The PearlWind turbine sits 140 feet in the air with a blade tip height of 170 feet which creates enough electricity to power 12 average American homes for a full year.
Pearl Road Auto Parts and Wrecking, a Cleveland Ohio based and fourth generation family owned automotive recycling company located at 5000 Pearl Road was the first commercial business in Cleveland to not only install a wind turbine but to also have it connected to the power grid.
The PearlWind turbine sits 140 feet in the air with a blade tip height of 170 feet which creates enough electricity to power 12 average American homes for a full year. The Average American home uses roughly 1,000 kWh (Kilowatt hours) per month. This equates to an approximate electricity savings of 75% for this 83 year old business and what the owners call a sound business move with an expected payback within 5 years.
The PearlWind turbine was erected on Friday September 11th, 2009 and was interconnected to the electrical grid by FirstEnergy on Monday November 16th, 2009. The wind turbine went in full operation in late December of last year and has been creating 8 – 10 MW (Megawatts = 1,000 kilowatts) of power ever since.
Pearl Road Auto Parts which is most commonly known as Cleveland’s “junk yard” has been the place to go for used automotive parts for over 80 years. It was a natural for the owners to start a renewable energies company (PearlWind) based off of their incredible knowledge of the environment and how to make it work for them. Now they have a wind turbine that is visible to almost 1 million people on a daily basis that can be seen not only off of Interstate I-480 and the Ridge Road exit but also throughout Cleveland’s west side and parts of Parma. Jon Kaplan, President of PearlWind and 4th generation owner of Pearl Road Auto Parts always knew that there was wind on their property and that one day, when there was enough incentive money available, his family owned business would be able to harness the wind’s energy to create enough electricity to greatly offset their nearly $20,000 a year electric bill.
There is a tremendous amount of free (Grant) money available right now” says David Mallie, Vice President of PearlWind. Ohio has some of the best incentives for residential and commercial renewable energy installations in the nation and Pearl Road Auto Parts’ wind turbine is a perfect example of how a business can capitalize on all the incentive money available. The state of Ohio (For commercial wind turbines) will pay 40% up to $200,000 of the entire job and the Federal 1603 (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) bill pays 30% of the entire job with no cap. You can literally have 70% of the cost for the purchase and installation paid for limiting your overall out of pocket expense Mallie explains.
In addition to all the great stimulus money is the amount of career opportunities available, not only to students getting ready to enter the workforce but also to people going back to school, perhaps even changing careers as the atmosphere of the economy changes. Many people are unaware that Northeast Ohio has more manufacturers for components for wind turbines than anywhere else in the nation which gives Cleveland and Northeast Ohio an advantage for workforce opportunities. Wind turbine technology is nothing new as it has been effectively in use for over 30 years here in the United States and longer in Europe and around the world. But technological advances are changing making them more efficient and able to produce more electricity than ever before and our region is playing a big part in that.
On Tuesday May 24th, 2010 in Dallas Texas at the American Wind Energy Association annual trade show the announcement was made that Lake Erie will become home to the worlds very first fresh water wind farm in cooperation with LEEDCo (Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation) and GE (General Electric). This project will be located off the shores of Lake Erie near Cleveland further strengthening our city’s position as a leader in the renewable energy sector.
People interested in learning more about wind and renewable energy applications can stop by Pearl Road Auto Parts anytime. Many of the areas colleges site their wind turbine in their curriculum as well as students papers being written about their wind turbine.