Ishpeming’s ‘Egg Beater’ to be switched out for efficient model

Ishpeming’s wind turbine, or “The Egg Beater” as ABC 10’s Rick Tarsitano likes to call it, was initially conceived as an alternate source of energy for the Pioneer Bluff apartment complex.

The turbine is a prototype, and is owned and operated by Clean Green Energy, but there’s one problem: it’s not actually running.

“It’s been tested; it produces energy,” Executive Director of the Ishpeming Housing Commission Evelyn Valente-Heikkila said, “however, the cost to produce it is quite costly. They went back to the drawing board and they came up with a new state-of-the-art turbine, which will be a lot smaller than this and more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.”

The current turbine is 150ft tall, while the new one will only be 105ft tall, and will have the capability to produce 100,000kW hours per year. And for those worried about two turbines dominating the skyline, have no fear.

“At the time that the new turbine is to be erected, this one must come down, and the other one must go up immediately,” Valente-Heikkila said.

The new turbine will allow the Ishpeming Housing Commission to purchase energy for the apartment complex from CGE. Current bills for the winter can hit $16,000 per month, but the commission received a Wind for a Better Community grant that will offer quite the reprieve.

Valente-Heikkila said, “At the time this starts producing power and we’re using it to run our facility, we will have five years in which we will not have to pay a utility bill.”

A Michigan-based company called Burtek Enterprises will mass produce these turbines, with Ishpeming being the first site to have one erected.