March 7, 2013

Hanover wind turbine: new consultant hired to watch old contractor

By Mark Burridge | Wicked Local Hanover | Posted Mar 06, 2013 |

Hanover Town Manager Troy Clarkson recently announced the town’s intentions to terminate the contract of Lumus Construction for the town’s long-delayed turbine project.

However, the town’s bonding company advised otherwise and Hanover heeded that advice.

As a result, Clarkson and the town have now brought in outside consultants to keep an eye on the project and make sure that Lumus stays on track.

“We hired an independent company to be our eyes and ears on the project,” Clarkson said. “They are working on our behalf and giving us the exact status of the [work].”

The company brought in is Plymouth-based Aeronautica. While the wind power company doesn’t build the same model of turbine that Hanover is working on, it does have a very similar model and a history of consultation.

“We have expertise across the board with different types and sizes of machines,” said Walter Wunder, president and CEO of Aeronautica. “We signed a letter of intent to assist with the finalizing of the turbine.”

Clarkson said that, since sending the letter of intent to terminate the contract, he has not personally been in touch with Lumus. He added that, from here on out, when it is related to the project, he will get construction details from Aeronautica. On legal details, Clarkson will hear from Town Counsel Jim Toomey.

Clarkson said the consultants are essentially double-checking Lumus’ work so the town knows exactly what is going on every step of the way.

“We have eyes and ears towards the end of this process,” Clarkson said. “[Aeronautica] has essentially taken control of the process.”

Ironically, Aeronautica was one of the companies which bid for the original turbine contract and Hanover officials elected to go with Lumus. However, Wunder said, his company should be able to help the process conclude.

“Obviously, there have been some issues,” he acknowledged. “We can come in with our expertise and fill in some of the holes. We’ve been engaged to help them get it running on the grid.”

Clarkson said bringing in Aeronautica does not cost residents any additional tax dollars because the company is being paid with funds that were withheld from Lumus when the termination intent letter was sent.

Clarkson said that when the project is eventually concluded; the town will still expect to collect damages from Lumus for the two years of delays.

“It’s still very much our contention to collect the liquidated damages,” Clarkson said. “The town hasn’t wavered an inch. The contract language is crystal clear.”

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