The fate of the broken wind turbine in Portsmouth will be discussed Tuesday night as the Town Council breaks down a recently-released inspection report that outlines a litany of problems at the facility, which has been down since June 2012 after a gearbox failure.
The report, attached to this article (click download .PDF to grab it), shows that along with the gearbox problem, the turbine has a host of other issues that will need fixing, including simple things like paint, new door filters and topping off of oil; to more complex issues, such as an oil leak that was never cleaned up and the revelation that the blade rotor was installed improperly, causing it to be 3 bolt holes off center.
That means “when the rotor is locked out, the blade that is supposed to be in the down 90 degree position [it] is an estimated 20 degrees off center,” the report states. “This configuration of the blade made it impossible to inpsect the blades with the rope access that was planned during the inspection.”
The inspection is based on a full walk down visit on May 8.
The study was performed by Gemini Energy Services, which was hired by the town for the inspection in preparation for the gearbox replacement, which would bring the tower back to normal operation. The gearbox itself wasn’t inspected – it has already been looked at and is due to be changed out if the council opts to fix the turbine.
The meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Town Hall council chambers, is open to the public.
The council could render a decision on the future of the turbine, though it is likely there won’t be a final decision on what happens until a later full Town Council meeting at a later date.
Voters approved a $3 million bond referendum in 2007 to build the turbine.
It is unclear how much the turbine will cost to fix – or how much it would cost to dismantle and scrap it. There is a chance that the town might have to borrow money to fix the turbine, which will affect the potential for it to generate money for the town, which was one of the main selling points leading up to the bond referendum.
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