ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A $2.3 million federal stimulus project at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Cloud is giving green energy initiatives a bad name.
A 600-kilowatt wind turbine — some 245 foot tall — stands on the wintry VA grounds, frozen in time and temperature, essentially inoperable for the past 1 1/2 years. No one is working to fix it, though many attempts were made to repair the turbine, once billed as a model green energy project.
“The St. Cloud VA is a hospital, and our focus is on our patients and we like to think that we treat our veterans very well here,” said Barry Venable, a public affairs officer for the VA in St. Cloud. “We’re embarrassed that this turbine does not operate as advertised.”