Public invited to solar, wind turbine ceremony

To the Village of Newcomerstown:

Newcomerstown Exempted Village Schools would like to invite the public to the dedication of the new solar and wind turbine projects on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. in the back of the West Elementary School (near the fourth and fifth grade playground).

The event is expected to last 45 minutes to an hour, with demonstrations from fourth and fifth grade students, and words from speakers from the project coordinators (Solar Vision, Dovetail Solar and Wind), the schools, town and county. Chairs will be set up on the mulch and pavement portions of the playground for the media and public. There will also be a short tour available afterwards for anyone interested. In the advent of inclement weather, the dedication will take place in the high school gym.

The origin of the project was the result of West Elementary being awarded grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission and Ohio Department of Energy for a 10 kilowatt wind turbine. As a result of talking to several companies about the purchase, Dovetail Solar and Wind asked if we would be interested in a solar project that would cost the school system nothing and save money on its electric bills. Needless to say, we were! The approximate 800 panels on the Newcomerstown High School roof and West Elementary School grounds are part of a 20-year contract with Solar Vision (the financing company), and the school system. We are basically leasing our land and roof to Solar Vision for the purpose of producing electricity. Solar Vision will pay 15 percent of our electrical bill each year for that same time period. The power produced will be put directly back into the power lines of Newcomerstown. Solar Vision will make monthly maintenance checks and be responsible for all repairs or replacement of the system. As reported before, the panels are made durable enough to take a golf-ball size hailstone at 90 miles an hour.

Our school and community were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time for this project. The workers from Dovetail Solar and Wind worked with our school very well. They stayed in our town for eight weeks at the Hampton Inn, spent their money at our stores and restaurants, and had good things to say about how they were treated during their stay. Newcomerstown will be one of the few communities in Ohio to have a system such as this.

We hope you can join us for this dedication Oct. 5.

Pat Cadle

West Elementary School Principal