Willmar Municipal Utilities is awaiting repairs to brackets on one of the utility’s two wind turbines before the turbine, which was shut down April 23, resumes energy production.
Utilities General Manager Wesley Hompe told the Utilities Commission Monday that crews from turbine manufacturer DeWind came out last week and took an inventory of what happened to the turbine. He said parts were ordered.
Hompe said repair time is not yet determined because they were not really sure how long it will take to get all the parts gathered and installed.
Jon Folkedahl, power production supervisor, added that he talked to the technicians last Friday about inspecting the other turbine to ensure that the same issue wouldn’t occur there. Folkedahl said technicians were scheduled to arrive Monday.
“I think the weather’s kept them away so far,’’ he said.
In an interview, Folkedahl said it appears a bracket for one of the access ladders to the nosecone came loose. He said it rattled around and broke some other brackets. Some of the brackets that broke held the nosecone in place, and it fell off.
“The turbine was still functional. It was still producing full power when I asked them to shut it down,’’ he said. “I just asked them to shut it down for safety reasons.’’
Folkedahl said he does not know at this time how the nosecone will be replaced. He said he asked DeWind technicians and they didn’t know either. He said DeWind technicians will return when the parts for the brackets arrive.
Folkedahl said the repair work will be performed under warranty. He characterized the bracket problem as very minor and said it did not affect the turbine’s performance.
“It’s just an access issue at this point,’’ he said.
He said the utility will learn the exact nature of the failure when the DeWind crew finishes their forensic examination.
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