Sheffield Lake city is planning a wind turbine at Shoreway Shopping Center redevelopment. The city awarded a bid to construct two 60-foot tall, 24-foot diameter wind turbines at the center to power lights in a parking lot for the development. The turbines would produce about 2,400 watts of electricity. Totally 40% of the $30,000 for the two smaller wind turbines for the parking lot will be paid for by using state grants made available to cities once every 12 months.

Besides the above, there are also plans for a much larger wind turbine as the centerpiece of the redeveloped shopping center, right in the middle of a public mall filled with stores and condominiums. The wind turbine is expected to cost upward of $100 million to build.

A private-public partnership could pay for the larger turbine, which would cost less than $1 million.

“Instead of it being a big sea of asphalt and an antiquated shopping center, I’d like to continue the neighborhood streets and build the new buildings as part of the streetscape so the whole area has a Main Street feel,” Sheffield Lake Mayor John Piskura said.

In case the city receives federal money from the stimulus bill, a 500-foot long pier west of the boat launch with five 200-foot high turbines running right along the middle of it would be built. Its capacity would be 10 megawatt.

“This is exactly the kind of thing the current administration has been talking about with the stimulus,” Piskura said. “It’s job creation, green energy and economic development.”

Piskura said that he had been looking at bringing in wind energy, both for its cost savings and its visual appeal as part of a larger development, for the last two years.

“Our problem is not any lack of interest, it’s a supply-chain bottleneck where you can’t get a wind turbine unless you’re ordering 20,” Piskura said.

Those restrictions are beginning to loosen, Piskura said, in part because of how high-profile green energy has become over the last few years and President Barack Obama’s push to use green energy to repair the country’s aging energy grid.

Dale Arnold, director for energy services with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation said that Piskura’s plans were going to help not only his community but surrounding communities use cleaner, cheaper energy.

“I think that a number of cities and a number of local governments and economic development groups are looking at these types of projects as a way to benefit the community,” Arnold said.

Piskura said that even if the shopping center redevelopment does not go as per plan, the wind turbines would still bring in money to the city with the lower-cost electricity they produce.

“If you spend $1 million on a turbine and it generates $100,000 in revenues, you take it to pay off (the turbines) in 10 or 13 years. The life of a turbine is about 25 years, so all the money you have after you pay it off goes right into the bank,” Piskura said.

If Sheffield Lake was not awarded stimulus money for the pier project, Piskura said that he would still like to see the pier built for use as shelter for the harbor and would likely try to find other ways to fund building the turbines. The cost for the pier and turbines would be around $14 million, Piskura said.

“Maybe we could do a community-based project,” Piskura said. “If we market it as commercially viable, we could get a private company to come in or try to get the community to fund it.”