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Kittery made wrong choice of wind turbine

This is a stiff wind turbine, and Kittery is in a low wind speed regime. The committee looked at the cost of the three turbines proposed and almost totally ignored if it would produce the power. Saco has a wind regime that is about 10-15 percent than higher than Kittery's wind. This turbine should be installed at 50 meters - another 35-plus feet higher than the permit calls for. ...A comparison of the three machines was provided in table format by Seacoast Consulting, but the most important piece of data on the three proposals - the cut on wind speed was not in the comparison. The committee chose the machine based solely on the cost. If Kittery were purchasing a boat and a bid came in at a cost of $190,000 and the other came in at $210,000, and the seller of the two boats did not tell you that the first boat would not float but the second boat was sea worthy, it would be a poor choice to buy the cheaper boat. Kittery should do the same with a wind turbine. Buy a turbine that will turn - not one that will sit there for all but two-three months and not turn.

I am 100 percent pro-wind, but 50 percent against this particular turbine (EW-15) being installed in Kittery at the height they are asking for. The EW-15 has been installed at two other locations in Maine. One (Blueberry processor in Orland, Maine) took it down because of bad PR - it did not turn.

This is a stiff wind turbine, and Kittery is in a low wind speed regime. The committee looked at the cost of the three turbines proposed and almost totally ignored if it would produce the power. Saco has a wind regime that is about 10-15 percent higher than Kittery's wind. This turbine should be installed at 50 meters - another 35-plus feet higher than the permit calls for.

On the other hand, if the Town Council would look at the power curve of the three machines that came in with a bid rather than the overall cost, they might have picked the correct machine, that would turn in the winds in Kittery. The Emergent proposal had added a 30 percent markup to the cost of the turbine it proposed. Had the committee bothered to look at the power curve and called the proposed supplier of the machines, it probably would have made a different choice.

Had Emergent added the typical 8-11... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

I am 100 percent pro-wind, but 50 percent against this particular turbine (EW-15) being installed in Kittery at the height they are asking for. The EW-15 has been installed at two other locations in Maine. One (Blueberry processor in Orland, Maine) took it down because of bad PR - it did not turn.

This is a stiff wind turbine, and Kittery is in a low wind speed regime. The committee looked at the cost of the three turbines proposed and almost totally ignored if it would produce the power. Saco has a wind regime that is about 10-15 percent higher than Kittery's wind. This turbine should be installed at 50 meters - another 35-plus feet higher than the permit calls for.

On the other hand, if the Town Council would look at the power curve of the three machines that came in with a bid rather than the overall cost, they might have picked the correct machine, that would turn in the winds in Kittery. The Emergent proposal had added a 30 percent markup to the cost of the turbine it proposed. Had the committee bothered to look at the power curve and called the proposed supplier of the machines, it probably would have made a different choice.

Had Emergent added the typical 8-11 percent markup, the cost would be comparable and the machine will turn at the lower wind speeds than the one that was low bidder. The lighthouse proposal clearly stated it was only lukewarm on this project because of the light winds, and their machine has a better power curve than the EW-15 has as well.

The Orland machine referenced on page 57 on this report written at UMaine came down in November 2007. They offered it for sale in March 2007 and it was a big disappointment to the Blueberry processor and Endless Energy Corporation.

This wind turbine works perfectly fine in Alaska, Texas and Kansas, where there are stiff winds. I am against permitting this particular manufacturer's machine because their marketing practices are deceptive, initially telling us that the payback was six years and orally promising 90,000 kWhr/annual production. When they came in with their final bid it was span of production dropping to 80,000 kWhr/annually and they would not put it in the contract.

The Kittery energy committee has 12 or more months worth of data at 13 meters. The data was extrapolated to 120 feet. I believe the extrapolation is at least 12 percent too high. The mean monthly data was plotted out and two different versions were plotted up and shown and I am not sure if either version is correct.

Unless the data is verified by someone and the extrapolation shown in better detail, I am against purchasing this machine unless it is placed up higher. The AWS Truwind data shows an annual wind speed of 4-4.5 m/s at 30 meters (~98 ft) and 5-5.1 m/s at 50 meters.

The bulk of the wind speeds are therefore lower than the average annual wind speed at the proposed 125 feet. This particular turbine does not begin to turn until the wind speed reaches 4.6 m/s. The two other wind turbines looked at start turning at 3.2 m/s and 4.0 m/s and both will produce more power at the wind speeds in Kittery.

A comparison of the three machines was provided in table format by Seacoast Consulting, but the most important piece of data on the three proposals - the cut on wind speed was not in the comparison. The committee chose the machine based solely on the cost.

If Kittery were purchasing a boat and a bid came in at a cost of $190,000 and the other came in at $210,000, and the seller of the two boats did not tell you that the first boat would not float but the second boat was sea worthy, it would be a poor choice to buy the cheaper boat. Kittery should do the same with a wind turbine. Buy a turbine that will turn - not one that will sit there for all but two-three months and not turn.

The wind data and its interpretation and interpolation that this decision is based on should be shown to the public. Kittery should ask for a second round of proposals and make a choice based on the best production for the investment dollar, not on the cheapest bid. This should be an informed decision. This decision was made too quickly and without adequate analysis.

Editor's note: This letter highlights the perils when communities choose wind power without understanding the facts at hand.


Source: http://www.seacoastonline.c...

JAN 29 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/13106-kittery-made-wrong-choice-of-wind-turbine
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