Brickyard Pond, new turbine site?

Brickyard Pond, new turbine site?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ron Russo's comments to Town Council 10/6/08

Ronald D. Russo

October 8, 2008

Barrington Town Council

Barrington Town Hall

County Road

Barrington, RI 02806

RE: Comments Given at October 6, 2008 Town Council Meeting

(CREB recommendation meeting)

Dear Town Council Members,

Per the request of council member June Speakman, the following is a brief summary of my comments made at the October 6, 2008 Town Council meeting. Also included is supporting documentation.


Ronald D. Russo




I (Ron Russo) asked the CREB Chairman a number of questions and the CREB Chairman confirmed the following:

1. Lumus Engineering (an approved bidder) was the sole bidder to come in under the $2.4 million approved amount.

2. Lumus provided a bid for a 600kw turbine from Elecon, an off shore Indian manufacturer.

3. To date, Lumus has never supplied and has never constructed this model turbine.

4. Lumus has not conducted any engineering studies at the Legion Way site to confirm the suitability of this turbine to the needs of Barrington.

Lumus states:

“wind projects are very involved. ‘One size fits all’ units do NOT fit all. All factors must be taken into consideration. Wind studies….etc. must be carefully planned.” (see attached Exhibit 1).

I stated that hard actual wind studies are necessary to confirm:

a) a wind turbine makes economic sense at a particular location

b) savings will actually occur

c) proper type and model of turbine will fit that wind profile


While Elecon Engineering is a manufacturer of industrial gear boxes in India, press releases say:

1. “After a sabbatical of six years from the wind energy sector, Elecon is now re-entering this business (see December 2007 press release Exhibit 2).”

2. “Elecon will begin expansion of wind turbine manufacturing by April 2008.”

(see attached Exhibit 2)

3. “Up to March 31, 2008, the company has supplied four wind turbine generators.” (see attached Exhibit 3)

4. “Elecon has entered into a new business – wind turbines.” (see Aug 2008 press release attached Exhibit 4)

5. “Elecon has yet to forge a technical tie up.” (see Aug. 2008 press release attached Exhibit 4)

6. “Elecon has recently signed an agreement with the Centre for Wind Energy Technology for certification of 600kw windmills” Note, the CWET is an Indian government agency. (see attached Exhibit 5)

When testing for survivability in a cyclone/hurricane conditions, 14 out of 14 Elecon turbines were destroyed. The units failed testing. (see attached Exhibit 6)

From all of this it’s apparent Lumus does not have an extensive track record of building and testing this equipment. As such I have limited confidence in this equipment.


The TurboWinds (Elecon) power curve graph (see attached) confirms that this unit has a cut-in speed of 8 mph. Below that speed it does not generate any electricity. Likewise, according to Elecon, even if the turbine ran constantly at the 13.4 mph speed projected yet not confirmed by actual wind studies this unit would produce only 100kw per hour which is only about 17% of its efficiency. (see attached Exhibit 7)

As wind speeds progress above 13.4 mph, the turbine becomes more efficient. As such this turbine (which Barrington received a bid on) is most efficient at around 25 mph.

This appears to be a high wind speed turbine. It seems to be an “off land”, in the ocean, or oceanside piece of equipment.

If most of the wind at Legion Way proves to be at low speed year round (0 up to 13.4 mph) then another type of turbine may prove to be more efficient with a greater return to taxpayers.

My point is: we simply do not know which turbine is most appropriate for any site unless reliable year round wind studies are conducted. Only then will we have greater confidence that we have selected the right equipment prior to spending taxpayers’ money.


I’ve included a recent article on Suzlon Engineering (see attached Exhibit 8). This is the largest off-shore Indian turbine company. They have quality problems.

One must understand that these off-shore manufacturers are under license from more mature and expensive European companies, and as such they apparently have learning curve and quality problems.

Lumus is being certified and trained to install Elecon units. This does not mean the Elecon units have a long track record of quality and sustainability.


Lastly, I know Council member Schwartz has been particularly concerned with setbacks for land based turbines. Attached is a report from March 2006 from the French Academy of Medicine regarding the harmful effects of sound related to wind turbines. The French Academy recommends:

“Halting wind turbine construction closer than 1.5km (4,900 feet) from residences”. (see attached Exhibit 9)

Meanwhile, the CREB suggests 1,000 feet is an OK setback at Legion Way.

Click to enlarge objects.