by: Diane Benjamin
Original construction costs are in this post: http://blnnews.com/2012/05/24/will-the-heartland-college-windmill-save-money/
This post will update the information from last year. The turbine was broke for all of October 2013 and March 2014. It was broke for part of September and November 2013 and February 2014. Note the higher Cost per KWH during those months. Looking at the cost per KWH in April 2013, it looks like it wasn’t operating then too.
2013-2014 is probably the easiest year to see how much the turbine saved the college since the costs without it are reflected in the recap provided to me under the Freedom of Information Act. Note the months the turbine was out of service have higher costs per KWH hour.
Estimating the cost without the turbine ($593,978) and with it running all year ($250,592) shows a savings of $343,386. Then deduct the maintenance costs of $125,445 ($67,595+$29,627+$28,223-see below), savings of an estimated $217,941 are realized. That hardly makes a dent in the construction costs. I purposely used low purchase costs and average cost for generated – the numbers could look a lot worse.
The turbine was installed in April 2012.
This comparison shows the electricity cost before the turbine and after it was installed. Obviously repairs (covered by warranty) hurt the savings in 2013-2014. Eventually the warranty won’t cover repairs. Those costs could end the turbine permanently.