The four column-type wind turbines on top of One Government Center downtown – which were supposed to supplement the building’s energy use but instead sat idle for years – were finally removed at the taxpayers expense.
It cost taxpayers $68,000 to remove the four turbines from the 22-story, state-owned building, said Tom Hoyt, Department of Administrative Services spokesman.
“The turbines were removed Aug. 30 but there is still some framing structure that is up and being removed,” Mr. Hoyt said.
Masonry Restoration Technologies and Services was hired to remove the failed turbines, he said.
They were installed on top of the building in October, 2010 and it cost the state of Ohio $224,300. They were meant to produce annual energy savings of $13,000 to $17,000, according to the Ohio Department of Administrative Services website at that time.
The cost to taxpayers for the failed attempt at the wind power source was nearly $300,000, which includes the purchase, installation, and removal.
The turbines were broken, idle, and locked into position by about March, 2012.
The state had no recourse with the company that manufactured or installed the four turbines because both went out of business, officials said.
The manufacturer was Helix Wind Corp. of Poway, Calif.
The company’s website, before it was shut down, listed a single turbine with rotor dimensions of 4 feet wide by 16 feet high for sale for $17,500 each, putting the cost of four at $70,000. Installation costs were not listed.
The Ohio Building Authority owned the building when the four turbines were installed. The Ohio Department of Administrative Services took over the building in 2012.
In 2010, Mark Haberman, then-assistant executive director of the Ohio Building Authority, told The Blade that the agency was considering wind turbines for the roofs of its other four buildings in the state and that the $224,300 investment was a move toward lower energy bills for the state.
The city of Toledo and Lucas County jointly occupy the majority of One Government Center but had nothing to do with the selection or installation of the turbines, officials said.
Mr. Hoyt said the state agency has no intention of replacing the wind turbines.
“The state is looking to sell that building and we continue to do maintenance and get it fixed up,” he said.
The state is paying to replace window calking on the building.
Negotiations between the city of Toledo and state over ownership of One Government Center broke down earlier this year after the two sides couldn’t agree on things such as a $1 million cost to caulk windows.
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