Submitted by Jeff Buster on Wed, 02/21/2007 - 11:45.

        Sarah Taylor (via Fletcher Miller)  just brought this news to my attention.  The Toledo Regional Growth Partnership  has an application submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to design, construct and operate a facility capable of testing wind turbine  blades up to 100 meters in length. 

Where were Joe Roman and the Greater Cleveland Partnership when Toledo was discussing this smart industry expansion?  (probably lobbying in Columbus for a single site only gambling license for Forest City)   Where was the Cleveland Port Authority? (probably reviewing a bond for a parking garage at Cleveland Clinic)

Now if Cleveland and NEO had its act together, they would authorize the Cuyahoga County Commissioners - or other pertinant agency - to write a letter supporting Toledo's blade test bench bid to the  U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and hope that Toledo will return the supportive favor in the future.  With Owens Corning and their fiberglass business being in Toledo, it makes sense to have a blade test facility in Toledo. But then again, how about Molded Fiberglass in Ashtabula, Ohio who produced a 34 meter blade in 2001.  While the US auto business (MFG made the fiberglass body for the Corvette) goes down the tubes, MFG could be transitioning into production of composite turbine blades.

Here is an interesting link to a Mitsubishi blade test PDF so you can see what is involved in a test facility.  Keep in mind that the Mitsubishi blade is only 29 meters in length, and Toledo intends a facility that can test 100 meter blades. 

Boy, we really need help here in Cleveland.  While we do nothing with wind technology - except talking about installing imported turbines 3 miles out in Lake Erie at some indefinite future date - we are letting opportunity after opportunity slip through our grasp.  Hey – maybe we’ll wake up and investigate producing turbine towers!  Being able to produce the “nuts and bolts” components of wind turbines is the right direction…