Government math: $1 million subsidy for Reno windmills saves $2,785 since 2010

Victor Joecks

From the Reno Gazette-Journal:

Nearly two years after Reno started installing energy-producing windmills at city facilities from downtown to Stead, some have proven to be better at generating electricity than others despite claims made by manufacturers.

The city’s seven windmills have so far saved Reno $2,785 in energy costs after generating 25,319 kilowatt-hours of electricity. The windmills were installed between April and October 2010 and cost about $1 million out of a $2.1 million federal energy grant given to the city that was part of the stimulus package approved by Congress in February 2009.

That’s according to data available on Reno’s new “open government” website that tracks the amount of power each windmill generates and the average wind speed from each day.

At this rate, the windmills will have paid for themselves by the year … 2551. But not to worry, these windmills are winning Reno awards and national recognition.

And while the windmill numbers are lackluster compared to other portions of the project, such as solar panels and retrofitted buildings, Geddes said Reno’s green-energy efforts have earned the city national attention from the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Time and USA Today, as well as the National Resource Defense Council in 2010 naming Reno one of the top 22 “Smarter” cities in the country when it comes to renewable energy.

Spending a million dollars to save $2,785 is smart? Only in government.

And to think some people want these bureaucrats to run our healthcare system and our economy.

(h/t Thomas Mitchell)