SCITUATE – The construction company accused of breaking its pledge to build a wind turbine in Hanover has fallen on hard times financially, but it says that won’t affect its business ties to Scituate’s wind turbine.
Last month, Hanover Town Manager Troy Clarkson said his town planned to end its contract with Lumus Construction and seek $700,000 in damages because the company still hasn’t finished building the wind turbine off Route 53. Clarkson said the turbine was supposed to be spinning by February 2011, but repeated delays have stalled the project.
Lumus Construction is the parent company of Solaya Energy, the developer that partially owns Scituate’s wind turbine. The turbine’s operating company is named Scituate Wind, which is a joint venture between Solaya and Palmer Capital.
Sumul Shah, owner of Lumus and CEO of Solaya, said his company is struggling financially, but he blamed a parts manufacturer in India for the delays in Hanover. Shah said he’ll continue to work with Hanover to try to get the 210-foot-tall, 225-kilowatt turbine running.
He said the 390-foot-tall, 1.5-megawatt turbine located off Scituate’s Driftway won’t be affected by the setbacks in Hanover.
“No impact whatsoever,” Shah said.
But Lumus’ problems in Hanover have drawn concerns from two Scituate residents. Tom Thompson and David Dardi, who are part of a group of residents who say Scituate’s turbine has hurt their health, recently sent a letter to Scituate selectmen asking them to consider how Lumus’ financial issues could affect the town’s taxpayers.
Selectman Anthony Vegnani said his board will research what connection, if any, there exists between Hanover’s turbine problems and Scituate.
“We know we have a windmill that’s up and working fine,” Vegnani said.
Thompson and Dardi also took issue with Lumus no longer being based out of the Woburn address listed on the company’s website, and also with an auction last month in which Lumus sold off inventory and office equipment.
Shah said Lumus is now based out of Wilmington, and the auction was a response to the company’s financial struggles.
“We’re working through them,” he said.
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