By Ed Runyan
The village will have a good reason to wish for windy days from now on — the village hall is being powered by two wind turbines expected to generate 30 percent to 50 percent of its electricity.
Mayor Michael Chaffee and other officials showed the public the two turbines Wednesday that have been installed on 100-foot towers to the side and rear of the township hall.
“A lot of communities are kicking it around. Hopefully, we will be pioneers. Somebody had to be the first,” Chaffee said. Other turbines are in use around the county, but Chaffee says he thinks Lordstown is the first government body to install one.
Because the village only had to pay $13,170 of the $131,700 cost, they will pay for themselves in three to four years and provide cost savings for decades to come.
The village pays $1,000 to $1,200 per month for electricity to run the administration building, on Salt Springs Road, and the turbines are expected to reduce that bill by $300 to $500 per month.
Greg Courtney of Wind Turbines of Ohio LLC of Alliance, which provided the turbines, said they should operate with “no maintenance for 30 to 50 years.”
The project, which has been in the works for about 18 months, came about because of a $65,850 in grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission by way of the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments and $52,680 from the Ohio Department of Development.
Courtney said the area where the turbines are located should provide winds of 11 to 13 miles per hour, which is not as high as the area six miles off Lake Erie where one of the largest wind turbine projects in the state is being planned. Turbines there are expected to utilize wind speeds of 16 to 18 miles per hour.
Winds in Champaign and Logan counties northwest of Columbus have wind speeds of 14 to 16 miles per hour, he said.
The two Lordstown turbines are 10-kilowatt-hour turbines, which means they are about four times the size of the 2.4-kilowatt turbines in use at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union hall on Research Parkway in Champion, Courtney said.