The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

No Easy Fix for Broken Wind Turbine at US High School

It's status quo for the Portsmouth High School wind turbine. On Monday night, town planner Gary Crosby informed the Town Council that negotiations ceased with two possible developers interested in fixing or replacing the 336-foot-high turbine, which has been broken since June 2012.

The council allowed Crosby to issue a formal request to seek other bidders for the project.

The town is considering three options: replace the turbine’s broken gearbox; replace the entire turbine with a new, more reliable model; and take down the turbine and sell if for scrap.

“We’re asking to review the process and start again,” Crosby said.

Without the revenue from the sale of electricity, the town is still paying two loans for construction of the turbine. Quarterly interest payments of $4,983 are paid toward the $2.6 million Clean Renewable Energy bond. A principal payment of $173,333 is also due Dec. 15 for the bond.

A $400,000 loan from the state Economic Development Corpration is due a principal payment of $26,380 and interest payment of $3,079 on June 15.

When running, the wind turbine earned the town about $160,000.

Removing and replacing the gearbox costs some $780,000. It would likely require the town to maintain ownership of the turbine and make the debt payments. 

Selling the turbine to a developer would likely mean the new owner would make the interest payments, with little to no revenue heading to the town.

Scrapping the turbine, which Crosby has called the “nuclear option,” would only generate a small, one-time payment from the sale of the scrap metal, and likely leave the town with a large portion of the debt.

There was little discussion by the Town Council or from the public at the May 13 meeting. “I think we’ve got to look over every stone in the landscape before we get to it,” council President James Seveney said.

The 1.5-megawatt turbine was commissioned in March 2009. The turbine had a 20-year life expectancy but was shut down June 18, 2012, after the gearbox showed significant wear. An independent investigation blamed the damage on a faulty gearbox. The gearbox, however, was no longer covered by warranty, and the manufacturer of the turbine, AAER Wind Energy of Quebec, is no longer in business. Three of five turbines of the same make and model erected in California and Templeton, Mass., also suffered gearbox failure.

The manufacturer of the gearboxes, Jahnel Kestermann of Germany, had offered to sell two replacement gearboxes to the town for $203,000. It would cost the town an additional $407,000 to remove the old gearbox and install a new one. The two-for-one deal, however, no longer exists.

Crosby said at least one developer is interested in responding to the new request for proposal.

This article was originally published on ecoRI News and was republished with permission.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Global Renewable Energy Roundup: China, Kenya, Turkey, India Seeking More Renewables

Bloomberg News Editors China is being encouraged by three industry groups to double the nation’s solar-power goal for 2020 to make up for sh...

With Vast Amounts of Geothermal, Wind and Hydropower, Why No Solar In New Zealand?

James Ellsmoor, Contributor New Zealand has built an international brand on environmentalism and the great outdoors. So it is unsurprising that t...

GE low wind turbines make debut in France

Kelvin Ross

A new wind farm in France will be the first in the country to deploy GE’s 2.75-120 wind turbines.

Unlikely Allies in North Carolina Clean-Energy Fight

Mark Drajem, Bloomberg With North Carolina’s renewable energy mandate under assault from Republican legislators, green groups seeking to sav...

PRESS RELEASES

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Early Bird Registration Deadline for GRC Annual Meeting is This Week

The deadline for early-bird rates for registration for the biggest annual geothermal ev...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

FEATURED BLOGS

Transitioning to Net-Zero Living

Judith and Jeffrey adore living in Belfast, Maine – a quaint harbor town of Belfast, Maine. They previously res...

The True Cost of Electric Vehicles in Australia

In order to avoid increased congestion, further greenhouse warming and lessen Australia’s reliance on imported ...

The Coming Multi-trillion Dollar Energy Investment Drive

In coming years, a multi-trillion dollar low-emission energy investment drive will get underway. Three catalysts wil...

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a concise statement that grabs attention and communicates value, ideally leading to a next step...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Tim worked as a community newspaper reporter in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts for five years. For three years, he was a staff writer for the Taunton Daily Gazette, most recently covering the police and courts beat. He spent 10 years ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

Description: Distributed wind energy is electricity that is produced for...

2015 AREDAY Summit

The 12th Annual AREDAY Summit, August 8-13th in Snowmass Colorado. Engag...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS