Hundreds of students and area dignitaries gathered at the Covington School on Quarton Road in Bloomfield Township Tuesday for the ribbon-cutting of a new Mariah Power vertical-axis wind turbine.
The turbine is a joint effort of Mariah, which builds its turbines in Manistee; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers locals 58 and 17; officials of the township and the Birmingham school district; and John Carlos, founder of GreeningDetroit.com, a Web site that’s intended as a clearinghouse of information for all things green. Carlos also happens to be the father of two children at the school.
During a dedication ceremony Tuesday, Carlos pointed out that Mariah has donated two of its 1.2-kilowatt wind turbines in Michigan. One is at the governor’s residence in Lansing, and the other is at Covington School.
He also noted that the turbine “was brought to you by a Michigan company and a Michigan dad, built by Michigan workers, installed by Michigan union workers. It doesn’t get any better than that.” Carlos said the turbine’s installation was a three-year effort.
Skip Pruss, director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, praised the school for its initiative. After the ceremony, he said feed-in tariff legislation now pending in Lansing for distributed, renewable power will encourage intermediate school districts to create green schools that are self-sufficient in their power needs.
The Windspire stands about 30 feet tall and four feet wide. It’s surrounded by a six-foot chain link fence on a parking lot separating the school from its playground.
Anthony Glugla, an apprentice with IBEW Local 58, said a 10-man crew was able to assemble and install the Windspire in a single day.
IBEW officials said Centerline Electric of Centerline and Rauhorn Electric of Shelby Township were instrumental in the installation.
Inside the school, John Prisciandaro, an engineering technology teacher, showed off a “data dashboard” on a large monitor that will track the Windspire’s energy output. On this dedication day, with only an occasional gentle breeze, it was near zero.
The Mariah wind turbines are built at the Manistee plant of Sterling Heights-based MasTech Manufacturing. The 1.2-kw turbine retails for $4,995, plus installation.
Source: WWJ Newsradio 950