Portsmouth, RI: Town considers what to do with broken wind turbine

Portsmouth Rhode Island
Council Hears Wind Turbine Proposals

The Portsmouth Town Council took no votes Monday night on what to do with the town’s broken wind turbine generator.
By Sandy McGee

The Portsmouth Town Council heard a number of possible outcomes for the town’s wind turbine generator, but did not vote during public and executive session on Monday night.

The town council is weighing possible options for its broken wind turbine generator, which has been stopped since last May.

Last July, the town council learned repairing the wind turbine next to Portsmouth High School could cost the town anywhere from $200,000 to $1.5 million.

On Monday night, Gary Crosby presented the following two options for discussion to the council.

The first option involves wind turbine repair and resuming operations, which includes the following:

Town retains ownership of the turbine;
Town funds gearbox replacement and puts turbine back into operation;
Town continues to receive all revenue from the sale of power to National Grid;
Town signs an O&M contract with service provider;
O&M contractor is responsible for all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, minor repairs, and 24/7 monitoring at its expense;
O&M contractor guarantees availability will not drop below a certain level without penalty and gets a bonus if they exceed a certain availability level;
An insurance policy (paid for by the town) catastrophic failure & business interruption;
Capital reserve and turbine removal at end of life provided for in the economic model.
The second options would involve selling the wind turbine to a developer, and could involve the following:

Wind developer assumes ownership, dissassembles and disposes of the existing wind turbine at no cost to the town;
Wind developer installs, maintains, owns and operates a new wind turbine of the same size on the same site, again at no cost to the town;
Wind developer enters a lease agreement with the town;
At the point the new turbine becomes operational with the lease payments equal to paying off all of the town’s remaining debt service over a period of time;
Wind developer enters into a power purchase agreement and sells power to National Grid under a Rhode Island distributed generation long-term contract;
The town returns to purchasing power from National Grid as it did prior to wind turbine;
Wind developer to remove the new wind turbine at the end of its useful life at no cost to the town.
What do you think about the possible options? What should be done with the Portsmouth wind turbine generator? Tell us in the comment section below!

Related Topics: Portsmouth Wind Turbine, Portsmouth wind turbines, and wind turbine generator

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2 Responses to “Portsmouth, RI: Town considers what to do with broken wind turbine”

  1. billcarson2162 Says:

    Will the Town of Portsmouth will need special legislation as a requirement to both borrow money to pay removal costs and to potentially refinance tax-exempt bonds in case the turbines are resold to a non-governmental body. ?

    If a new commercial wind turbine is constructed what is the abutter notification and permit process for a private contractor ? What are the new setbacks to the town water tank, high school field and highway ?

    This is the year 2007 General Bond Bill for 3 million and Install a wind turbine at Portsmouth High School.

    Senate Bill S 0260
    http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText07/SenateText07/S0260.htm

    amended
    http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText07/SenateText07/S0260aa.htm

    House Bill 2007 — H 5217
    http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/billtext07/housetext07/h5217.pdf

    amended ”
    http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/billtext07/housetext07/h5217aa.pdf

  2. billcarson2162 Says:

    Why doesn’t the Town Council share its concerns about the wind turbine with the general public ? The current location of the wind turbine has serious setback issues to the town water tank, high school field, local homes and the highway.

    I haven’t seen any public meetings that address the Senate Bill S 0260
    http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText07/SenateText07/S0260.htm

    There are two major problems with the turbine right now.

    First -the turbine is as you know a total failure. The gear box as well as the three blades are no good.

    Second – The turbine is an asset of the town purchased with a 0 percent bond and voted for by the public for both the bond and the turbine in one single vote. Along with being broken the turbine is a financial legal mess and the public needs to understand why the legal mess .

    The Town Council needs to share the financial knot that the turbine is wrapped up in . Sooner or later people will catch on to how much more bad news is down the road about this turbine.

    The turbine originally on National Geographic in 2009 now it’s on the websites of every wind action group in the world on how not to build a wind turbine.

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