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Deepwater Wind: Keep Portsmouth turbine woes in mind

By   /   February 18, 2013  /   1 Comment

To the editor:

Arlene Violet’s article posted on February 14 concerning Deepwater Wind proposal was to the point and should raise a real concern to the citizens of Rhode Island.

Like her, I too support alternate means of energy, including wind power.  My concern at this time above and beyond what Arlene mentioned are the aspects of constructability,  upkeep and maintenance of the wind farm once it is developed.   We have seen locally with the Portsmouth High turbine that it’s sometimes not economically feasible to repair a turbine when it goes down for numerous reasons.
All the best of intentions got it there but it seems as if once again we the taxpayers will take the brunt of the developers’ and manufacturers’ inability  to perform.
It is difficult enough and costly to maintain these turbines on land. What happens when they are located miles off our beautiful coast.  Oceans storms and swells are the norm here.  During the recent past we have had waves exceeding 20 feet in the areas of the proposed site, with winds exceeding 60 knots.
Even on a good day it can be challenging to maneuver a vessel in such a situation to off-load a repair crew.  Parts and availability can also hamper the situation.  How do they get the specialized personnel to work on these turbines under adverse weather conditions? What happens when the warranty period ends?  I can only imagine what salt water corrosion, severe storms, hurricanes and the like would have on such farms.
What happens when it becomes no longer economically feasible to maintain the turbines and/or the contractor or manufacture become insolvent?
It seems obvious to me that the risk far outweigh the gains at this time.  The state will once again be on the hook.  Let’s save the hooks for fishing and not us the taxpayers.
Take the time to read Arlene’s article.We need to take a better look at the developers’ proposed plan and program with the blinders off.  This is a huge and very expensive undertaking under some very serious and unpredictable conditions.  Exposure to the State of Rhode Island along  with accountability should be a real concern now and down the road if this plan does go as proposed.
Bob Murgo
Portsmouth RI 02871
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1 Comment

  1. Bill Carson says:

    The Portsmouth High School wind turbine is the largest wind turbine in Rhode Island. Very little news is heard about the catastrohic failure of the town owned wind turbine . The turbine is an embarrassment to the Green Energy movement.

    The news media has no follow up to this multi-million dollar failure of a town owned commercial wind turbine .

    The commercial wind turbine business has a dirty little secret : “gear box failures” These failures in multi-million dollar turbines only three years old are causing catastrophic failures costing the owners up to one million every three years to keep the turbines online.

    One gear box company has had over 600 gear box failures. The megawatt turbines in Portsmouth,Rhode Island ,Princeton,Massachusetts and Otis Air Base on Cape Cod all have three year old catastrophic failures. Many feel the gear box failures have led to the catastrophic fires in the motors.

    Now the wind industry after keeping the secret that the new turbines have direct drive units and don’t breakdown ! Can you believe the ongoing bunco scheme ? These turbines only last three years !

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