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Windpower woes  

Credit:  The Providence Journal | providencejournal.com 16 July 2012 ~~

A fly in the ointment of wind power has been discovered. The turbine installed at Portsmouth High School in March 2009 suffered a mechanical failure estimated to cost nearly a half-million dollars, (“Costs to fix turbine my wipe out profit”, July 16, news).

The company that installed the turbine, AAER of Canada, went bankrupt a year after installation, and left Portsmouth with no warranty. Even worse, the chief executive of the company hired to oversee maintenance of the turbine stated that gearbox failures occur in “10 percent of turbines nationwide”.

That 10 percent failure rate should be a cause of great concern, especially in light of the Deepwater Wind project approved by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission in August 2010. (Note: The PUC originally voted down the project, but then had that authority removed by the General Assembly, leaving them no choice but to approve it.) How many turbines are involved in that project? And if it costs nearly $500,000 to repair a turbine on land, how much would it cost to perform the same repairs on turbines miles offshore?

One can only assume that there’s a rider in the contract to allow for those costs to be passed on to the ratepayers, on top of the already exorbitant costs that National Grid will be paying for power purchased from Deepwater Wind.

Mark Poirier

Source:  The Providence Journal | providencejournal.com 16 July 2012

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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