Update August 14, 2012 -- Work has been completed and the Charlestown Wind Turbine is back up and running.
Update June 12, 2012 -- The heavy equipment needed to reinforce the foundation has arrived and the contractor, Lumus Construction, will be shutting down the turbine starting tomorrow while the work is being done. This work is expected take about 6 to 8 weeks to complete.
Update April 6, 2012 -- The work to reinforce the foundation has begun and the contractor, Lumus Construction, has mobilized on the site. In the next week or two, New England Foundation Co. will begin to install a concrete ring and new piles around the existing foundation. Once the heavy equipment arrives on site, the turbine will not be running. This work is expected take about 10 weeks to complete.
Update March 9, 2012 -- The engineers are putting the finishing touches on the plan to correct the foundation issue. In the meantime, the turbine should begin operating again at low wind speeds sometime next week.
We have received a number of inquiries from people who have noticed that the Charlestown wind turbine has not been operating.
During scheduled maintenance, it was determined that the foundation had settled. While some settling and re-torquing of the bolts that tie the foundation to the anchors had been expected with what is called a “floating foundation,” the settling exceeded what was anticipated.
It is important to note that this type of floating foundation is very common for wind turbines around the world.
Over the last few weeks, the contractor, Lumus, three engineering firms, and MWRA engineers have assessed the situation. First, and most importantly, all of the engineers agree that the turbine structure remains safe and has been constructed with a safety factor that is twice what is required. While the structure has settled, it remains level and plumb and all components remain operationally ready.
The engineers have determined that it is prudent to stiffen or reinforce the foundation before the turbine is restarted. The contractor has submitted options for this work, which are under review. This work falls under the warranty.
Updates will follow as work progresses.