India

India

Wind profits for blind children -- The power of sight in India

Thanks to a US wind power developer, children from India's Bobbli Blind School near Chennai have received eye transplants and can see for the first time. Minnesota's Garwin McNeilus, owner of G. McNeilus Corporation, has used the revenue from one of his wind turbines for the school and the eye operations.

McNeilus has only been in the wind business for two years, but he has spent a lifetime supporting and advocating the rights of 5000-6000 children who he affectionately calls "my kids." Now he is contributing nearly 25% of the income from the 65.8 MW of turbines he owns in Minnesota to support children in Africa, El Salvador, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Bangladesh, India and elsewhere.

The media shy developer recently returned from visiting the newly completed Bobbli Blind School. Not only did he design and finance the buildings, he is dedicating the annual revenue from one of his Minnesota turbines -- about $200,000 -- to pay for the school's operating expenses. He has set aside income from 14 other wind turbines for further investments. "We now have some children that for the first time can see, but it has become apparent that there needs to be an income for these kids," he says. "This is a way of setting up that income for many years to come."

The G. McNeilus Corporation most recently installed 11, NEG Micon 1.5 MW turbines and six 1.65 MW turbines from the same supplier at its two Minnesota wind sites, located about 15 miles apart, near the communities of Dodge Center and Adams.

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