Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clarendon Hills Middle School wind turbine blows $51,000

Middle school starts up new wind turbine — Hinsdale news, photos and events — "

Sanity check: $51,000 for a wind turbine that produces $582 per year will recover its initial cost in 87 years, if we naively assume it can be maintained at zero cost. Even if we assume steep growth in the cost of electricity (7% per year) and zero maintenance, the break-even point still is at least several decades, much longer than the equipment will actually survive. Economically this project is unjustifiable, and amounts to $51,000 that no longer can be spent usefully inside the school building on teachers, books, lab equipment, or computers.

Who are the wind turbine's biggest beneficiaries? Follow the money.

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