First Wind Turbine Erected in Providence, Rhode Island

Editor’s Note: EarthTechling, always looking to bring you interesting cleantech reading, is proud to repost this article courtesy of ecoRI News. Author credit goes to Tim Faulkner.

One of three 365-foot-high wind turbines was assembled Feb. 2 at the city’s wastewater treatment facility at the Port of Providence.

The 1.5-megawatt turbines are similar in size to the Portsmouth High School turbine installed in 2009. The new turbines will be the first utility-scale turbines built in the city. The $11 million project was funded by the state revolving clean water fund.

image via ecoRI News

The three turbines being erected at the Narragansett Bay Commission facility off Allens Avenue are expected to power 40 percent to 50 percent of the facility’s electricity needs.

The first turbine is sandwiched between three 1.2-million-gallon, open-air sewage settling tanks.

The turbines are built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. The blades rotate, or feather, and stop turning when wind speeds exceed 50 mph.

The 230-foot-high steel tower, made in Tennessee, is anchored by a 55-foot-deep cement foundation. The fiberglass blades and hub, made in North Dakota, weigh 80,000 pounds. The Goldwind generator and convertor were made in China.

Two more turbines will be erected throughout February.

ecoRI News is the journalistic arm of ecoRI Inc. and is dedicated to the advancement of environmental and social justice issues that impact Rhode Island. It is devoted to protecting the Ocean State’s ecosystems, natural resources and public health through independent journalism.

    • Iamconfused 1

      Made in China?????

    • Gonzo32666

      So why are they still not running then?

      • Guest

        I have the question. All three have been up and sitting there for monthes now and still not turning. Problems?

        • Pete

          The Narragansett Bay Commission (@narrabay) recently tweeted: “Should be spinning by end of summer. Hooking up wiring and conduits now.”

      • Guest

        I have the question. All three have been up and sitting there for monthes now and still not turning. Problems?

    • ytreggah

      The 1.5-megawatt turbines are similar in size to the Portsmouth High School turbine installed in 2009 is a complete bust and failure. The turbine is not running today and not in the past few months. Rumor has it that the gearbox has failed and they are doing oil changes and hitting the restart button to keep it working on a daily basis.

       Wind turbine components routinely fail before their design life is reached, resulting in significant unplanned and costly repairs, which is a problem the wind industry has been dealing with in relation to the modern Megawatt class of wind turbines. Predictive maintenance tools, sensors, installed on critical components, like gearboxes and generators, reduce the threat of sudden and unexpected failures in these components.

    • Fam

      Ok it is just about the end of the summer, so when are these turbines going to be operational

    • jsrooks

      If this was a private venture, it would have been generating electricity long ago. Certainly, the engineering required to integrate into the grid is long established.

      I am frustrated and saddened that the individuals in charge of this impressive project thought that it would be acceptable to build and pay for nonperforming assets for over half a year, at the expense of all of those donating through taxes and fees. I am sure this delay was not described as such in the original proposal….

      I would be pleased if there were some reasonable explanation.

      Please get them spinning!

    • jsrooks

      I just read this from a WPRI post in the Fall of 2011:

      “Ray Marshall says the plant’s power bill currently stands at about $2.8
      million, and will be reduced to about $1.1 million after the turbines
      are finished. That includes off-days when the turbines generate more
      power than is needed, which can then be sold back to National Grid.”

      That is $1.6M per year in savings and revenue, which is $133K per month! That is surely a lot of money to be wasting, not to mention the fuel being burned to generate the energy, while the turbines are idle.

      The turbines were predicted to go on-line in March 2012.

    • jsrooks

      Woops, I should have said $1.7M.

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