First Wind Turbine Erected in Providence

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — One of three 365-foot-high wind turbines was assembled Feb. 2 at the city's wastewater treatment facility at the Port of Providence.

The 1.5-megawatt turbines are similar in size to the Portsmouth High School turbine installed in 2009. The new turbines will be the first utility-scale turbines built in the city. The $11 million project was funded by the state revolving clean water fund.

The three turbines being erected at the Narragansett Bay Commission facility off Allens Avenue are expected to power 40 percent to 50 percent of the facility's electricity needs.

The first turbine is sandwiched between three 1.2-million-gallon, open-air sewage settling tanks.

The turbines are built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. The blades rotate, or feather, and stop turning when wind speeds exceed 50 mph.

The 230-foot-high steel tower, made in Tennessee, is anchored by a 55-foot-deep cement foundation. The fiberglass blades and hub, made in North Dakota, weigh 80,000 pounds. The Goldwind generator and convertor were made in China.

Two more turbines will be erected throughout February.