United States

United States

Obituary for a grand old lady

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On February 7, 2003, MOD-5B was laid to rest. Services were performed by Controlled Demolition Inc. It was a sad day for us who had the pleasure to know her. Born in 1986 as the biggest wind turbine in the world to three parents, Department of Energy, NASA and Boeing, she was put into service after a native Hawaiian ceremony wearing a price tag of $85 million, but went out of this world without a prayer.

She was a great lady with a mind of her own, but when she was treated nicely, she would perform very well. At the time she retired from active duty at the end of 1996 she had achieved the second largest total production of any wind turbine in the world, only a few percent behind a Swedish turbine.

She did experience health problems. Her first healthcare provider had her de-rated from 3.2 MW to 700 kW. The second got her back to full production, but she had already developed some teeter bearing problems for which a cure was started just before the provider ran out of money. A year later her vital organs (gearbox and generator) were donated to NREL.

To most people, at the end she was just a 450 ton heap of scrap metal, but to us, who had the opportunity to help her to keep running, she will remain in our memories as a very special and dear old lady forever.

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