The might have seen like a stagnant, steel maypole for the past few months, but as of Monday morning, the giant in the sky began to finally turn its blades.
"I am pleased to report that our turbine is up and running as of this morning," wrote President Rick Hodges in an e-mail Monday of the turbine built by Middletown-based Rhode Island Wind Power. "Actually, it was ready to run last Friday, but there wasn’t enough wind to turn the blades over the weekend.
"I expect that there will be a few more shutdowns as we resolve some teething issues, but it will generally be in automatic operation going forward, meaning that it will turn into the wind by itself, and start and stop as the wind comes and goes," he continued. "It will be off tonight (Monday) because we are waiting for a piece of the feedback equipment for the control panel to be installed. The original was defective. It doesn’t keep it from running right, but we can’t collect any data on the performance until this is installed."
Following the acceptance by National Grid, the turbine will become the third in operation in Portsmouth, and the fourth on Aquidneck Island.
Able to generate power at a wind speed of just nine miles per hour, the turbine is expected to cover the electrical needs of Hodges’ entire manufacturing operation.