PORTSMOUTH – With higher estimates for fixing the town’s wind turbine now running at over $700,000, the town council hopes to hear better news from having an inspection of the broken part and looking into possible private partnerships.
Experts will soon conduct an on-site inspection of the failed gearbox to try to determine what caused the turbine’s failure, Town Administrator John Klimm reported to the council at last week’s meeting. Since the cause of the failure is unknown, this may help pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the turbine before committing to costly repairs.
Mr. Klimm has also been consulting with two people who own and operate the same AAER 1.5 MW turbine, one of which has had the same gearbox problem.
Two estimates for repairing the turbine, about $100,000 higher than the estimates presented a month ago, were given to the council last week. If the gearbox can be replaced in the air the whole project – parts and labor – will cost $671,678, and if it all must be taken to the ground it will cost $703,362.
Lumus, the turbine maintenance provider, has recommended replacing the gearbox at the same time the failed gearbox is removed so the town doesn’t double up on project costs such as an estimated $59,000 to $130,000 to bring in a crane for one day.
Since the town’s issue with the turbine has been in the news, Mr. Klimm has received several phone calls expressing interest in a private-sector partnership of the turbine. This week the town will advertise a request for qualifications and information to see what kind of partnerships will be proposed.
Councilors decided to wait on a decision to have the maintenance contractor repair the turbine until they have received the inspection report in the next few weeks.