BAYONNE -- Significant progress was made in repairing the city's dormant wind turbine on Tuesday afternoon when its massive blades -- which had been lowered to the ground to make way for repairs -- were hoisted back up and reattached.
Workers successfully reattached the three blades to the turbine using an enormous crane after at least one failed attempt on Saturday and another failed attempt Tuesday morning.
In previous attempts, they lifted up the blades but couldn't reattach them due to blustery wind conditions, city Municipal Utilities Authority Executive Director Tim Boyle said.
The 260-foot wind turbine, located at Oak and Fifth streets, has cost the city more than $200,000 in energy savings since breaking down last June. Repairs were originally scheduled to take place in November but were delayed until the beginning of this month.
Boyle said that Leitner-Poma America, the company leading the repair work, will be running tests on the turbine beginning Wednesday to make sure everything is working property.
"As far as we know, within the next couple days, it'll be recertified, and it'll be good to go," he said, adding that he's "absolutely thrilled" to see repairs reach this point.
Repairs on the turbine consisted of switching out a broken bearing that is part of the turbine's generator with a new bearing.
Boyle said Leitner-Poma America, which is affiliated with the company that made the turbine, will be carrying out "a forensic examination" of what caused the bearing to break.
"They are as anxious in the results of this testing as we are. That's their aim, that's their product. They're very concerned," he said.
Boyle has previously said that the broken bearing was supposed to last 20 years, but only lasted three, and that "if there's a finger to be pointed or fault to be assigned, that will happen in time."
He said on Tuesday that it's not yet known when the examination will be completed.
Every month that the turbine went unrepaired cost the city roughly $25,000 in energy savings, Boyle has said. SUEZ, formerly United Water, monitors and maintains the turbine under a 40-year deal with the city MUA, which maintains ownership of it.
When it was working, the turbine produced about 3.3 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power 600 single-family homes for a year.