The City of Toledo is looking at taking down four wind turbines that sit atop One Government Center.
The Ohio Building Authority thought it would tap the wind to generate energy for the building, but that isn’t happening.
Chances are, you never knew there were wind turbines sitting on the roof of this building.
They were installed back in October 2010.
At the time, they were considered the new wave of renewable energy and could save the city tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs.
Joel Mazure, deputy chief of staff to mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson understands the theory behind putting in those turbines, saying, “It makes sense for a rooftop like One Government Center where there’s high winds and wind velocity.”
The Mike Bell Administration supported the effort to install the turbines.
But Mazure says high winds 250-feet in the air frequently caused mechanical breakdowns. And the poorly designed turbines became too expensive to repair.
Mazur says, “We were told by the manufacturer at the time that they had a life of 30-years.”
Instead, those turbines churned for only 18-months.
Normally, when a piece of equipment breaks down, you just call the company that installed it and they come out and they fix it. But in this case, the Helix Wind Company went bankrupt. So now, for the last 3-years, those wind turbines have not spun; have not caught a breeze.”
The Ohio Building Authority wanted the turbines installed and spent $224,300 for the project.
Now Toledo has to find a way to get them off the roof and that will cost city taxpayers.
Yet despite the issues, thoughts of wind power still blow through the building.
“Wind energy is really effective in the right application,” Mazur says.
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