BAY CITY, MI – In March, an official from the Department of Environmental Quality said they hoped to make a decision regarding the malfunctioning wind turbine at the DEQ office in Bay City before May.
That timeframe has been postponed. Kevin King, chief of field operations facilities for the DEQ, said the project has been put on hold while the department undergoes reorganizing in the building, 401 Ketchum St.
“We are no closer to making a decision,” King said.
The reorganization at the building, King said, does not include adding or subtracting staff, rather moving departments within the building for a better fit.
He said while the turbine project is on hold, he realizes the project cannot be put off indefinitely.
“We simply have to get some closure on that,” King said, adding that the decision comes down to money and fitting the department’s budget. In March, King declined to say how much the department was budgeting for repairs.
Installed in September 2009 by Entegrity Wind Systems, the turbine stopped spinning in front of the DEQ’s Bay City site in 2011. Entegrity Wind Systems was declared bankrupt by a Canadian judge in October 2009, according to reports. The original cost of the turbine was $250,000.
In January, crews from Kent City-based Kent Power disassembled the tower. The DEQ’s contract with Kent Power to dismantle the tower was $19,475.
The crews took the disassembled turbine to Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The college has a wind turbine academy and the same model turbine, Entegrity EW 50, on campus.
In March, King said the department has a few options, including repairing the machine, purchasing a new turbine or scrapping the tower. King said the department is also considering replacing the broken part with a stronger material, like steel, or converting the structure into a cell phone tower.
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