An 18/80 Lagerwey demonstration wind turbine, owned and operated by Canadian Agra Corporation (CAC) in Kincardine, Ontario, was toppled by a tower failure on November 28. The grid connected turbine was destroyed, along with control and monitoring equipment in an adjacent shed. The tubular tower experienced metal failure in a crack around its circumference about one centimetre above a weld (in an area called the "heat affected" zone) which connected a flange to the tower base. An insurance adjuster is assessing the cause of the accident in consultation with metallurgical and wind power experts, says Ulli Pieplow of CAC. "We will install another turbine once we determine the root cause of the accident. We don't yet know why the tower failed. The turbine was producing at 80 kW in strong winds before the failure," he says. The showcase turbine began operating in July 1993 with support from Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Hydro, and the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy. Each of the parties will likely join the potential rebuilding effort. Ontario Hydro's Wilf Moll comments: "The Lagerwey proved there is adequate wind in the area and that a wind turbine can be very productive there. It achieved a 22% capacity factory which is quite respectable for a land locked operation." The power produced by the turbine, almost 160,000 kWh in its final year, saved a nearby CAC office over $10,000 per year on its electricity bill at CAN$0.085/kWh. CAC is also planning a 5-10 MW wind farm on its property along the Lake Huron shoreline, to be financed through a wind co-operative and to provide some of the 125 MW of independent renewable energy technology by 1997 which Ontario Hydro is requesting (Windpower Monthly, January 1995).
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol