A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in Downtown South Bend Wednesday, marking the beginning of a green energy endeavor.
A hydroelectric turbine, not used since the early 1980's, was pulled out of storage earlier Wednesday afternoon and installed in Seitz Park.
The unit, driven by the St. Joseph River, will power the Howard Park Rec Center, Ice Rink, and Human Rights Center along with providing fuel for the path lights along the East Race.
“What we are doing is a different kind of ribbon cutting, this is a green ribbon cutting,” says Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “The point is to celebrate the environmental impact of a smart governmental initiative here in the city. We have had this turbine here in the city, bought it decades ago, and there was a chance to install it in the river, and draw power from it. The power coming off this turbine generates clean electricity using the river, is going to save tax payers $40,000 a year, right here by the Fish Ladder. So it's an exciting project, it took a lot of people to bring it together, but it's a great way to be both environmentally friendly, and to save tax payers’ dollars.”
The ceremony marks the second day of South Bend's Energy Week 2012, where community activists and green enthusiasts gather to promote sustainability throughout the city.