The giant wind turbine that has generated both power and a number of repair issues for the Applied Materials/Varian Semiconductor Associates facility in Gloucester’s Blackburn Industrial Park literally have reached a new low.
Portions of the 492-foot high turbine had been disassembled and were lying on the ground Wednesday morning.
The disassembly marks at least the third time in the last four years that the Applied turbine – the tallest of the three within the industrial park – has been shut down for an extended period of time.
Applied officials have said that, when fully operating, the turbine has saved the company up to $1 million in annual energy costs since it was first installed in December 2012, and it produces about 30 percent of the Varian campus’s electricity while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 34 percent.
The turbine was the first of the three installed at Blackburn, with the other two launched in early 2013. Those turbines operate under a shared plan that generates power and financial credits for the city of Gloucester through Equity Partners of Needham, which built the turbines, and utility giant National Grid.
Applied Materials officials in California did not return calls seeking an explanation or comment on the turbine’s latest status Wednesday.
Applied Materials – based in Santa Clara, California – remains Gloucester’s largest industrial employer.
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