According to reports, more than two years after the town’s wind turbine was supposed to start spinning, town officials have arranged to bring in technicians from India in hopes of getting the beleaguered turbine working.
Victor Diniak, the town’s public works director, said he expects two technicians from the turbine manufacturer, India-based Siva Group, to arrive later this month to review the installation of the turbine, which stands 210 feet over Route 53 and is supposed to generate electricity for the town’s water treatment plant. Diniak said he hopes the technicians will have addressed lingering issues with the turbine before they leave the country.
The turbine was supposed to be completed and operational by February 2011, but the company hired to install it, Woburn-based Lumus Construction, has run into a series of problems, including an accident in December in which a worker fell 24 feet inside the turbine tower and had to be removed by a specially trained rescue team. Town officials decided in January to fire Lumus, but they later backed off at the advice of the town’s bonding company. They decided instead to hire another firm to oversee Lumus’ work as the job is completed.
Diniak said the company continues to struggle with a mechanical component meant to slow the spinning of the turbine during the switch from the generator used when the wind is strong to the one used when the wind is lighter. He said technicians are trying to determine whether there is a defect in a tank that stores hydraulic fluid for the braking system.
“They’re getting closer to the end point, but there are still some issues that need to be resolved,” Diniak said.
He said the town arranged to have the manufacturer’s technicians inspect Lumus’ work and will incur some expense in bringing them to town, but he called it “very short money.” Town officials have said that language in its contract with Lumus will require the company to pay the town $1,000 for every day past the February 2011 deadline that the turbine is not completed. The final price tag for the project was originally expected to be about $790,000, with state grants covering part of the cost.
Diniak said the need to work with companies in different parts of the world has contributed to the slow pace of progress.
“When people are working here, they’re sleeping there,” he said. “It’s very difficult to get everyone together at the same time, but that’s the nature of the world economy.”