Extreme Makeover in Kokomo, IN Adds Wind Turbine

‘Extreme Makeover’ includes turbine
Firm giving it to TV show for Kokomo home has office here.

By Aaron Organ of The News-Sentinel
When TV host Ty Pennington calls for a driver to “move that bus” Tuesday in Kokomo for the latest episode of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” not only will a nearly 4,000-square-foot dream home appear for one lucky family, but the residence will also be powered by a wind turbine built by a South Bend company with local ties.Wind-Wire, which has an office in Fort Wayne, will erect a Windstream 3.7 wind turbine on the lot of the home that is engineered to supply enough energy for a 2,000 square-foot home. The $16,200 donation is scheduled to be installed Sunday or Monday, right about the time Pennington is bellowing deadlines to a crowd of on-site volunteers.Wind-Wire got involved in the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” build after company co-owner Dave Smith called the show to offer their services. The show told Smith to contact Hallmark Homes, which was contracted to construct the Kokomo home for the Indiana family in need.After Hallmark executives saw what Wind-Wire had to offer, the rest is history.“We contacted (Hallmark Homes) and they were real skeptical about it, but once we showed them what we did and they saw some of our units, they were all for it,” said Smith. “Matter of fact, they’re real excited about it.”The family, which Smith could not identify, was notified of the project Wednesday and promptly sent on vacation, as it customary, while Pennington, his team, hundreds of volunteers and four workers from Wind-Wire get to work for the week.The old home will be demolished today. The new one will be revealed Tuesday.The turbine Smith’s company is donating pumps out between 500 and 1,200 kilowatts a month and is entirely dependent on wind; windy months equal more power output. Smith said Skystreams, on average, drop a household electric bill 30 to 80 percent.The turbine will be shipped to the build site from the Wind-Wire plant in La Paz.Smith said the home will be built in a location conducive to wind-powered electricity.“We don’t know who the family is, but we’re hoping this really helps them out,” said Smith of the turbine. “This will help to eliminate a bunch of their electric.”Smith said Wind-Wire has installed turbines all over the region, from South Bend to Kokomo to Detroit to Chicago. In an economy enveloped in a “green” mentality, Wind-Wire has taken off.“Sure we want a little bit of advertising from it, but you know what? We always wanted to put ourselves in a position where we could do something like this for those families that need it, and we felt this was the perfect way of doing it,” said Smith. “And it feels good.”