Costs to keep the Akron–Westfield Community School’s wind turbine turning have spun out of control. But now, the school may have a company lined up to take it over.
Bluesky Wind, a renewable power company based out of New York, is considering purchasing the turbine which would alleviate a financial headache for the school district.
With the aide of tax incentives, the Akron–Westfield Community Schools put up a wind turbine in 1999. But for the past 5 years, it’s been one thing after another with repair costs. The school is cutting its losses now working with Bluesky Wind in an attempt to transition ownership.
Dwain Wilmot, the Akron-Westfield Technology Coordinator, says, “This is hopefully going to be…and nothing is set yet…hopefully this is going to be a win for Bluesky Wind and then also a win for the district.”
Bluesky is assessing repair costs and attempting to work out agreements with landowners and a local power distribution company to keep the turbine running. The goal is to reach a zero–sum cost to the school on the turbine. Wilmot, whose father Ronald helped in the planning and building of the turbine, hopes it will stay put. Dwain says, “Then we get to keep one of the icons, one of the landmarks of Akron as it has become over the years. Coming into town from many directions that’s how you know it’s Akron – because you see the turbine!”
In September, Bluesky will determine whether the turbine can be made profitable. An alternative is to scrap the turbine and sell off its parts. That could be a tough sale though, because it’s an uncommon wind turbine model.
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