SOUTH BEND – A special ribbon cutting took place Wednesday in South Bend for a project 30 years in the making.
The city unveiled an old hydro turbine that was purchased decades ago and has now been installed in the St. Joseph River near the East Race.
Today's technology has allowed that turbine to start working and generating power to run parts of the city.
The small hydro turbine is located in the water at Seitz Park by the fishing ladder. I&M improved its interconnection grid making the project possible.
The turbine will be used to power buildings in the Howard Park area, including the ice rink, rec center, Human Rights Building and the East Race.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg says the city and I&M have worked out a deal that the city will get credit for the energy the turbine puts into the grid, and that means big savings for taxpayers.
“The power coming off of this turbine, generating clean electricity, using the river is going to save taxpayers a year,” said Buttigieg.
The mayor says the turbine could last 100 years, overtime that could result in a savings of $2 million.
He says there are talks at some point to possibly put in a much larger hydro turbine, which would result in even bigger savings for the city.