City decides the wind turbine for the pier isn`t worth the additional expense – cancels the feature.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  April 19, 2012   Did you hear the one about the wind turbine that was going to have a battery pack attached to it – to ensure there was a steady stream of generation to keep the lights on?

In the latest update on where things are with THE Pier we learn that there are problems with the wind turbine feature that was going to be used to generate the electricity that would keep the lights that were going to illuminate THE pier running at basically no cost to the city.

The cost of the turbine was to be covered by a $100,000 grant from Burlington Hydro to the city.  The wind turbine,  was a hot item when the Pier construction started some six years ago.  But time tends to wear away the novelty of a new idea.  The hard nosed practicality comes along and makes the idea less than ideal.

Stripped to the bare essentials, caissons standing in water, the pier awaits new steel beams.

The Update report delivered to a Council Committee last night advised that due to transformer problems it was not going to be possible to feed the electricity generated by the turbine into the electrical grid.   Thus there was no place for the power generated by the wind  turbine to go. However, for a mere $70,000 a battery pack could be installed in the electrical utility room beneath THE pier and the turbine’s electricity could be captured by the battery and used to keep the lights on at night.

This Council is really “gun shy”  when it comes to The Pier and any additional cost.  Guess what they did?

They decided to go without the wind turbine.  What does that do to the $100,000  Burlington Hydro had contributed?   No one asked.

The pier with steel beams that were found to be defective before the beams were stripped off and put in storage until the court case against the original contractor and designers is settled.

And what about the wind turbine that was being built by the original contractor?  No one knows how far along that turbine got in terms of being built and no one knows where the turbine is.  The city and the original contractor are not talking to each other these days.

Other than that little glitch – THE Pier is on target, the new steal beams are being fabricated and the site is being prepared for the arrival of those beams so they can be bolted into place and be ready for a concrete pour.  Have we been down this road before?  We have but it’s a different road this time.

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