Charlestown Turbine Sinks 2 Inches; Ground Stabilization Planned
The blades stopped turning in January, and now we're learning why.
The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority shut down Charlestown's wind turbine in January because it has settled two inches into the ground, a sink that was one inch more than expected, according to a Boston Herald article on the turbine.
In that article, MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey emphasized that, “There’s no risk of it leaning over or falling,” and also said that this is ”one of those things that happens in a project. It’s manageable, it’s safe, and the remedy will come quickly under the warranty.”
The Massachusetts Water Resource Authority also told the Herald that possible causes of the sink include "soil conditions and vibrations from a sudden shutdown triggered by high winds," but an article on South Coast Today was more direct.
"The Charlestown turbine was built on a landfill," it says, and quotes Sumul Shah, president of Lumus Construction, the firm that installed the turbine in Charlestown, on the solution to this sinking problem.
"We'll add a cementitious material into the ground and it will make it more stable." Also referred to as a "grout injection into the ground," Shah says this solution has worked in the past.
Laskey and the MWRA are motivated to get the turbine running; as Laskey says, "The urgency is to get the turbine working again. We were making electricity like gangbusters through the fall. It was magnificent."