On June 15, I spent the day at the Beethoven Wind Farm north of Avon. A Minnesota company was moving the large crane to the fourth turbine that needs major repairs. Each time they move from turbine to turbine the large crane has to be taken apart. One of the workers told me it takes 20 semi-trailers to haul the crane and support equipment.
I went to the A-1 to get lunch for the five workers. This gave me the opportunity to ask questions of the cost of the repairs needed. This wind farm is only two years old. Eight turbines need many bearings replaced, the cost of each bearing is $30,000. It is very clear. NorthWestern has 43 white elephants who the customers will be paying to repair. NorthWestern has a service agreement to repair the turbines. Who pays the premium: the customers of NorthWestern.
On June 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the blades never turned to produce electricity. What a scam wind farms have become.
When the final cost is added up to repair eight units, $100,000 will look like pocket change. I was told the company has bought another large crane there is so much repair work to be done. The problem they have is finding workers to do this very dangerous work.
Ed Van Gerpen
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