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Orland Wind Turbine Runs Out of Air; Is Up for Sale  

Generate your own electricity from your back yard – 100-foot tower and operational wind turbine for sale. Produces 25,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. Needs windier location. You provide your own disassembly and transportation to new location. Call Endless Energy at 847-9323. Ask for Jason.

The Orland wind turbine is up for sale. The selling price? About $60,000 or less, estimates Harley Lee, president of Endless Energy, the Yarmouth-based company that owns the turbine.

“It’s up for sale because it’s not a windy enough spot,” said Lee. “There is not enough wind to make it produce well.”

The history of Orland’s only wind turbine has been a turbulent one.

In 2000, the turbine and the 100-foot tower were installed on the Orland site for about $120,000.

It was an attempt to push wind turbines toward coastal locations, said Lee about building the turbine. Because of the high cost of performing the wind measurements, however, the Orland site was chosen based on measurements taken in Stonington, said Lee.

Lee believes that because Stonington sticks out into the ocean more, the wind is higher there.

“The wind decreases as it gets near the mainland,” he said.

For the first year, the turbine worked at “100 percent availability,” said Lee, which means all the energy coming into the machine was converted into useful energy and the turbine never broke down.

The electricity generated by the wind turbine, about 25,000 kWh per year, or the equivalent of the electricity used by about six homes in a year, said Lee, is sold to the nearby blueberry operation, G.M. Allen and Son Inc. Comparatively, wind turbines planned for the Redington Wind Farm in Redington will produce over 8 million kWh per year for residential homes throughout Maine, Lee said.

The wind turbine, which is directly connected into the G.M. Allen and Son electrical system, helps the blueberry grower reduce the amount of electricity they have to purchase from the Central Maine Power Co.

In 2001, after about 12 months in operation, the turbine had a significant gearbox failure, said Lee. The company that supplied the original gears had gone bankrupt, leading to a search for a company that did produce the proper gears. In early 2002, the wind turbine was again up and running. In 2004, the entire turbine gearbox was completely refurbished, according to the classified ad listed on the Endless Energy Web site. The wind turbine has been operational since 2004.

The sale of the turbine includes the gearbox, blades, tower, control box and related spare parts and associated software, said the Endless Energy Web site.

“It will be the responsibility of the new owner to remove and transport the turbine from the current location to the new site,” said the ad on the Web site. Lee said that the Orland wind tower, which needs a foundation, is held together primarily by nuts and bolts and was installed on its current foundation in one day. He estimates that whoever buys the tower will need a couple of trucks to haul away the parts.

The ad on the Endless Energy Web site stated that the turbine’s new location will need about 2.5 mph more average wind speed.

“The average wind speed at this location is only approximately 10 mph or less,” according to the ad. “At this wind speed – the turbine has produced approximately 25,000-30,000 kWhrs per year. A site with a 12.5 mph average wind speed would be able to produce more than double that amount of energy.”

The Orland turbine is a fairly basic wind tower, said Lee. Though the turbine is an older model, it is fairly reliable he added.

The turbine has been for sale for a few months. Lee said there are already a couple of potential buyers for the wind turbine, all of them businesses located throughout the country or in Canada.

Paul Allen, a member of the family that owns G. M. Allen and Son, and a worker at the factory, said they paid Endless Energy the same amount of money they would have paid Central Maine Power Co. for the electricity. The factory used a lot more electricity than the turbine put out, he added.

“It didn’t put out what they thought it would,” said Allen in a phone interview on Tuesday.

In 2000, Endless Energy came to the blueberry operation looking for a place to put the wind turbine.

“For a single household it wouldn’t fit the criteria,” said Allan about the turbine. “It’s bigger than one house could use.”

Tuesday mid-morning, on his drive up to the operation, Allen said the turbine wasn’t spinning even though there was a fair amount of wind blowing.

But all in all, Allen said the “cute” wind turbine makes for a good conversation piece.

For more information on the Orland wind turbine go to www.endlessenergy.com/orland.shtml.

Written by Nick Gosling

ellsworthmaine.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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