St. Cloud VA ends contract after years of wind turbine sitting idle

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has terminated its contract with a company that built a wind turbine at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center.

The wind turbine, which was completed in 2011, has sat idle for years, drawing much criticism.

The medical center says the contractor failed to provide the VA with a fully operational wind turbine, as it was commissioned to do so, according to a post on its Facebook page. And despite many discussions, the VA says its efforts to resolve issues with the Massachusetts-based contractor have been unsuccessful, the St. Cloud Times reports.

WJON says the VA has paid the majority of the $2.3 million it cost to build the wind turbine, which was expected to provide the medical center with roughly 15 percent of their annual electricity usage – a savings of $150,000 to $200,000 per year.

“The turbine was intended to provide the medical center with clean, reliable and renewable energy. We are disappointed that after three and half years of time and effort, the turbine is not contributing to these efforts," St. Cloud VA Health Care System Director Barry Bahl said in the Facebook post.

The VA is now looking to recover costs from the failed project and is considering removing the wind turbine, according to the post.

The VA, however, says it would consider installing a new wind turbine, if technology and conditions make it possible, the Facebook post said.

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