Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 03/16/2007 - 16:40.

Here is another in the series of my posts which are critical of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mason’s Wind Energy “Task Force’s” decision to pursue – at tax payer’s expense and risk – “about 10 two megawatt wind turbines to be placed about 3 miles off of Cleveland.”


I have read the 80 some odd page report – most of which is filler – and believe that the purported goal of wind on the lake is a wild goose chase for NEO – with the net result being NEO will fall even further behind in advancing alternative energy manufacturing and use. Perhaps falling behind  is even the real goal.  After all, Ohio is a coal state. I’ll support that line of cynicism in an upcoming post.


For now, check out the photo above.    Turbines need servicing.  At the bottom right corner of the photo you can see a large new yellow-orange hydraulic crane.  I didn’t even see the crane at the time I took this 12X telephoto shot off a tripod.  Today, when I began to develop the RAW file for REALNEO,  I did a “blow up” on the shot and sharpened it up to bring out the crane and the two service trucks – a Budget rental and a PU truck.   Though I wouldn’t bet my life on it, I  think the crane has tipped over on its side – from my experience with hydraulic cranes, I think we are looking at the underside of the telescopic boom section and the underside of the lattice jib.  If it is the underside, the crane – obscured behind the vegetation -  has rolled over.  Not good.


The shot is in Palm Springs near Cabazon.  The turbines have been up for a few years and 2 of the 20 in this line of towers have their turbine blades removed and lying on the ground. Maybe blade fatigue, maybe a main shaft bearing let go, maybe the gearboxes had to come out so they are doing a major servicing.  I don’t know and didn’t have the time to go over and ask.  I should have – then I would know the true status of the crane. 


Back to Bill Mason, Dave Nash and the “task force”….Here we are in NEO with zero wind turbine experience…and Mr. Mason and Mr. Nash are recommending to the County Commissioners that the Commissioners take on what I believe for NEO now is “Mission Impossible”.   Mr. Mason and Mr. Nash want to go from zero experience to the most difficult technical feat in the wind business in one step.  


So, since I like to look at wind turbines on a nuts and bolts level, I want to ask the “task force” members – any one of them – how do you plan on servicing these units – or how do you think someone else is going to service the turbines – and remember:

1.          even in in the summer with summer’s calm winds, it took Fletcher Miller’s crew three shots to complete the helicopter placement of the crib anemometer tower.  Are you going to tell me that a helicopter can land on the turbines – in the winter – to service (only the very light service work) them?  So when they break down they will sit idle until spring, isn’t that right?

2.          Or will they be serviced by water? Whose jack up boat capable of carrying an adequate 300 ton plus crane will Cuyahoga rely on and have at its disposal?  In the winter ice?  


Now we know that the 3 County Commissioners didn’t come up with the idea of either the “task force” or wind on water by themselves.  Someone brought the pre-packaged idea to the Commissioners.  Who brought the idea to the Commissioners?   Cleveland Foundation?  Dave Nash?  Lisa Hong?  Love to know. 

Palm Springs crane down turbine service.JPG142.21 KB
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I've been thinking the same about the passing wind

Great photo - you are the one man wind task force and it looks like you are issuing your final report. I've been thinking about the upkeep offshore, especially in ice... how does that work in the North Sea.

I've read the report and agree with you about the fluff - worse, it is supposed to be an advanced energy task force yet blows off all but this one proposal... they have a lot more work to do, and it is not sexy or cool stuff but real work... will they put in the time to actually plan out an advanced energy strategy for the region or is this just window dressing. More important, are any of the folks working on the task force at all the right people? Way off track for now.

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Damn they are big

Are these 2 MW?

When I think about the turbine issue it brings to mind the digital divide issue... must have Gigabit for a few before everyone has access... what we get is a major disconnect where everyone but a few big players are losers... or worse everyone loses.

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