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With USDA Support, Indiana Company Begins Wind Study

Petoskey Plastics, owners of a Blackford County-based plastics recycling and manufacturing facility, completed installation last week of a Meteorological (MET) tower at its Hartford City location.  The MET tower will measure wind speed, velocity and direction, as well as provide the first precise wind information in Blackford County.  The information will also allow Petoskey Plastics to evaluate the feasibility of wind power as a possible source of energy for its Hartford City operations.

With assistance from the Blackford County Economic Development Corporation, Petoskey Plastics applied for and received funding for the wind power feasibility study through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.  Petoskey Plastics was one of 68 recipients nationwide chosen to receive study grants.

“Our logo, designed 42 years ago, represents the land, water and sky, so care for the environment is deeply ingrained in our culture,” said Petoskey Plastics President and co-founder, Paul Keiswetter.  “The MET tower is another step in our evolution as an environmentally progressive company.  It’s exciting to consider the possibilities the REAP grant is facilitating, including using alternative energy to recycle post-consumer plastic.  You couldn’t get more eco-friendly.”

Keiswetter added that the Hartford City facility will be taking delivery of state-of-the-art recycling equipment, this summer that will significantly increase production capabilities and add new jobs.  “We are very appreciative of our partnership with Blackford County Economic Development, and the help and guidance of the staff as we continue to grow in Hartford City,” he said.

“We are glad to see Petoskey Plastics install the MET tower in Hartford City,” said Dennis Whitesell, Mayor of the City of Hartford City.  “Petoskey Plastics continues to move the bar in ‘green’ technology and this is another step in reducing its carbon footprint.  The City of Hartford City made a significant commitment to improving energy efficiency in 2010.  Programs like REAP grants from the USDA make energy reduction a reality, and we look forward to working with companies like Petoskey Plastics to improve energy efficiency.”

Petoskey Plastics established its Hartford City location in 2006.  The company employs more than 20 people in Blackford County at its 208,000 sq. ft. facility.

The MET tower at Petoskey Plastics will be installed by Wind Energy Services, which has a long history of wind measurement.  Based in Westfield, Ind., Wind Energy Services has installed more than 100 MET towers throughout the State of Indiana and around the country. “We are always excited when we can help businesses in small communities in Indiana,” said Steve Roy, Project Manager, for Wind Energy Services.

To learn more about USDA renewable energy programs click here. Secretary Vilsack announced USDA funding for smart grid technology earlier this week.  To read about that announcement click here.

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