VAN WERT — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown received as much of an education as he did a tour of the Blue Creek Wind Farm on Thursday.
Brown, a Democrat, toured the facility and asked Iberdrola Renewables Plant Manager Neil Voje numerous questions as he stood and watched the wind turbines in action.
“I wanted to see what they are doing here. This is the future, in many ways, with what we do with clean energy,” Brown said.
Brown touted energy gained from wind turbines and said it’s just one form of renewable energy Ohio has harnessed.
“It’s almost the cleanest way imaginable to produce electricity,” he said.
Blue Creek Wind Farm has 152 turbines in an 80-square mile area in Van Wert and Paulding counties.
Each turbine produces electricity for about 500 homes. The wind farm also provides about 25 percent of the electricity for Ohio State University in Columbus, Voje said.
Turbines stand 100 meters tall on the tower with 45-meter blades. The height allows the blades to catch the faster wind speeds higher off the surface of the earth, Voje said.
“The way wind is formed is by the sun unevenly heating the earth. As the air is heated that causes natural circulation, hot air rises and that air goes up and then cold air comes down and replaces it and that is what creates wind.”
Participation by landowners is voluntary and each landowner receives about $8,000 per turbine.
Company officials touted the partnership with Vantage Career Center which helps train people for jobs in the wind industry. The school offers a tailored curriculum for students.
Iberdrola has 19 employees and would like to add more but recent changes in state law have affected the ability to do so, company officials said.Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.