BigWind bullies Ohio community

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.

 To justify the expense, NexGen has submitted a contract proposal that would stretch the contract, set to expire in three years, through 2030. NexGen’s initial proposal calls for slight kilowatt-per-hour increases each of the contract years, officials have said.

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…

Source: Conneaut will examine options regarding damaged turbine | Local News | starbeacon.com

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Ohio community BigWind turbine ‘shatters’ with blade chunks flying over large area

Read this and you will question the true intentions of Ohio Senator Cliff Hite, as strong rumors ‘blow’ that he will be proposing to SHORTEN the industrial wind turbine setbacks. If successful, and someone is killed/injured, will he be liable? …The damaged waterfront wind turbine in Conneaut, Ohio was a 400 kw wind turbine and it is industrial size. The broken down wind turbine next to the middle school in Conneaut, Ohio and close to I-90 is a 600 kw wind turbine. The elementary school wind turbine broke down three weeks after installation in 2010 and continues to be broken down.

The federal stimulus cash grant program gave NexGen:

$ 347,309 for its India built wind turbine on 6/8/10, it is located on the Conneaut, Ohio waterfront next to the sewer plant (and public road)

$ 490,964 for its India built wind turbine on 6/2/10, it is located right next to the Conneaut, Ohio middle school.

The U.S. DOE Office of Energy, Efficiency and Renewable Energy had a webinar in 2010 promoting community scale wind turbines and used the Conneaut, Ohio wind turbines as their example of a successful community program. Former Governor Strickland encouraged Ohio communities to develop community wind projects and reportedly provided at least $ five million dollars in grant funding….

Administrators in Conneaut are assessing damage to the city’s wastewater treatment plant caused by lightning that struck a wind turbine adjacent to the plant early Saturday morning. The turbine, which supplements electricity used by the sewage plant, lost a blade when lightning hit about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.  A power surge penetrated the plant and might have affected some equipment in the building, City Manager James Hockaday said Monday.”We’re still waiting for a summary,” he said. “There is no cost estimate.“Chunks of the shattered blade were strewn across a wide area, including Marina Drive, Hockaday said.

The turbine is no stranger to bolts from the blue. In August 2011, a lightning strike damaged a blade that was replaced several months later.

The 400-kilowatt turbine, perched at the edge of Lake Erie, was constructed in January 2010 by its owner, NexGen Energy of Boulder, Colorado. A 10-year contract obliges the city to purchase energy from NexGen for the plant for a 10-year period that expires in 2020…

Another NexGen wind turbine, a 600-kilowatt model adjacent to Conneaut Middle School on Gateway Avenue, has been idle for years. NexGen is suing the manufacturer, alleging parts were defective….

Repairs to the school turbine won’t happen until the lawsuit is settled, NexGen officials have said.

Source: Conneaut assessing damage from turbine lightning strike | Local News | starbeacon.com

How much do turbines benefit (or hurt) Ohio schools?

How are the Ohio school turbines performing? Finally, we hear ‘some’ truth. First, USV was a disaster with and $800,000 liability created by the UNDERperforming turbine on their property. Their new superintendent saw the truth- the turbine produces too little energy and the energy is too expensive. He chose to switch to a traditional energy provider.  Second, is the Ada school district, where the cost to savings ratio is a “wash”. It is only a wash b/c the turbine was paid for by our taxdollars through a grant. It would be a loss, otherwise. At what point will their superintendent see that the maintenance costs outweigh the benfits? Finally, we take a look at Lincolnview schools. Their situation is entirely different that the previous 2 schools, because Lincolnview sits in the county within an industrial turbine site.  Taxpayer dollars, from all of us that live OUTside that district, and our state, have funded this project. Each industrial wind site costs us, the taxpayer, hundreds of millions of $ to build. Then, we pay them to produce power through the wind production tax credit. No other energy producer is given this gift. Mr. Snyder must be thankful that ‘we get the value off the turbine itself , not how much power they generate’ because the facts paint a dismal picture for NW Ohio wind energy. According to a federal site, the NW Ohio industrial wind sites produce LESS than 30% of the power that they are capable of producing. How many industries do you know that can survive by only producing 30% of what they told the public? None, unless the government supports you!  Finally, Mr. Snyder mentions what a great benefit it is for OSU to have purchased this wind energy and that it supports 20% of their energy usage. Baloney! That is just a lie. OSU purchased this energy because they wanted to ‘appear’ green to their students and they were probably given a tax credit or break from some grant. They could surely purchase energy from another supplier, cheaper, just like USV schools…

Superintendent Rector had quite the challenge when he first began.
“We had less than seven days cash remaining in our budgets,”…In a very short period of time he cleared out an $800,000 liability owed to the state from the former wind academy...
Rector spoke of the wind farm and academy which he believes led to large fallout in the community.
“Everybody did things with the best of intentions but it really tore at the heart of this community.”…
As for the two windmills on the school property, the negotiated price for their generated power costs more than what they can get directly from the local utility company. So far they have saved over one hundred thousand dollars by switching to a commercial provider.
“And money saved, is money made,” he stated as he looks toward a better future. “What is done is done. They’re not going anywhere. Will they eventually see a savings? That would be nice. By the same token we’ve been able to, through negotiation, bring costs down.”
Ada School districts acquired a windmill on their property during the same period taking advantage of grant funding during the alternative energy incentive program. Ada Superintendent Suzanne Darmer believes the cost to savings ratio comes out as a wash and everything is working fine.
“That was a onetime opportunity many years ago,” Darmer said. “When that came into place we had the opportunity to secure a grant through the federal government through the NexGen Company.”
Darmer further added, “It has not been a problem for us. We have regular maintenance, but nothing to speak of about them being down.”
The wind turbine is not an issue at the school, however, they do not have any plans to put in any more….
“I’d like to see enough windmills in Hardin County so that it’s giving back to the school districts.” said Superintendent Jeff Snyder at Lincolnview.
The Lincolnview school district has reaped the benefit of a $400,000 annual payment from the 42 windmills located there. Snyder said the program was developed from federal legislation and tax incentives for alternative energy and brokered by the Van Wert county commissioners. The county commissioners worked out the deal with the wind energy company, Iberdrola Renewable, a Spanish public multinational electric utility company. The company pays the school and the county directly.
“We get value off the turbine itself, not how much they generate,” Snyder said. “We don’t get any energy to run our school districts off our turbine. The turbine is putting power onto the grid for us to consume. What they try to do is to get people to buy into their energy in advance.”
Snyder says the Ohio State University (OSU) has already seen a tremendous savings with the locked in rate from their windfarm. He stated, “Twenty percent of all the power OSU uses is coming from this wind farm. They locked in their rate for the next twenty years.”
Snyder says the revenues generated from the windfarm greatly benefits the school and saves the taxpayers. Lincolnview received a mere $81,000 in funding from the state this year, which, by the way, won’t even pay for a school bus….
“We’re one of the first school districts to provide laptop devices to every student from kindergarten through 12,” he added, “We’ve started pre-engineering and bio-medical programs in high school, knowing we have this money for the next twenty years. It’s been a world of difference for our school district and we’re going to keep doing great things here because we have the opportunity to do that.”

Source: Ada Herald