that NexGen is seeking a 10-year extension to the existing 10-year contract that will expire in 2020. The company says it needs a new contract to make repairs to the 400-kilowatt turbine — which has been idle since a lightning strike at the end of February.
Lighting blasted away one of the turbine’s blades and essentially destroyed its generator, Hockaday said. NexGen has said it will cost $250,000 to fix the machine, erected in January 2010.
The turbine supplies about 20 percent of the electricity used at the plant located along the Lake Erie shore.
In 2016, the city paid NexGen almost $59,000, according to information from the city finance office. In February, NexGen charged the city $11,135 for its services.
The city is not paying NexGen while the turbine is inoperable, Hockaday said.
Last year, the city paid NexGen a combined generation/distribution charge of 12 cents per kilowatt hour. In 2017, the seventh year of the 10-year original contract, the city is paying 12.5 cents per kWh, according to the finance office. NexGen’s combined charge will climb to 12.9 cents per kWh next year, topping out at 14 cents in 2020, per the contract.
Direct Energy has been the primary power supplier to the sewage plant, and is filling the void left by the turbine, officials said. Direct Energy this year is charging a combined 10 cents per kWh, Finance Director John Williams said at Monday’s meeting.
Hockaday told council the city has multiple options regarding the turbine, such as explore pricing available through conventional utilities, talk with other turbine operators or negotiate with NexGen.
“We can counter-offer (NexGen),” he said. “(The contract) is a proposal.”
Hockaday said he feels the turbine has merit…