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MTC puts mothballed wind turbines on auction block  

Credit:  By Efrain Viscarolasaga, Mass High Tech, www.masshightech.com 8 August 2008 ~~

After the collapse of the Orleans wind project on Cape Cod last fall and the delay of the project in Fairhaven this spring, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is left holding two 1.65 megawatt wind turbines, costing the quasi-public organization more than $3,500 per month in storage costs.

As a result, the two turbines, originally purchased in 2005 for $5.2 million from Vestas Wind Systems A/S, went on sale last week. One potential stumbling block, however, is that Vestas holds approval rights for the placement of the turbines, and the Danish company has already scuttled two potential landing spots – a proposed wind farm in Princeton and the private turbine site at Varian Semiconductor Inc. in Gloucester.

Officials at the MTC said they are hoping to place the turbines in a local public project, but if one isn’t identified by September, the offer will be opened to any development. Officials did not make the sale price public.

“We’re not in the business of buying and selling wind turbines, and we don’t want to be,” said George Dean, deputy director of the MTC’s Renewable Energy Trust. “But we want to get them used in a public project in Massachusetts.”

Officials said the MTC has received inquiries from several local communities and remain cautiously optimistic they will be sold soon.

The MTC is looking at an unprecedented demand for turbines, worldwide. According to analysts, turbine manufacturers such as Vestas are facing a backlog of orders of up to two years.

Tyler Fairbank, the CEO of Hancock-based wind and solar project developer EOS Ventures LLC confirmed the dearth of immediately available turbines but said it is difficult to predict if the MTC will be successful at selling the units.

“I hope they will be able to (sell them), but none of us really know how easy it will be,” he said. “It’s really a function of cost.”

Source:  By Efrain Viscarolasaga, Mass High Tech, www.masshightech.com 8 August 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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