POMONA — A wind turbine outside Appanoose Elementary School might not be repairable, Jerry Turner, West Franklin superintendent, said Thursday.
During West Franklin school board regular meeting Wednesday, Turner thanked KCP&L for the company’s help with the turbine and also gave an update on the status, according to board minutes.
“KCP&L was kind enough to loan us a bucket truck with an operator and then we had a turbine mechanic — an experienced one — and he came out and evaluated the situation and told us the health of our turbine,” Turner said.
“We had to have [a bucket truck] go up above 45 feet. Most of them only go up 40 feet so they brought in a big bucket truck, a heavy duty one.”
Turner said the mechanic, from Smalley Heating and Cooling, Topeka, inspected the turbine at Appanoose Elementary School, 600 Shawnee Road, Pomona, about two weeks ago and discovered a part called an inverter was not working. Parts needed to repair the turbine would cost at least $2,000 and the mechanic was not positive the parts were even available, Turner said.
“He took his time,” he said. “He was very thorough about it and he checked her out twice. We got a pretty good estimation about what’s wrong with it and I think we got a pretty good estimation of what it would cost to repair it.”
The wind turbine has not been working for some time, Turner said.
“We have tried to line this up for months, you know how rainy it was last May on, and every time we turned around and we had it lined up, it rained,” he said. “I didn’t want to run out across the yard in that big, heavy-duty truck and leave ruts in the grass. I wasn’t going to have the maintenance guys bounce over them for the next 10 years. It finally got dry enough. I think we had it coordinated five different times.”
The wind turbine, installed in 2010 at the school, was the product of a grant from Kansas State University through the U.S. Department of Energy, according to Herald archives. It provided about 2.4 kilowatts of energy per day, enough to power two hair dryers or three microwaves, and saved about $30 in electricity, according to Herald archives.
“I am not going to recommend that we repair it for that kind of money for the juice we get out of it,” Turner said Thursday.