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    Wind turbine builder, installer to get letter from city’s lawyer


    January 17, 2022 - Richard Crumbacker

     

      CRISFIELD— The city’s 750 kW wind turbine, which was out of commission for four months following an August lightning strike, was repaired in December but went down soon after — this time due to a faulty hydraulic pump.

      Frustrated over the thousands of dollars the city lost and is losing in electricity-expense offsets, Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Morgan said the city solicitor has been engaged to see what arrangement can be made with the manufacturer, Aeronatica Windpower, and the installation contractor, Bearing Construction.

      The turbine was substantially complete in March 2017 which is when a five-year warranty and maintenance guarantee commenced. Attorney R. Mac Baldwin said the language in the original agreement has been deciphered as to what each party’s responsibilities and rights are.

      They are “responsible for the downtime,” Mr. Baldwin said, and he is sending a letter to both the builder and installer reminding them they are “on the hook now and what can be done to avoid us having to litigate this issue, obviously litigation is not a goal of anyone,” adding that “sometimes the stick works better than the carrot.”

      Mrs. Morgan told the Mayor and Council during last Wednesday’s work session said the turbine went offline on Jan. 3 during the snowfall, and resets were tried both onsite and from the remote monitoring station “and it did not work.”

      She said the parties that maintain the turbine haven’t had to do anything for five months so that should extend the contract “because it’s been broke.”

      Mr. Baldwin said he expects a prompt reply from Aeronautica and Bearing once his letter reaches them.

      The turbine is designed to feed into the grid and serve as an offset to the electricity consumed at the wastewater treatment plant.

      That savings has been nearly $5,000 or more each month.

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