Merrillville High School could get a wind turbine, solar panels

2011-11-19T19:00:00Z 2011-11-20T20:50:13Z Merrillville High School could get a wind turbine, solar panelsBy Carmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | If the Merrillville Community School Corp. wins a grant from the Indiana Office of Energy Development, it will be the first school district in the region to construct a wind turbine at its high school, creating projects on renewable energy sources for students and job opportunities for local tradesmen.

Merrillville Superintendent Tony Lux said the grant can "provide educational projects for students, reduce the district's carbon footprint and will be highly visible to the community."

The school district has partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697, Ironworkers Local 395, Roofers Local 26, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Millwrights and the town of Merrillville's municipal government. It submitted a grant request for $325,000. The district should have an answer by year's end.

The district has pledged $83,500 to the project. In addition, the partners and area businesses have committed $84,000 of in-kind contributions of time, equipment and materials. The grant would spark an investment of more than $167,000.

The project includes installing a 50-kilowatt wind turbine and about 15 kilowatts of solar panels at Merrillville High School. Installation would be integrated into the curriculum in the building trades, physics, chemistry, economics and AutoCAD programs and adult education programs at the high school. Installations will provide job training opportunities for local tradesmen.

The wind turbine and solar panels should save the district an estimated $762,000 over 30 years while offsetting 3,000 tons of carbon, equivalent to 9.5 million automobiles traveled, or the equivalent of planting 118,000 trees.

Physics teacher Bruce Curme, electronics teacher Rick Hurey, building trades instructor Bob Mackoviak and Environmental Club sponsor Chuck Gleason helped write the grant application.

Curme said he is excited about having a real generator that students can see and determine how much power it is producing, and using equations to determine solar panel efficiency.

Ryan Reithel, business representative for IBEW Local 697, said solar panel technology was used on its new building at 7200 Mississippi St. in Merrillville and for a project at Merrillville Town Hall through a state grant.

"This will be our third project and it's giving the local tradesmen experience in this technology," Reithel said. "It's a unique grant, allowing all of us to work together as a community for a common cause."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



About Merrillville

Town Hall

7820 Broadway Ave. Merrillville, IN 46410
219.769.5711
Fax: 219.756.6170

Police Department

7820 Broadway Merrillville, IN 46410
Emergency: 911
Non-emergency 219.769.3531
Administration: 219.769.3722
Crime Tip Hotline: 219.756.6180 ext. 54

Fire Department

26 W. 73rd Ave. Merrillville, IN 46410
Emergency: 911
Non-emergency 219.769.0004
Fax: 219.756.6170

Parks & Recreation

5750 Tyler Place Merrillville, IN 46410
Phone: 219.980.5911

Lake County Public Library

1919 West 81st Avenue Merrillville, IN 46410
Phone: 219.769.3541

Merrillville Community School Corporation

6701 Delaware Street Merrillville, IN 46410
Phone: 219.650.5300

Latest Local Offers