Zeeland removing wind turbines after several issues

From WOOD TV

by: Whitney Burney

Posted: Aug 1, 2019 / 05:28 PM EDT / Updated: Aug 1, 2019 / 06:51 PM EDT

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Wind turbines in Helder Park in Holland Township are being torn down.

The city of Zeeland built the turbines in 2009 in an effort to use more sustainable energy.

The turbines were placed outside the city limits due to zoning issues. The park was chosen by engineers who believed it was the best place to generate wind.

It cost the city about $457,000. Right after the turbines went up, the city says things went downhill.

zeeland-turbine-2-08012019An Aug. 1, 2019 photo shows crews working to remove wind turbines from Helder Park in Zeeland.

“Shortly after that, the manufacturer of those units went out of business,” said Andrew Boatright with the city’s public works department.

Boatright says it made finding parts to repair the turbines nearly impossible and incredibly costly.

“The maintenance issues were a big problem. In 2014, there was a significant period of no operation,” Boatright added. “It just got to a point where they became a maintenance concern and a safety hazard.”

Boatright says there was an instance where break tips fell off one of the turbines and landed in a nearby field.

He says on top of safety and maintenance concerns — the turbines were barely generating energy.

Over a 20-year period, the turbines were expected to create enough energy to pay off the almost half-million dollars used to build them. At the near halfway mark, it’s not even close to that goal, Boatright said.

An Aug. 1, 2019 photo shows crews working to remove wind turbines from Helder Park in Zeeland.

An Aug. 1, 2019 photo shows crews working to remove wind turbines from Helder Park in Zeeland

Full article here.

HT/Rick

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138 thoughts on “Zeeland removing wind turbines after several issues

  1. One wonders why there are so often maintenance problems with wind turbines – these contraptions are about as primitive a technology as one can get

    • One wonders why there are so often maintenance problems with wind turbines – these contraptions are about as primitive a technology as one can get

      Rather, no one should wonder why there are so often maintenance problems with wind turbines – these contraptions are about as primitive complex a technology as one can get placed up high in an inaccessible box 300 feet above ground, and then subsidized to run continuously on a wavering, vibrating tower twice the height of a football field with no planned maintenance subsidies!

      • The subsidies not only result in uneconomic turbines being built – they encourage people to put up cheap crap turbines that fail quickly. A crap turbine attracts the same subsidies as a good one and who cares if it fails after only a year if you already have the subsidy. There are a bunch of turbine makers who service the cheap crap end of the market.

        A decent turbine constructed with a low speed or direct drive gearbox properly designed and engineered for the conditions where it is to be installed will last the distance. Whether it is economic to install a high quality turbine like this is another matter, but we know how to build turbines that don’t fail. The trouble is that subsidies tilt the economics in the direction of building cheap crap that falls apart almost as soon as you install it. The subsidies actually harm the development of wind power by eliminating incentives to improve the technology. If any old cheap crap is good enough to get the subsidy, why would you put effort into making it better?

        Sounds like Zeeland took the low bid (government’s often do) without realising that the low end of the turbine market is something that looks good enough on paper to get the subsidy but it going to fail almost as soon as you put it up.

    • They only look primitive. The engineering problems are actually quite nasty.

      The problem is the bearings. If we make the bearings bigger, the bearings last longer, but making the bearings larger increases friction, which kills turbine efficiency. But we can’t keep using the current bearings – replacing them is sending us broke. What we need is a quantum leap in bearing technology – bearing materials which are at least ten times tougher than current materials. WUWT

      In the link above see Patrick Keane August 26, 2014 at 4:25 am for another example.

      • commieBob – Can I suggest a better quantum leap – ditch windmills for steam engines – it worked well for Britain in the 19th century, and helped make it the wealthiest country in the world! Go figure!

      • CommieB

        In fairness to the bearing manufacturer, they claim to have solved this problem about a year later. I do not know w hat the solution was. The bearings are large and such parts are very expensive. The cost of replacing them is really high because obviously the main shaft has to be elevated to get them out.

        I think we have to assume that the major issue now is not bearings (as it once was, for sure) at least for Siemens who dropped the whole wind business as a result (they said at the time). Are they back?

      • The harmonics destroy the oil and in turn the bearings. The harmonics could destroy the bearings in quality oil.
        Wind turbines do not produce 50/60Hz energy, only harmonics.

    • For one thing, just imagine the stress on the bearings and driveshaft when these things get going.

    • The big problem is that the massive weight of turbine has to be supported by the bearings. The load is just too much. One wonders why they didn’t go for a vertical design.

      • We studied the “eggbeater” vertical design in an area adjacent to the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. Just not efficient enough and various maintenance issues.

      • The big problem is that each time a blade passes in fron of the pylon the flow around the blade changes abruptly and the bearings get a big sideways kick. Two or three times per rotation whenever the turbine is running.

      • or a damned dual rotor with 60° offset of the rear blade… seriously… they could be only 60% as tall and produce just as much power

        it’s like some leftist brain damage morons designed them

        • Indigo: I came to the same conclusion. It should also be possible to have the gearbox turn a vertical shaft that runs down the middle of the pylon, with the generator at ground level. This would avoid the big generator hanging on the end of a long shaft. Lessening the asymmetric load, and making service and maintenance easier.

          Not that I’m a fan of wind turbines, they keep encroaching on the beautiful hills of Scotland. Plus they aren’t that reliable. It’s rare to drive by a wind farm and see at least one turbine not turning (and what does that do to the bearings?) even when the wind is blowing.

          And as for offshore wind farms, the environmental industry is always going on about big ships and underwater seismic surveying messing up the hearing of whales and dolphins. And those noises are at least intermittent, while the subsonic noise from offshore wind farms is constant. I suppose it’s more important to make a profit for wind-power subsidy farmers save the planet, than to protect marine mammals.

          • …and maybe winglets on the ends of the blades and then canards for better control and then……scrap the entire pre-industrial age outdated technology.

          • Better yet! Tether old 747’s to a shaft off the generator and have them fly in circles!

            I need a grant to study the concept in more detail . . . .

      • yeah I keep wondering why Savonius rotors dont get used way way easier to maintain and a hell of a lot less issues with bits flying off etc etc
        and they wouldnt be killing birds bats etc

        • …inflated by hydrogen from (pick your favorite GREEN hydrogen generator)….OH! The Humanity!!!

    • @ RACookPE1978
      @ Joe Wagner
      @ Don Holland
      Really guys, people have been doing this since forever. They should know how things go.
      Bearings too tough a problem?
      Want High Speed+High Temperature+High Vibration: Jet Engines
      Want High Loadings: Cruise Ships
      No excuses. I put the start of the modern windmill at the early 1970s with the Oil Embargo and energy shocks of those years. That is what really kicked off the modern alternative energy disaster. But that was going on 50 years ago, so how much progress was made. It seems, not much.
      Let us take a walk down memory lane and see what 50 years of development looks like in some other fields.
      Aviation:
      Dec. 17, 1903 – Wright brothers make first flight.
      Dec. 12, 1953 – Flying the Bell X-1A, Chuck Yeager reaches an altitude of 74,700 feet, where he sets a new world speed record of Mach 2.44, equal to 1,620 mph at that altitude, in level flight.
      (And they did not even have computers.)

      Enough with the “new technology” and “development” with windmills.

      • Tony,

        1. Different kinds of bearings with different loads. Jet engine turbine bearings don’t support a lot of weight, heavy blades are hard to turn fast. Wind turbine bearings support a *lot* of weight. Cruise ship propeller bearings don’t support a lot of sideways forces as wind turbine blades do. Not only are the bearings stressed but so are the seals that hold oil in and moisture/dirt out. This leads to premature failure of the bearings.

        • Don’t even start.
          Engineers know how to do these things.
          The #1 cause of bearing failure:
          The bearings are deliberately sub-sized to reduce turning resistance. Apparently, windmill performance is so marginal that putting in proper bearings causes enough turning drag to render the turbine output to below required levels. Makes sense when you think about it.
          Your choice:
          1) Put in a proper bearing, then the turbine never pays for itself.
          2) Put in a small bearing, it breaks, and the turbine never pays for itself.

          Go with option B, it is cheaper.
          This topic was beaten to death here at WUWT a few years back, with commenters serving up tons of links to supporting information. Surprised you missed it.
          Bonus:
          Q: Why do turbines turn on windless days, using grid electricity to power a drive motor?
          A: To keep the the bearing from brinelling, and getting wrecked.
          I leave it as an exercise to the reader to contemplate what kind of engineering is required to specify a bearing which is known to brinell at standard operating conditions, such that a secondary drive motor is specified. On a *generator*. And it happens anyway.
          “Wind turbine bearings support a *lot* of weight.”
          This is what engineers are for. Are you telling me this *cannot* be done? Really? If it really cannot be done, then stop building them. Right? Right?
          Axial loads, DUH! Roller Bearings, DUH!
          You cannot defend this.

          • From your post it appears you are not an engineer. I’m certainly not. Yet you claim that the so-called problems with the bearings can be over come. What do you support your class m with other than ‘because engineers!’.

          • @ Tired Old Nurse
            I am not an engineer, how about that. That does not mean I am not mean I am rock hard stupid with the field.
            Consider this:
            200 ft. tall turbines with inadequate bearings.
            300 ft. tall turbines with inadequate bearings.
            400 ft. tall turbines with inadequate bearings.
            500 ft. tall turbines with inadequate bearings.
            Maybe, just maybe….
            The bearing used in a 500 ft. turbine would be adequate for a 400 ft. turbine.
            I guess nobody ever thought of that.
            All these people (above) are making excuses, I am just not going to buy it.
            I do not need to be an engineer to know when I am getting a Song and Dance routine.

            You want bearing engineering?
            Ask and you shall receive.
            https://www.skf.com/us/products/bearings-units-housings/roller-bearings/tapered-roller-bearings/matched-tapered-roller-bearings/loads/calculating-radial-load-on-matched-bearings/index.html

          • “The bearing used in a 500 ft. turbine would be adequate for a 400 ft. turbine.”

            Why do you assume this? If the rotor on the 400 ft turbine turns faster than on the 500 ft turbine the bearing from the 500 ft turbine may not be adequate at all.

          • Is anyone actually manufacturing a reliable yet decently priced wind powered unit that is capable of meeting the needs of small towns like this one? Is wind power just a failed technology or a pipe dream at this point in time given the current level of technology and availability of materials?

          • Tony,

            “This is what engineers are for. Are you telling me this *cannot* be done? Really? If it really cannot be done, then stop building them. Right? Right? Axial loads, DUH! Roller Bearings, DUH!”

            As you point out it *can* be done, you just have to be willing to pay for it! Like using roller bearing crankshafts in your cars engine instead of bushing type crankshafts

            As you point out as well, no one seems to be willing to pay for what is needed. It’s why we are going to have lots of non-functioning wind turbines dotting the landscape over the next two decades.

            Once a rotor shaft bearing fails how do you replace it since it is the weight bearing device?

        • ” Jet engine turbine bearings don’t support a lot of weight”

          Even so there are limits on permissible turn rates for heavy aircraft with big engines, so as to keep gyroscopic forces within permissible limits.

        • Tony doesn’t ‘get it’. I fear you’re wasting your time trying to explain it to him.

          • Yes he does “get it”.
            You either design for Longevity or design for Install costs or design for Running Efficiency or design for Profitability.
            When those are mutually exclusive the Turbines as currently designed are not fit for purpose.
            With the sort of weight involved they must be rotated regardless of bearing design, if they sit they brinel the bearings, which severely shortens their life.
            The other major problem is Blade leading edge wear and it will much worse for those at sea.

          • Now you are talking, make his Hair Dryer 100 times bigger and let the wind blow in to it.
            Comparing his prices with hair dryers with blades the Turbines would cost about 10 times much as current wind turbines LOL.

    • There aren’t… it is just this website picks up each and every one of the few sites with problems!

    • I think the City of Zeeland should recompense the rate payers of the city for the stuff up of their windmill project.

      Now of course the City of Zeeland used rate payers money to purchase these useless items, but where are they going to get cash in order to recompense the rate payers?

      Duh of course they have no other income because local governments only have income and assets that belong to the people, so of course it is the people who lose!

      How about some green projects where the mayor and all the elected officials put up the cash and are prepared to pay for the expenses when the project fails? or better still let a private company do the job without subsidy or assurance from the rate/tax payers?

      Cheers

      Roger

      • Didn’t you listen to the video?

        At 2:12 a comment is made that “everybody wants greenpower”. The use of ‘everybody’ is a common mis-attribution to justify pushing green (and many other) schemes. As long as the instigators are not called out to justify their use of such terms, they will spend ‘everybody’s’ money to push their agenda.

        • I’m reminded of the editor from NYC who couldn’t understand how Nixon could have won, since everyone she knew voted against him. (This was the year where Nixon absolutely crushed Goldwater.)

        • “At 2:12 a comment is made that “everybody wants greenpower”. The use of ‘everybody’ is a common mis-attribution to justify pushing green (and many other) schemes.”

          It’s like saying “97 percent of climate scientists support the notion that human-derived CO2 is causing the Earth’s climate to change in detectable ways”.

          It’s a tool of propaganda. If you want to convince someone of something then one way to do that is to convince them that the majority of people agree with your position. This can be very convincing if there is no counter argument.

          People tend to want to be in the majority. They think that is the safest position to take on unfamiliar issues, and they are correct. Unless, the “majority position” claim is actually a lie meant to fool people. In that case, they haven’t taken the safe position, they have taken the fool’s position, albiet unknowingly.

      • men falling from windmills wasnt uncommon, especially outback stations.
        they were damned good and pretty efficient though
        one hefty hailstorm/duststorm and the solar panels arent going to be working
        the old windmills round here just keep going

    • There is a transmission called a gear reducer that changes the speed of rotation from the blades’ speed of 12 RPM to 1200 RPM to run the generator. Likeany other mechanical gearbox, these need lots of maintenance along with the generator itself. If it’s an alternator, the inverter section (diodes) must be replaced about once a year. There are huge bearings for the main shaft. In short, these complex machines need lots of maintenance.

    • You stop before getting to the best part.

      “It started as a state mandate,” said Zeeland Mayor Kevin Klynstra. “The BPW (Zeeland Board of Public Works) has to be 15% renewable energy and that was pretty much the reason for the wind turbine. It’s too bad those didn’t work out.”

      Klynstra says while the turbines weren’t successful, the city is already working on alternative methods of renewable energy.

      Obviously nothing was learned from this. They will jump right into the next Renewable scam, and no doubt be surprised all over again when it doesn’t live up to its advertising pamphlets.

      You can’t teach stupid. You can however vote it out of office. Let’s hope Zeeland voters are willing to do what needs to be done.

      ~¿~

      • As a municipal utility, the BPW can’t utilize all the tax scams supporting the green scams; they have to pay the full costs. Without state or Federal grants (“free” money), that is.

      • The state of Michigan mandated the amount of renewable companies were required to have. This was done under Granholm. The flaky Republicans were in control for a number of years but did nothing to rid the state of these renewable requirements.

        Traverse City and Petoskey Michigan have announced they will be totally renewable in 2030, I believe. Clark Manufacturing in Traverse City will never be able to run their huge CNC turning centers with unreliable renewable so they will move or get their own power. Same with Century Sun metal treating. Hardening M42 to Rockwell 65 takes a lot of energy.

        It was just recently announced that Consumers Energy is building a new wind farm in northern lower peninsula.

        A REA in the upper peninsula which only diesel engine generating plants had to pay a high price to purchase a small hydroelectric company from Wisconsin Electric so they could get some renewable percentage.

        Everyone now pays a higher price for everything because the renewable requirement has caused unnecessary transactions.

  2. So who gets to salvage the generators from the turbines? There’s a serious amount of RE and copper in there, not to mention repurposing the generator using another more reliable source of driving energy.

    • It is a package deal, you have to take out the trash if you want the goodies. If you are careful and are set up for it, it can be done profitably. Watch them contract out to another greedy vendor who strips out the Cu and Al and runs off with the cash. Now the town is left with a pile of trash.
      “repurposing the generator”
      Non-standard in any application you can name. So, custom mounts, custom couplers, custom gearing and drive. All to adapt something which was purpose built for a different application, and may well be a piece of junk to start with. Not happening. Like calculating a wee p value.

    • What will they do with those blades and with the tower? Can they perhaps be recycled and turned into garbage cans for urban communities?

      • The steel can be recycled. The blades, at least in Wyoming, are BURIED AT LANDFILLS. Natrona county landfill saw $$$$$$$ and agreed to bury a bunch of the blades. They cut them up and then bury them. The hydraulic fluid probably recycles at least somewhat, the copper, etc in the generators recycles, etc. All of this uses a monsterous amount of fossil fuel in the transportation and processing of the recycling materials, which I doubt is ever included in the “CO2 footprint” the wind people like to push.

        I think the fiberglass blades could actually be adapted to housing for the homeless, but hey, the landfill get $675,000 for burying the blades. In addition, I don’t ever have to recycle again because obviously the landfill lied about not having lots of room. I do thank the wind industry for that favor.

  3. Prayer wheels are not to generate electricity, but to gather subsidies and virtue signal. How naive of the city to think they were actually a good investment, without being eligible for the subsidies and mandatory sale rules.

  4. Constructed in 2009, and by 2014, a significant period of no operation due to maintenance problems. Five years.

    I doubt the economics of most wind turbines (there may be some appropriate places for them), but this must have been the 737 Max of turbines.

    • Or the US story of East Texas Wind…

      I have a soft spot for T. Boone Pickens, I’ve corresponded with him on energy and he has a good heart, though he completely drank the wind Kool Aid back around ’08. And UNLIKE most gas tycoons who I think are pushing wind/gas partnerships with knowing awareness of utility-scale wind’s broken idea… I believe Pickens really did have some dreadful and deceitful engineer-advisors on staff and for a while at least, was convinced wind was a rational future-proof energy idea. But look at the timeline, presented here with the unfair clarity of hindsight:

      2008 Pickens Plan was the darling of the wind utiopiasphere.
      2008 LaRouche hit piece on turbine size and practicality of scaling.
      2009-2010: West Texas perhaps not an ideal place if even there is one. Long periods of insufficient wind punctuated by violent turbine-destroying storms.
      2010 Forbes article describing Pickens’ revised plan which involves converting some highway traffic (18 wheelers) to compressed natural gas.
      2010 WUWT Pickens out of the wind biz, last ditch effort looking for partners to place turbines in Canada
      2015 Canada busted, lawyering up! In a bizarre turn of events involving backing the wrong horse in election and a $18k campaign contribution and an attempt to ‘assert’ his rights under NAFTA, Pickens pretty much considers the wind idea a write-off.

      My postal correspondence with Pickens — considered, answered in another letter! but politely declined — was to get behind LFTR two fluid molten salt nuclear reactors made in the USA. By then he was no longer sure wind was in the end game… but also probably wanted to quit the speculation game entirely aside from his bulwark career in natural gas.

      • West Texas Wind i mean of course. Why does my stuff go into moderation? Am I hated and feared? Is there any way out?

        • You accidentally tripped on a forbidden word it seems. Moderation appears to be done by an algorithm. If you think or speak like the algorithm, you tossed tossed in for moderation.

      • There may have been an ulterior motive there. With the wind also came right-of-way for transmission lines which I believe were going to be permitted for water pipelines. IIRC the plan was to pump the Ogallala aquifer to provide water to Houston and Dallas. That is where the real money was.

  5. And there was me thinking the Zeeland was a Dutch province. I wondered by the local official spoke such good English.

  6. From a different article:

    “On top of the equipment failure, the turbines “dramatically under-performed,” Boatright said.”

    • 20 years is actually not bad. I did the math one day regarding how long it would take to pay off solar panels on a house here in North Carolina. (FYI, my latitude is the same as the Straight of Gibraltar, between Spain and Africa.) At my latitude, it would take 25 years to pay off solar panels if we assume I was buying Chinese panels AND if we assume I received a tax subsidy AND if we assume the panels never degrade. Since panels do degrade, the pay off time is 27 to 30 years, possibly longer. Now, if the power company keeps building bulldozing trees to build solar farms which keep jacking up my rates, the payoff might approach 20 years. But it seems odd to build solar panels to save money because of solar panels.

      As we know, dreams of “renewable” power always assume best case for the entire life of the product and never factor in real world conditions nor maintenance nor degradation. As far as solar goes, the further away from the equator you go, the less it makes financial sense.

      • California has found a way to make the panel cost pay off in about 5-7 years.
        It’s actually pretty simple, any utility company could make these pay off for you if they just followed the Ca method.
        Step 1: charge $.43-$48/kWh
        Step 2: Solar will now pay off.
        Easy!!

      • Has more to do with clouds than latitude. Lived in Ohio and got less than 100 days of sunshine and get about 250 days here in Wyoming. The great lakes are tremendous cloud generators. Solar works well for watering cows in remote locations here, pump and heated in winter, to keep the tank flowing. Not so much for other applications.

        • Born and raised in northern Ohio. As soon as I could drive a tractor it was my job to check the water troughs every day and fill if necessary. At least every three or four days they required refilling from the tank.

      • Have been doing the same thing since 1973. Never works out to save money. However, if you invested the purchase and maintenance cost then in ten years your investment will pay your electric bill and even a 5% per year increase in electric cost.
        Another factor neglected is the slope and direction of the roof. And snow removal.

  7. RE: “Klynstra says while the turbines weren’t successful, the city is already working on alternative methods of renewable energy.”

    Wind and solar ‘alternatives’ are just doubling down on stupid. Methane gas recovered from landfills is the only ‘renewable’ energy they are likely to get a real return on investment from!

  8. Don’t you just love these happy endings, where reality bites some idiots right on their ass? I think I will celebrate!

        • Don’t have to think about that as much as I used to as things stand now. Wouldn’t vote for a blood relative that ran with a “D” before their name for any office. So now it’s just determining who the most conservative is with an I,L, or R before their name. Since most of the L types around here are wackos that take the L to the extreme really it generally comes down to an R or an I that I may have to choose between and there just aren’t that many I types that run. Really the toughest choices are the judges since unless your in the loop, you generally have little knowledge of the individual histories and so it takes some research and questioning of people one trusts that are in the loop to figure out the best choice.

      • Wind mills are for grinding corn and watering live stock and bearly does that. Talk to a ranchier on how its going and he will complain about having to pull his wind mill every year to make the season.
        Wind is a non ferm kenetic energy so they dont pay much for the electricity.
        Avoidied cost per kw hr. at best.
        Most machinery has a rebuild maintainunce sckedule 5000 to 8000 hrs on line time.
        Wind turbins are expected to run twenty years.
        There is no way.

  9. How much did it cost to take them down? How much will it cost to take 1000 of them down?
    The day of reckoning is coming. Who will foot the bill?

  10. “It started as a state mandate,” said Zeeland Mayor Kevin Klynstra. “The BPW (Zeeland Board of Public Works) has to be 15% renewable energy and that was pretty much the reason for the wind turbine. It’s too bad those didn’t work out.”

    How about that. A state mandate. Feel-Good legislation nobody has to pay for.
    Enter a greedy vendor looking to cash in on state-forced spending. The vendor sells absolute junk, grabs the money and runs. We used to call that a “Fly by night operator”.

    It cost the city about $457,000. Right after the turbines went up, the city says things went downhill. Shortly after that, the manufacturer of those units went out of business,” said Andrew Boatright with the city’s public works department.

    “Right after the turbines went up, … things went downhill.”
    They were a Great Investment right up to the moment they were installed. That is some serious quality engineering right there.

    And, once again, the taxpayers and ratepayers are left holding the bag. So it is all good because nobody cares about them. The taxpayers and rate payers can console themselves with the fact that they themselves are the idiots who voted for the idiots who did this to them.

    Ahh, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package. How efficient of you. Ambassador Mollari

    • One thing is clear in reading the article to which you link: the earliest models were inadequate. The engineers examined the models and engaged in an iterative process to improve model performance. This is process is sorely lacking in Climate Science modeling community.

  11. The name (Holland) of the township is ironic. I learned a few years ago on a trip to the Netherlands that the remaining windmills are to educate tourists.They were used for centuries to pump water from low lying farmlands into the Rhine to keep the land arable. Now they use giant electric as the land is, of course, still below sea level. The electricity comes from coal fired plants. The Dutch must chuckle to watch other countries turning to the 1000 year old technology which they have abandoned.

  12. Tearing down wind turbines will be great for the economy, think of all the jobs! Almost as good as it was for erecting these monuments of human stupidity. We need a destruction tax credit to replace the production tax credit and a dis-investment subsidy. Go non-green now!

  13. Wind turbines ARE renewable – easy to sell as SCRAP. Just pay the transport.

    Attention: guard the expensive generator before the removal so that it is not stolen by copper thieves.

    Dangerous, armed copper thieves!

  14. This news will only add to Greta’s anxiety. Poor disturbed child will likely not live to voting age with all the stress she is under.

  15. Seems there are (were) two of these things, each at the end of a soccer field.
    See at: 42.840662, -86.041644

    That doesn’t seem like a good idea! What could go wrong?
    ~~~~~

    Way back in 2013, the small City of Ellensburg (Washington State) went through a similar sequence. One of their 5 towers blew/fell to the ground. With little to show for the “experiment” (with other people’s money) and looking at additional costs – down came all the equipment.
    Officials would prefer that this was not discussed or explained. The local paper, however, got photos:
    All gone . . .

    . . . except the concrete pads.
    Use Google Earth [ 46.991053, -120.570152 ] AND the historic imagery time slider: date – 7/9/2013

    • Following the link “All gone”:

      451: Unavailable due to legal reasons

      We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact webmaster@kvnews.com or call 509-925-1414.

      • Sorry.
        “Ellensburg will pull the plug on parts of the Community Renewable Park, ending a smart-grid demonstration project and tearing down the park’s experimental wind turbines.
        Energy Services Director Larry Dunbar told the Ellensburg City Council Monday completing the project could add $500,000 to $800,000 to a project that has cost about $1.5 million. About $800,000 of the total came from grants, with the rest from the city.
        Bankruptcies, toppled towers
        The contractor Battelle hired to develop the software to run the smart grid never came through.
        Plans for the project included solar concentrators, a type of solar energy generator, but the company, Infinia, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
        Dunbar said the city will try to recover the $80,000 in payments made for the equipment, but it’s unclear if it will get that money back.
        Some turbines performed better than others, but some broke down or needed more power to operate than they actually generated, he said.
        Parts fell from some turbines, and one tipped over in a late April storm.”

        There is more, but the above covers the basics.
        Photo here, if you can get to it:
        https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/dailyrecordnews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/3f/d3f4e2e4-3d9d-11e3-80a4-0019bb2963f4/526aaf36a113f.image.jpg

        • men falling from windmills wasnt uncommon, especially outback stations.
          they were damned good and pretty efficient though
          one hefty hailstorm/duststorm and the solar panels arent going to be working
          the old windmills round here just keep going

        • i liked this bit.

          .The whole demonstration project produced about 103,000 kilowatt hours of electrical power annually, which is about five-hundredths of a percent of total sales by the city electrical utility.

          and the cost?
          was 90c a kwhr when the local retail rate was 6.5c

  16. Tip of the iceberg… In ten years it will be a common problem, tearing down all the dysfunctional wind turbines that were built early on.

    I can’t wait to see how ridiculous this becomes…You want to tear down 100 smaller turbines and build 20 bigger ones in the same place, but then figure out you have hundreds of tons of concrete footings that have to be torn out and replaced because they are too small. Or you just leave them and build around them so that the land is permanently ruined for growing anything.

    Then at some point they figure out that vertical wind turbines, while less efficient, actually last longer and so start building those. Lots of investors and companies make a ton of money but electricity users pay out the nose for all of these…stuff.

  17. I bet the turbine project was extremely successful.

    ‘The city of Zeeland built the turbines in 2009 in an effort to use more sustainable energy.’

    Far more likely they were built to make certain politicians look good to the voters. Betcha they were quite SUCCESSFUL.

  18. The city of Zeeland, MI has a population of 5504 (2017 wiki). That’s about $4000 per household down the drain. A truly sad tale; “Broken with the Wind?”

  19. Robert of Texas,
    Scary thought, doubling down on stupid wind. Good chance it will happen for at least another decade/$500 billion. It’ll need to get as bad as it is in Germany (electricity costs nearly doubled) before the voters start resisting.

  20. And there was I, enjoying a moment of celebration thinking that they were talking about New Zealand! While we are often running a little behind more technologically-advanced countries, I wish that we could run a bit further behind, to benefit from the disasters many are experiencing with these windmills. Marvelous examples of engineering ingenuity perhaps, but undoubtedly suffering from the difficulties of carrying out sufficient full-scale proving trials before quantity manufacture? Perhaps these things are a result of too many companies allowing accountants to have more influence than engineers.

  21. Chinese are big in the wind farms, Gansu Wind Farm, when completed it will have up to 7,000 wind turbines, while in the USA Roscoe Wind Farm, Texas has only 630.
    UK has the world’s largest offshore setup with 175 turbines (85m above surface, 120m radius) built at the Thames estuary at cost of US$ 5 billion.

    • We motorsailed past that Thames estuary offshore wind farm a couple of years ago and I shot the most boring video imaginable of the vast majority of them doing nothing at all. Then I just missed videoing an unintentionally rather beautiful moment as a zephyr of wind briefly set a long line of them in motion. The arms slowly began to turn in sequence down the line as the wind picked up for a moment, just like one of those scenes from an Esther Williams movie.

  22. “Shortly after that, the manufacturer of those units went out of business,” said Andrew Boatright with the city’s public works department.
    Boatright says it made finding parts to repair the turbines nearly impossible and incredibly costly.”

    Can you say scam? I know that you can! It’s easy. Just put your lips together and say it!

    • Scam?

      As I mention in a comment elsewhere, I feel this is less a scam and more a complete lack of understanding of the industry.

      I would hazard that the OEM got into the industry based on the pie in the sky dreams being promoted by the ‘Renewables Movement’. They then got out of the industry, possibly because it was harder than they assumed, possibly because they were a small fish building small turbines when the trend was for bigger and bigger units, possibly because they never intended to be a long term player and were only in it for the quick money.

      The customer got into wind because everyone was telling them that Green was the new black, because it was inevitable, because wind power was free and would pay for itself in the first two years. What they didn’t understand was a wind turbine is not like owning a bus for the local community route where all you need to do is put air in the tires, fuel in the tank and take it in for a several every 5,000km. A wind turbine is a complex system with very awkward maintaining requirements (at best you need a long ladder and a Working From Heights permit) and sparable items with very long lead times. To mix a metaphor, a windfarm is for life, not just for Christmas, and the new owners are now discovering their new puppy needs constant walks, brushing and is inclined to eat expensive furniture.

      To mix another metaphor, when life gives you lemons, make sure you also pay for the glass pitcher, the ice tray, the knife and juicer or you are going to be stuck with slowly rotting citrus fruits you have no use for.

      To me both the OEM and the customer got into an industry they failed to research or understand properly, and if anyone deserves the ‘SCAM’ label then it is the Social Elite telling us the world is ending.

  23. (from the article…)

    ” “Shortly after that, the manufacturer of those units went out of business,” said Andrew Boatright with the city’s public works department.

    Boatright says it made finding parts to repair the turbines nearly impossible and incredibly costly. ”

    Reading between the lines this public works department stepped out of their field of expertise and got completely burnt. I speculate that they looked at the buy cost of the units and completely skimmed over the through life support, assuming in their innocence that wind turbines are just like any other piece of equipment where you take them in of a service once a year.

    In my industry selling the customer equipment is a Good Thing, but the real icing on the cake from a business point of view is then also winning the Through Life Support contract, because that is where all the money really is if you are a serious engineering company with long term plans.

    Seems to me that the company who installed the turbines weren’t interested (or where unable) and the customer was not even aware of the requirements, perhaps assuming any problems would just be standard warranty type claims.

    More fool them I say. They would have probably been better off environmentally, financially and from a power supply aspect by simply buying a couple of gen sets and using the left over money to plant a couple of thousand trees.

    • Take it from someone who knows: Managers, engineers, financiers, attorneys and the like should never step outside their areas of specific expertise. And never, never, never and never trust a vendor’s estimates. The disastrous examples of people, especially petty bureaucrats and politicians, doing such are legion. It is usually others that are forced to pick up after them.

      There is no such thing as a free lunch. There are reasons that no responsible entity has independently financed “renewables.”

  24. “Over a 20-year period, the turbines were expected to create enough energy to pay off the almost half-million dollars used to build them. At the near halfway mark, it’s not even close to that goal…” You don’t need to be an economist or a rocket scientist to know the basic reasons for justifying wind energy are bogus. Yet we’ll still keep subsidizing them.

    • It takes 20 years to pay back your investment in current (then) dollars, using optimistic projections, on a 15-year (at best) project life. I have a bridge to sell you.

  25. “The park was chosen by engineers who believed it was the best place to generate wind.”

    I thought the idea was to generate power.

  26. U of Illinois Urbanna did a paper investigating “…Geared turbofan engine technology, magnetically leviated bearings and continuously variable transmissions…”.
    Wind Turbine “drives” could be made to last 20 years, no problem just send money. But the Production Tax Credit only lasts 10 years so if the turbine holds together that long, “mission accomplished”. My limited findings suggest that the original wind developer typically sells their asset to a Utility after 10 years for $0.10 ion the dollar and everybody is happy (except the taxpayers who has to make up for the revenue loss to the Treasury gifted to the wind investor by our clueless and or corrupt government.

  27. Illic ‘unus natus perparvis.

    We’re twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville, just tell us your idea and we’ll vote for it.

  28. Interesting site: innocentive.com. They ask solutions for mainly industrial technical or logistical challenges. Prizes to be won.

    A few month ago one of the challenges was to make proposals for the safe and envirofriendly dismantling of windturbines at the end of their productive life (whatever that is). Would you believe it? Clearly they don’t or didn’t know what to do with the leftovers.

    My solution: don’t build them in the first place.

    • “My solution: don’t build them in the first place.”

      That’s the best solution of all. Windmills raise electricity prices to consumers, are harmful to the environment, and are completely unnecessary.

      If windmill subsidies went away, then windmills would go away, because they are not economically viable without subsidies. Even if they were economically viable they should go away, because that doesn’t offset the harm they do.

    • Calling Ron Popeil and his direct response marketing company Ronco……it slices, it dices…..

  29. I find this interesting as I used to drive by these going home from work every day. I do not recall them moving all that much.

  30. The debate over wind turbine bearings need not take place.
    Wind turbines do not produce 50/60Hz energy.
    They are useless and were only built for the subsidies.
    Wind turbines are a scam.

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