Monday night Wickliffe City Council unanimously passed legislation that allows industries in the city to erect wind turbines for electrical generation.
Bill Gargiulo, law director for the city, reveals that Park Ohio’s Snow Dragon facility in Wickliffe hopes to install a wind turbine. That firm’s plans drove adoption of the building code amendment. Gargiulo stresses that any wind turbine constructed in the city will be located along Wickliffe’s industrial corridor. Because of size requirements in the new legislation, few other properties in the community could possess a power-generating wind turbine.
“Many cities are very restrictive about towers and turbines,” Gargiulo notes, “but Wickliffe’s code is quite reasonable.” Gargiulo, who drafted the building code amendment, remarks, “safety is the city’s main concern” when dealing with towers, turbines or antennae. The law director explains that factors like size, design, distances and wind velocity all helped shape the new wind turbine requirements. The city, Gargiulo adds, formatted the new amendment around state requirements for solar, wind and hydroelectric construction.
Gargiulo emphasizes that the new legislation is just a first step. “Next we will pass it to the building commissioner for implementation,” Gargiulo relates. Park Ohio will then need to submit drawings and specifications for city approval. Gargiulo chose not to speculate as to when Wickliffe might see its first operational wind turbine.
Neighboring Euclid has thus far led the campaign for renewable energy in the area. In 2011, Euclid welcomed Lincoln Electric’s 2.5-megawatt wind turbine and a pair of smaller turbines are currently being installed at William Sopko & Sons Co. The Sopko wind turbines will not only provide electricity, but also aid Case Western Reserve University researchers in better understanding wind turbine design variations. Euclid is also involved with solar power, as evidenced by the new solar panels atop the Euclid Public Library and City Hall.
According to Park Ohio’s website, the conglomerate operates 80 facilities in 16 countries and employs over 3,000 workers. Park Ohio specializes in manufacturing services and products. The Snow Dragon division focuses on snow-melting equipment. Edward Crawford, chairman of Park Ohio, states on the firm’s website, “we intend to revolutionize the snow industry by bringing melting technology to everyone who moves snow.”
Park Ohio officials did not return calls regarding its wind turbine plans.
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