[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

when your community is targeted

Get weekly updates

RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Predictions of turbine’s demise premature 

Credit:  By BRIAN McGILLIVARY | Traverse City Record-Eagle | June 15, 2013 | record-eagle.com ~~

TRAVERSE CITY – The nation’s first wind turbine run by a public utility can once again handle a good blow after a 10-month odyssey of failures and almost $50,000 in fixes.

Traverse City Light and Power’s wind turbine that spun its blades near M-72 in Elmwood Township since 1996 broke down in August 2012. Repeated repair efforts failed, and utility officials expressed concern it might have reached the end of its useful life.

But it appears predictions of the turbine’s demise are premature, and stated the turbine should operate for at least another six years.

“It’s an iconic thing for Traverse City and people want us to keep it up there,” said utility board member and city Commissioner Jim Carruthers.

The turbine stands 160 feet high and has a blade diameter of 144 feet. It’s less than half as tall as today’s modern turbines designed to catch Michigan’s best winds. Its generator is considered inefficient by today’s standards, but at its inception was the largest operating wind turbine in the United States.

The turbine has run at half-capacity since 2012, but is back running full bore and is capable of producing about 600,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, or enough power for about 110 homes. But utility board members expressed concerns about the repair process and wants a refund from a company that scoured the globe for what turned out to be defective replacement parts.

It took four months after the initial breakdown to find and obtain a part from Europe at a cost of almost $38,000. Workers installed the new part on Jan. 4, but it failed two days later.

That part was under warranty so the supplier eventually replaced it after another lengthy search, reported Tom Olney, TCL&P operations manager. The part was installed April 16. It lasted three days.

“We really didn’t know what was causing the (part) to fail,” Olney said. “It was new but they have been sitting on a shelf for a long time … and some of the components may have degraded.”

Between part replacements Olney found a firm in South Dakota – Broadwind Services – that could provide turbine service for $8,036.

“They found that it was well-maintained, in good shape overall and should last at least another six years,” Olney said.

Broadwind also offered to fix the original part for another $3,444. The repaired part was installed June 6 and the turbine now works fine.

Olney said his research found the same problem cropped up eight or nine years ago and TCL&P went through several parts then before locating one that worked.

Utility officials told board members they will ask the part supplier to refund their money.

“First we are going to ask, then we are going to insist on our money back,” said Tim Arends, TCL&P executive director.

Source:  By BRIAN McGILLIVARY | Traverse City Record-Eagle | June 15, 2013 | record-eagle.com

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 educational 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.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Contributions
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky