It appears progress is being made in the Pioneer Bluffs wind turbine saga that dates back more than six years.
At a meeting earlier this week in Ishpeming, Ishpeming Housing Commission and city officials and members of the community heard an update on the project from Bryan Zaplitny, CEO of Clean Green Energy, which is carrying out the wind turbine project.
He explained the hurdles the original effort ran into, including design flaws and legal issues, but assured everyone that his company is now on the right track to getting a turbine up and producing electricity.
Housing officials were especially pleased with Zaplitny explaining that the Pioneer Bluffs Apartments is in line to receive five years worth of electricity free of charge.
With a monthly electric bill of between $1,400 and $1,500, that could add up to quite a savings for the commission.
That savings will be generated by a new turbine, called the Wind e20, that is being designed in 20 kW, 50 kW and 65 kW models that are expected to start being produced early next year.
The 65 kW model is pegged for Ishpeming, which is a much scaled down model compared to the original 200 kW producing wind turbine that was planned in 2006. That model was scratched after it was found to be too expensive to manufacture and install.
The tower for the larger turbine, however, was constructed at the apartments and has stood looming over the apartment complex for the past several years, a fact that angered some city officials.
In fact, the city council voted earlier this year to demand the tower be removed, which created a rift between the council and the housing commission.
That disagreement has seemingly been resolved, though, with Zaplitny's pledge to have the tower removed and the smaller turbine installed at Pioneer Bluffs.
This project has certainly been slow in materializing and has hit many bumps in the road, but we're confident the revitalized wind turbine project in Ishpeming is moving in the right direction and await its installation and operation in a smooth, productive manner.