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Wind turbine controversy needs positive outcome

September 19, 2012
The Mining Journal

The towering wind turbine blades that have stood tall over the Pioneer Bluff Apartments appear to be destined to never generate any kilowatt-hours of electricity, but there is a replacement on the way.

McKenzie Bay International, which developed the turbine that is in place, and partner Clean Green Energy, LLC, recently announced they have developed a replacement turbine that they guarantee will function as intended.

The current wind turbine proved to be not economically feasible and the companies said they will be removing it. In its place, according to Clean Green Energy President Bryan Zaplitny, will be a smaller turbine installed in 2013.

Available in 20-, 50- and 65-kwh capacity models, the turbine planned for next to the apartment building is the 65-kwh model.

Once the wind turbine is up and running it will supply electrical power to the Pioneer Bluff Apartments, which is operated by the Ishpeming Housing Commission.

Being built and installed at no cost to the commission, the plan is to have Clean Green Energy and McKenzie Bay recover its investment and, hopefully, turn a profit over several years.

It has been a long, bumpy road for the original turbine's developers, which also encountered legal problems in addition to design and cost challenges.

There have been complaints voiced about the large turbine sitting idle in Ishpeming, and the Ishpeming City Council recently took action demanding its removal.

However, housing commission officials responded that it is an independent entity and the council has no authority to order the turbine's removal.

Zaplitny's vow that the current turbine will be removed in the near future may make that argument a mute point, we hope.

We also hope the pledge by the two companies that the redesigned turbine will function properly bears fruit and it will be producing energy for the apartment building in a timely fashion.



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