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Ishpeming Wind Turbine stands still; Residents don't know when it will start to spin  

Credit:  by Noël McLaren, www.uppermichiganssource.com 4 May 2011 ~~

ISHPEMING – It’s a project that’s been about four years in the making; the giant Ishpeming wind turbine. And Wednesday, our Facebook viewers said they’re dying to know; why isn’t it spinning yet?

We’ve been getting reports over the years that it’s close to completion, but we’ve yet to see the new technology actually operating and generating power.

Today I called the company that installed the windmill, Clean Green Energy, the only entity with answers, to see what I could find out. I didn’t have much luck.

I then dialed the Ishpeming Housing Authority to see if they knew what was going on with the turbine. They told me they are excited and expect contractor to flip the switch any day now. But that’s what they said last June, 11 months ago, when the blades were first installed.

“What we have here today is history in the making, so this is the first of its kind world wide, so it’s exciting, it’s exciting to be a part of it,” said Evelyn Heikkila, with the housing authority.

Exciting last summer, maybe, but not so much now. Pioneer Bluff Apartments is still waiting for the new technology; it’s expected to ease the shock of electric bills that currently run $12-13,000 per month.

But, we’re told, tests are still being done on the turbine. And today, it remains still and silent. Facebook fans are frustrated.

Jennifer Pennell Salmi posted: “I drive by the “big claw” every day. It’s sad to see it not working…it could be such a wonderful resource! Right now… it’s just an eyesore.”

With little luck on the phone, I decided to visit Pioneer Bluff to see if residents could tell me anything. Turns out, they’re also frustrated.

“It just stands there like a tree or something else,” said resident, Grace Pearce. “It certainly isn’t a thing of beauty, I have to say, that but if it does the trick as far as electricity then that’s all that counts, but I don’t know.”

“I think it’s worth the wait because once we get it up and running we’ll be saving a whole lot,” said resident Debra Hanke.

And for everyone who shares residents’ frustrations, we are still waiting on a phone call from Clean Green Energy. When we hear back, we’ll certainly report any information we get.

Source:  by Noël McLaren, www.uppermichiganssource.com 4 May 2011

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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