Green Follies: Gov't Built Solar House Falls Apart

Hailed as a completely self-sustaining building, the solar house at the Troy Community Center in Troy, Michigan was set to open for tours and community use this Summer. Unfortunately, the systems failed to work over the winter, pipes froze, and water burst through the uninhabited structure causing the floors to collapse. As a result, the building sits unused after the hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on it by government.

This is government waste and folly at it worst, but it is typical of the best government can do. Oh, it’s not the best because anything worked, it’s the best because failure is all one can expect from government when undertaking projects of this nature.

The model house was supposed to be an engineering marvel that would save the planet. But ended up being just a monstrous waste of the taxpayer’s money.

In April of last year, the news was all of the excitement.

A team of more than 40 Lawrence Tech students called ALOeTERRA (which means “to nourish the earth”) designed and built the house last year. Volunteers from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millrights also lent a hand creating a home that harnesses the sunlight into enough electricity to power the home’s utilities (along with some left over for a small electric vehicle).

But only a year later, it was all about the disappointment and finger pointing.

It was supposed to be a shining example of the green movement — a completely independent solar-powered house with no gas or electrical hookups.

Seven months ago, officials gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the $900,000 house owned by the city of Troy that was to be used as an educational tool and meeting spot.

But it never opened to the public. And it remains closed.

Oh, there are all sorts of reasons why this engineering marvel was an utter failure. There is finger pointing and head scratching all around. But the singular fact of the matter is that this project is a failure because it was not undertaken by business in a situation where success meant fulfilling a business plan to satisfy investors in order to obtain profit.

No, it was a dalliance by professors financed by government without any expectations or requirements for success. Further, everyone involved knew that any loss would be absorbed by the tax payers and would result in no consequences of blame for failure. No one had any reason to be precise. No one had any pressure to succeed.

So, once again We The People get fleeced by university professors and fraudulent government spending.

But, heck. They meant well, right? That is the salve for all wounds, after all.