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Sherrard plans wind turbine project

Another area school district is getting into the energy business. Plans are on the table for a $2.1 million wind turbine in the Sherrard School District in lower Rock Island County.

The project would provide energy for the 170,000-square-foot junior/senior high campus, which is an all-electric facility.

“Of that $2.1 million, the district has already received a little over $1.7 million in secured funding for the project,” Superintendent Robert Gillum said. “$420,000 of that is a nonrepay grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation.”

The district hopes the project will more than pay for itself in the long run by providing up to 80 percent of the district’s annual energy costs.

“Right now, our annual utility budget for the junior/senior high campus is $175,000,” Gillum said. “With electrical service providers, we’re anticipating an unstable market so we’re trying to hedge against that and protect ourselves and someday be self-sufficient for electrical service.”

The wind turbine should be up and running by early next year.

The subject will be discussed during a public meeting at 7 p.m. today at the Sherrard High School auditorium. Representatives from Ameresco, a subcontractor who the district is working with on the project, will make a presentation on wind turbines.

By J.C. Taylor | Tuesday, January 23, 2007