2.2M wind turbine at Veterans Affairs site idle

Published 12:42 am Monday, September 1, 2014

ST. CLOUD — A $2.2 million wind turbine at a Department of Veterans Affairs facility in St. Cloud has been broken for years, and similar issues have plagued VA facilities in two other states.

The wind turbine at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System hasn’t worked in two years, and workers have made a series of hydraulic and electrical repairs with no luck.

Barry Venable, a St. Cloud VA spokesman, wouldn’t say when — if ever — the turbine will generate power.

Email newsletter signup

“I wouldn’t care to characterize things in terms of a timeline,” Venable said. “In terms of what we do here every day, we’re more focused on taking care of veterans. Not to say the turbine’s not receiving appropriate emphasis — it is— but it’s an object out there, of concern.”

The VA system is already reeling from months of bad publicity. There were reports that veterans may have died while waiting for care at VA medical centers, and audits found evidence of fraudulent scheduling practices.