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AUDIO: St. Cloud VA Wind Turbine Still Idle After Nearly Three Years

Photo by Jim Maurice, WJON News

ST. CLOUD — A large wind turbine sitting idle on the St. Cloud VA Medical Center’s campus has become an albatross to the institution.

VA Public Affairs Officer Barry Venable says their federal contracting office in Cleveland, Ohio continues to work with contractor JK Scanlon Company of Falmouth, Massachusetts to get the wind turbine operational. But, Venable says the St. Cloud VA is frustrated by the project’s failures…

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The VA has paid a majority of the $2.3-million cost to build the wind turbine, but Venable says they have not accepted the project from the contractor yet. He says the turbine must work for 60 consecutive days before they’ll accept the project from the contractor, and says it hasn’t come close to that requirement.

It’s estimated that a functional wind turbine would provide the St. Cloud VA with approximately 15% of their annual electricity usage.  Since it was erected in April 2011, Venable says the electricity production from the turbine has been negligible.

Venable says the VA’s 2013 electric bill was $1.1-million. That translates to approximately $150-thousand in lost energy savings from the idle wind turbine.

Efforts are ongoing to get it up and running and Venable wouldn’t speculate on possible legal action against the contractor.

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