December 15, 2018
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Maine city struggles to get rid of windmill that never produced energy as promised

Liz Gotthelf | Journal Tribune
Liz Gotthelf | Journal Tribune
The windmill stands tall on Main Street in Saco on Wednesday.

A request for bids to remove the city’s wind turbine on Main Street in Saco has only generated one interested party.

The 100-foot-high wind mill has sat on York Hill near the city’s train station for many years.

The wind turbine was purchased and installed by Entegrity Wind Systems in February 2008 for about $200,000. A contract with Entegrity Wind guaranteed the turbine would produce about 90,000 kilowatt hours a year, valued at the time at about $12,800, and free maintenance for the first five years.

The wind turbine never came close to generating the amount of energy promised, and Entegrity Wind went bankrupt in 2009, thus making the guarantee invalid.

The wind turbine, in need of repair, was shut down last year due to safety concerns, according to City Administrator Kevin Sutherland.

In September, the city solicited bids to remove the wind turbine, asking bidders in the application to factor in the cost of removal and disposal of the windmill as well as the value of the sale of the parts.

The bidding process closed on Tuesday.

“We received only one bid and it was well above our initial estimate,” said Sutherland in an email on Wednesday. “We’re having an internal conversation now and are reviewing our purchasing policy to determine the best course of action.”

 


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