News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bayonne, NJ has to send non-functioning wind turbine generator back to manufacturer in Italy for possible repair, warranty has expired-Jersey Journal

Round trip travel from New Jersey to Italy for wind generator repair (assuming repair is possible), will spew massive amounts of CO2:

7/24/15, "Bayonne losing $25K a month with windmill generator on the fritz, officials say," The Jersey Journal, Amanda Eisenberg

"The wind turbine used to power the city's Oak Street and Fifth Street pumping stations has gone motionless, costing the city roughly $25,000 a month in energy costs, officials confirmed.

And there's more possible bad news-Bayonne may be on the hook for roughly $350,000 to replace the broken generator.

The 260-foot structure, off East Fifth Street, went into operation in June 2012, with city officials touting energy savings of up to $300,000 a year. But the wind turbine stopped working in June.

The Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority which owns the windmill, and United Water, which maintains and operates it, have not determined what went wrong, or who is responsible for repairing or replacing the expensive equipment.

Boyle said a new generator could cost up to $350,000.

Municipal Utility Authority Executive Director Tim Boyle said he was told these types of generators are supposed to last 20 years. The city got three years out of its generator, which he doesn't expect to be repaired or replaced until at least November.

That would cost the city roughly $125,000 in extra energy expenses.

"The generator's official warranty has expired," Boyle said, who noted that the plan is to ship it back to the manufacturer in Italy, where it will be inspected
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United Water spokesman David Johnson said UW, the company that monitors and maintains the windmill under a 40-year deal, was maintaining it on a monthly basis prior to June. A service contract between the parties was signed after the generator stopped working, he said.

One portion of the contract states "any construction or manufacturing defects relating to the wind turbine" count as "Excluded Liabilities" that aren't part of the "Assumed Liabilities" of United Water -- suggesting it's the MUA's responsibility to repair or replace the wind turbine if it's not running due to a "construction or manufacturing" defect. 

MUA workers detected vibrations coming from the turbine in June and the manufacturer shut off the generator remotely and then sent a representive to inspect it, Boyle said.

For the past two years, the turbine has produced about 3.3 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power 600 single-family homes for a year.

The expected five-month shutdown will cost the city an estimated $125,000 in enegry savings, but Boyle said it will not directly impact taxpayers.

"It will have zero effect on anyone other than city management," Boyle said. "It's a burden for the city's revenue stream that's being interrupted.""

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2010 article: Italian mafia enjoys lucrative global warming wind turbine handouts:
 
9/5/2010, "Mafia cash in on lucrative EU wind farm handouts-especially in Sicily," UK Telegraph,

"An ill wind is blowing over Italy's green revolution, as the Mafia seek to capitalise on generous grants for renewable energy."


""Nothing earns more than a wind farm," said Edoardo Zanchini, an environmental campaigner who has investigated Mafia infiltration of the industry. "Anything that creates wealth interests the Mafia."... 

"Renewable energy seems like a good thing, run by saintly people saving the world," said Jason Wright, a senior director with Kroll, which performs background checks on renewable energy schemes on behalf of legitimate investors, and which has documented a sharp rise in the number of wind farms with suspect ownership."... 

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2009 article: Even president of Italy’s National Association of Wind Energy was arrested:

11/17/2009, "Mafia Ties to Wind Fraud in Italy Investigated," environmentalleader.com


"Italian finance police have arrested two prominent businessmen — including one with ties to a former investor in the Cape Wind project in Nantucket in the wind energy sector on charges of fraud. Arrested were Oreste Vigorito, head of the IVPC energy company and president of Italy’s National Association of Wind Energy, and Vito Nicastri, a Sicilian business associate, according to the Financial Times.

Anti-mafia prosecutors in Sicily also have launched a parallel investigation, reports the Financial Times.

Local officials, Mafia crime gangs and entrepreneurs have been tied together in schemes for fixing permits for wind farms that were constructed with local subsidies, then sold to foreign firms, according to an earlier Financial Times article.

In the most recent arrests, according to the European Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, Oreste Vigorito has ties to Brian Caffyn, a former investor in the Cape Wind project, which has been criticized as a poor investment for taxpayers, reports Dakota Voice.

Vigorito once owned IVPC with Brian Caffyn, founder of Cape Wind and First Wind, according to the Boston Herald. Caffyn sold his interest in Cape Wind in 2002 and sold his interest in IVPC in 2005. Vigorito has never had any involvement in Cape Wind, according to Mark Rodgers, Communications Director for the Cape Wind project.

The Herald reports that Caffyn was surprised to learn of Vigorito’s arrest:

“I read about it in the papers, and I was very surprised,” Brian Caffyn said from Hong Kong, where he is now building wind-energy farms in China and the Philippines.
“I know of no fraud with (former partners) Oreste (Vigorito) and IVPC,” said Caffyn, a Cape Cod native and Babson College graduate.
The “Gone with the Wind” sting operation, started in 2007, netted 11 others who were charged but were not arrested. Italian police told Financial Times that the fraud charges are related to obtaining millions of dollars in public subsidies to construct wind farms that never worked. Police confiscated seven wind farms with 185 turbines in Sicily linked to IVPC, according to the article.

The anti-fraud team also is investigating IVPC’s sales of wind farms to foreign companies, and already has sent requests for documentation to five companies located in the Netherlands and Spain, as well as IVPC’s Italian affiliates in Ireland and the UK, according to the article.

Fraud appears to be an emerging problem in the nascent clean energy sector. Most recently, two clean energy auditors — SGS UK and DNV — were accused of not properly auditing projects in carbon trading markets.

Meanwhile, the UK is dealing with carbon trading credit scams that could cost millions of dollars. In Australia, to prevent bogus carbon offset schemes, federal police agents can now enter company premises and request paperwork to monitor their emissions."

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Most of Bayonne Italian wind turbine, $4.7million, paid for via US taxpayer via Obama 2009 stimulus:

6/18/2009, "Uncle Sam paying most of Bayonne's windmill tab," Jersey Journal

"The lion's share of the money for the $5.5 million windmill that's to run Bayonne's sewage pumping station will come from President Barack Obama's stimulus package, officials said.

Roughly $4.7 million is earmarked for the 260-foot-high windmill and turbine in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and will be administered by the New Jersey Environmental infrastructure Trust, officials said....
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More on Uncle Sam paying most of windmill's tab in today's Jersey Journal."

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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.