Portsmouth EDC Big Wind Turbine Mistake

Portsmouth EDC Big Wind Turbine Mistake

Posted in the Newport Forum

Bill Carson

Mattapoisett, MA

#1 Nov 14, 2012
The Portsmouth Economic Development Committee (PEDC) Sustainable Energy Initiative recommended buying a brand new 1.65 Megawatt turbine at one half the normal price from a brand new wind turbine company. After years of what was called "Due Diligence" the PEDC convinced the Town Council to float a bond and spend near 3 million dollars to buy the turbine from the bankrupt Canadian wind turbine company AAER.

Many large turbine manufacturers have their own safety setbacks
for ice throw, noise ,shadow flicker and blade throw.AAER had none!

The larger wind companies like Furlander,General Electric and Vestas would never have built a megawatt turbine next the Portsmouth Town Water Tank !

It appears from a review of all the documents on the PEDC website that the town in general was in a rush to buy a wind turbine. The only company that would give them a deal and site the turbine was AAER INC. a wind turbine manufacturer who on the Canadian high risk venture stock exchange TSX was issuing forward looking statements - AKA they were on the verge of bankruptcy while negotiating a contract for the Portsmouth wind turbine.

Today the three years old Portsmouth wind turbine whose blades are within 90 feet of the town water tank stand idle with a catastrophic gear box failure .

The town now looks for a private contractor to take over the poor location of the turbine within hundreds of feet of all kinds of legal isues which include power lines,town water tank,residents homes and high school ball field not to mention the highway next door with 40,000 cars going by each day !

Why setbacks to adequately reflect the 1,300-foot guideline advised by the megawatt turbine manufacturer ? Safety number one!

In the Mechanical Operating and Maintenance Manual for many modern megawatt turbines it says:“Do not stay within a radius of 400 m (1,300 ft.) from the turbine unless it is necessary.”

That 1,300 feet is more than three times the total height of the turbine – a significantly greater distance than the pre-existing ordinance set by many local cities and towns and is concerned with safety alone, not taking into consideration the noise, shadow flicker, or visual intrusion issues.

Many modern megawatt turbines manual is a proprietary document that gives general guidance Manufacturers have done site-specific review of Portsmouth and other cities and towns and found them to be an unacceptable location for the large turbines.

Most manufacturers today requires that turbines be situated no closer than 2,500 to an off-site residence, hotel or motel, hospital, day care center, sanitarium, nursing home, municipal building, school or educational building.

THE BOTTOM LINE: THE PORTSMOUTH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE AND THE TOWN COUNCIL AT THAT TIME FAILED THE TAXPAYERS AND FAILED TO DO 'DUE DILIGENCE'

HOW DID HIS HAPPEN ?

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