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$200K in lost energy savings later, Bayonne’s wind turbine is spinning again

BAYONNE – After costing the city more than $200,000 in energy savings since breaking down last June, the city’s long dormant wind turbine is finally spinning again.

Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority Executive Director Tim Boyle said yesterday that the turbine has been completely repaired and went back into operation March 21.

The 260-foot wind turbine, located at Oak and Fifth streets, cost the city roughly $25,000 in energy savings for every month it went unrepaired, Boyle said. Repairs were originally scheduled to take place in November, but were delayed until early March.

“We’re happy to have (the turbine) back and generating energy and revenue again,” Boyle said.

Repairs on the turbine consisted of switching out a broken bearing that is part of the turbine’s generator with a new bearing. As part of that process, the turbine’s three massive blades had to be removed and then reattached.

Leitner-Poma America, which is based in Colorado and is affiliated with the Italian company that made the turbine, led the repair work, Boyle has said.

The MUA official said the broken bearing was shipped Wednesday to Europe to undergo forensic testing to determine how it broke. Leitner-Poma America or an affiliated company is expected to produce a report on what went wrong in “five or six weeks,” Boyle said. “We will wait to hear back from the forensic report, and then we’ll consider our next steps once we hear what the manufacturer’s position is.”

He has previously said that the bearing that broke was supposed to last 20 years, but only lasted three, and that “if there’s a finger to be pointed or fault to be assigned, that will happen in time.” The part needed to repair the turbine is estimated to cost $298,000, Boyle has said.