Article

Dartmouth windmill toppled by storm

DARTMOUTH - One of the many casualties of this weekend's storm was a windmill installed by former state Rep. Mark A. Howland. Arthur Larrivee paid Mr. Howland $16,000 for a windmill and solar panel system for his home at 620 Tucker Road and received everything he asked for: two windmills atop 35-foot-high poles, four solar panels and electrical equipment to convert the power generated into electricity. But on Monday morning, he woke to find that the steel poles of one windmill had snapped clean off about 4 feet above the ground, leaving the windmill lying on the ground. "I honestly couldn't believe it," said Mr. Larrivee, a real estate broker and Republican activist. "It had to be a flaw in the piping."

DARTMOUTH - One of the many casualties of this weekend's storm was a windmill installed by former state Rep. Mark A. Howland.

Arthur Larrivee paid Mr. Howland $16,000 for a windmill and solar panel system for his home at 620 Tucker Road and received everything he asked for: two windmills atop 35-foot-high poles, four solar panels and electrical equipment to convert the power generated into electricity.

But on Monday morning, he woke to find that the steel poles of one windmill had snapped clean off about 4 feet above the ground, leaving the windmill lying on the ground. "I honestly couldn't believe it," said Mr. Larrivee, a real estate broker and Republican activist. "It had to be a flaw in the piping."

Attorney General Martha Coakley has taken Mr. Howland and his windmill company, WindTech Co., to court for violations of the state's Consumer Protection Act, after dozens of his clients complained that Mr. Howland did not deliver what he promised.

The attorney general has alleged that Mr. Howland took $337,623 from 65 of his wind turbine customers but failed to do any work on their property or deliver any parts for their windmills. In addition, she alleged that more than... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

DARTMOUTH - One of the many casualties of this weekend's storm was a windmill installed by former state Rep. Mark A. Howland.

Arthur Larrivee paid Mr. Howland $16,000 for a windmill and solar panel system for his home at 620 Tucker Road and received everything he asked for: two windmills atop 35-foot-high poles, four solar panels and electrical equipment to convert the power generated into electricity.

But on Monday morning, he woke to find that the steel poles of one windmill had snapped clean off about 4 feet above the ground, leaving the windmill lying on the ground. "I honestly couldn't believe it," said Mr. Larrivee, a real estate broker and Republican activist. "It had to be a flaw in the piping."

Attorney General Martha Coakley has taken Mr. Howland and his windmill company, WindTech Co., to court for violations of the state's Consumer Protection Act, after dozens of his clients complained that Mr. Howland did not deliver what he promised.

The attorney general has alleged that Mr. Howland took $337,623 from 65 of his wind turbine customers but failed to do any work on their property or deliver any parts for their windmills. In addition, she alleged that more than $367,000 in deposits made to his wind turbine company, WindTech Co., are "unaccounted for."

Mr. Howland is cooperating with the investigation. He did not return calls or e-mails from The Standard-Times.

Mr. Larrivee, who was one of the few WindTech Co. customers to defend Mr. Howland, said he does not blame Mr. Howland for his windmill's failure.

"It's an unfortunate thing; I can't blame anyone. I've known Mark for years, and I think he jumped in over his head," he said. "There's a learning curve, and he wasn't in this thing long enough to be ahead of the learning curve. I don't hold it against him. We've all made mistakes in our lives."

Mr. Larrivee said he feels bad for Mr. Howland. "I'm sure this is going to cost him a lot of money before it's over."

He said his windmills were not generating more than 20 percent or 25 percent of their capacity because they had to be taller. He has been waiting for a town bylaw change to allow windmills that are 65 to 70 feet tall.

The 3½-inch-diameter poles were built by two companies in Bridgewater, Turner Steel and ASAP, both of which were contracted by Mr. Howland. Mr. Larrivee said that when he rebuilds the windmills, he will use poles and guide wires sold by the manufacturer of the wind turbine blades, Bergey Windpower of Oklahoma.

"Why Mark didn't go with the Bergey pipe, I'll never know," Mr. Larrivee said.

Contact Aaron Nicodemus at anicodemus@s-t.com



Source: http://www.southcoasttoday....

APR 19 2007
https://www.windaction.org/posts/8378-dartmouth-windmill-toppled-by-storm
back to top