August 19, 2012

Landmark wind turbine to be removed

By MIKE DONAHEY - Staff Writer | Times-Republican | 19 August 2012

A central Iowa landmark near the intersection of Iowa Highway 330 and Highway 30 may soon be gone.

A wind turbine estimated to be 75-foot tall on Consumers Energy’s property west of Marshalltown will be removed in the future by the turbine’s owner, according to Consumers Energy officials.

“The turbine is owned by a crane company,” Jim Kidd, Consumers general manager, said Friday. “The turbine is essentially in storage on our property and not in the way. The owner had planned to remove it on two occasions but postponed. We are working with the owners until they have time to remove it.”

Dave Stineman, membership services director for Consumers, said the turbine was one of two sold in 2011 to a Johnston company which later went bankrupt.

The company removed one turbine from the property and Stineman said he believed it was installed near Gladbrook.

However, the company dissolved before the second turbine could be dismantled and the crane company later assumed ownership.

Consumers originally decided to sell the pair after nearly six years of use because of significant repair costs.

“The cost to repair was prohibitive,” Stineman said. “The turbines had been built in the 1980s and had been used 20 years before we bought them. They were reworked for Iowa and installed here in 2004.”

Electricity generated from wind-powered turbines is still an important part of Consumers energy plan, Stineman said.

“We have eight members who have relatively small turbines on their property,” he said. “SIPCO, a generation and transmission cooperative in Cedar Rapids has many. SIPCO provides our Rural Electric Cooperative and others in Iowa with electricity.”

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