Citing decreased savings from the wind turbines that have been part of the city’s skyline for more than a decade, the Nevada school board is considering decommissioning them.
The board tabled their discussion of the turbines during their meeting Monday, saying they wanted to give the community a chance to learn more about the possible decision.
“The windmills are a community perception,” said board member Tori Carsrud. “We need to bring this to the public. I don’t want to make a decision and have it be a surprise attack.”
Standing at 260 feet tall, the turbines have helped turned Nevada into a renewable energy town. However, the once philanthropic blades that used to turn in a profit for the district no longer are doing so, district officials said in an article to be published Thursday in the Nevada Journal.
“The windmills were a generous gift that served us well for a decade,” said Superintendent Steve Gray. “The first 10 years, they made us money; the last 10 years we’ve gotten as much out of them as we’ve put in; if we keep them 10 more years, they will turn into a money pit and run us a deficit.”
As much as the board would like to keep the turbines, they are sadly becoming an expensive piece of scenery the district cannot afford to maintain.
Initially, they saved the district as much as $3,000 a month on its electric bill, adding around $24,000 a year in credit to the district’s budget.
Over time, they have become old and decrepit and the longer they stand, the more strain they will put on Nevada’s financial outlook.
“We are trying to make it work,” said board Vice President Laura West. “However, the savings from the windmills are less and less each year.”
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