Tur­bine trou­bles

Gen­er­a­tor down al­most one year

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY NANCY MACPHEE

A bat­tle over re­pair es­ti­mates could prompt le­gal ac­tion by the Town of Kens­ing­ton when it comes to fix­ing a wind tur­bine out of op­er­a­tion for al­most a year.

The tur­bine, sit­u­ated at the town’s sewage treat­ment plant, has been in­op­er­a­ble since Jan­uary 2015, with a faulty gen­er­a­tor at is­sue.

The town re­cently was re­im­bursed, through its in­sur­ance com­pany, the cost to re­pair the tur­bine, but hold­ing up the work is the tur­bine’s man­u­fac­turer.

At a re­cent coun­cil meet­ing, the town’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer, Ge­off Baker, threat­ened le­gal ac­tion if an ad­e­quate es­ti­mate didn’t come soon from North­ern Power Sys­tems.

“I emailed the con­tact there on Thurs­day of last week re­quest­ing a copy of the quote for Fri­day and if not we would be hav­ing dis­cus­sions with our lawyer about po­ten­tial le­gal ac­tion,” Baker told coun­cil.

Re­pair­ing the mal­func­tion­ing gen­er­a­tor is a cost that won’t be cov­ered by the man­u­fac­turer since the work is about six months out­side the five-year war­ranty. What caused the mal­func­tion is not known, added Baker.

“We were quite dis­ap­pointed that a tur­bine with a 30-year de­sign life had a ma­jor com­po­nent fail­ure six years into its op­er­a­tion,” he said Tues­day. “This is the first time that we have run into an is­sue.”

Since the meet­ing he has been in con­tact with the man­u­fac­turer.

“I was told we would have a re­fined quote at some point to­day. Then, there are some lo­gis­ti­cal things that need to be worked out, i.e., train­ing and things of that na­ture,” added Baker.

The cost to re­pair the 100-kilo­watt tur­bine’s gen­er­a­tor is es­ti­mated to be $75,000 to $80,000, all of which will be cov­ered by in­sur­ance. The town’s in­surer is only pro­vid­ing re­im­burse­ment based on a re­fur­bished gen­er­a­tor, not a new one, which is what the com­pany in­cluded in its ear­lier quote. The tur­bine, com­mis­sioned in 2009, pow­ers the town’s sewage treat­ment plant. Since be­ing off­line the town has had to pay ad­di­tional elec­tric­ity costs to en­sure there was power to the plant, ex­penses not cov­ered by in­sur­ance.

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