Willmar wind turbine out of commission until June

One of Willmar’s two wind turbines will be out of action until this summer. Willmar Municipal Utilities General Manager John Harren says they hydraulic pitch control assembly has failed and needs to be replaced. Harren says the turbine was manufactured by German based Dewind, and the parts need to be shipped here from overseas.

Harren says the new parts have a lead time of about 14 weeks, so if all goes as planned, they hope to have the turbine up and operating again sometime in June. WMU’s Kevin Marty says it’s possible to replace the wind turbine unit with a newer one with easier to obtain parts, but at this time that would be a very expensive options.

Harren says when both turbines are operating at optimum efficiency they generate less than 1% of the city’s electricity. The turbines have had a rough history, having broken down frequently in their 7-year history. Some of the problems have included not being equipt with heaters, being damaged by a falling ladder inside one of the units, bad computers and hydraulic leaks.

(JP Cola, KWLM)

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