The symbolic heart of a plan to clear the tons of carbon spewed from planes bringing the 6,000 delegates to Denver for the Democratic National Convention isn’t beating.
The wind turbine erected in Wray in February contained a lemon of a power converter that hasn’t been able to deliver the promised kilowatts, says Ron Howard, the superintendent of the town’s school district that had the clean-energy windmill installed.
“It runs absolutely like a top until you turn on the converter,” Howard said. “I’d say they don’t have the bugs out of it. So they’re going to go with a power converter they know and that produces what it’s supposed to produce.”
Howard said a crew is scheduled to come to the windswept town on Colorado’s Eastern Plains on Wednesday. After two weeks of work, the heart should start beating.
News of the problem was first reported by FaceTheState.com, a for- profit site that describes itself as aligned with Republican ideology but not partisan.
The Wray project is meant to aid the community by covering the fiscally strapped school district’s energy costs and providing 20 percent of the town’s power.
The turbine was praised at a news conference in April featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the congresswoman from San Francisco, and Leah Daughtry, chief executive of the Democratic National Convention Committee, as an example of what carbon credits purchase.
Daughtry challenged delegates at the event to buy enough credits to offset their travel. The credits come from NativeEnergy, which sells them to fund projects like Wray’s.
The project remains important to the DNCC, said spokesman Damon Jones, because it is seen, in the long term, as a viable project good for the community and the environment.
Jones said Andrea Robinson, the DNCC’s first-ever “director of greening,” was out of the office Monday, but she e-mailed him to say initial bugs are “not significantly out of the ordinary for a start-up operation.”
The converter is being replaced at no cost and the district has been paid for the energy the turbine was to have produced, Howard said.
By Chuck Plunkett
28 July 2008
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