In Saco, city officials are giving up on the giant wind turbine that has towered over the downtown since 2008.
SACO, Maine - In Saco, city officials are giving up on the giant wind turbine that has towered over the downtown since 2008.
There’s an old saying, "What goes up must come down". Saco officials were hoping it wouldn’t happen this soon for the wind turbine.
“Live and learn as you go through life, we’ve tried a lot of different things and most of them worked out, but not every one does", said Saco Mayor Ron Michaud.
The mayor says at the time it seemed like an offer too good to turn down. The company that installed it, Entregrity Wind Systems, guaranteed it would produce enough energy to save the city thousands of dollars a year. Enough to pay off the $200,000 investment after 10-years. But the company went bankrupt a year later and the turbine never generated the energy promised.
“Nobody can really anticipate whether a company will stay in business long term or not. I voted for the original agreement, it was a solid agreement. It was really a way to look forward to the future”, he said.
The turbine has sat idle for about a year and is now considered a safety concern. Despite the way things turned out, people we spoke with still feel it was a worthy experiment.
“I think it was a good idea. Being green and Saco’s moves to be green are good. We’ve got some others they’ve done well with. That one just didn’t work out”, said Rob Biggs of the downtown group Main Street Saco.
The turbine became a fixture of the downtown skyline. When it does come down, it will be a bit unusual not seeing it there.
“You got used to seeing it. When you come over from Biddeford, especially on Hill Street, you can really see it. It was a representative of the community. We were committed to alternative energy”, said Michaud.
The city is now taking proposals from anyone who wants to try to salvage the turbine for parts or scrap metal. The money taken in from that that will go to offset the cost of taking it down and dismantling it.