Blades back in business

Wind turbine expected to be fixed by end of week

Nine months after it came to a complete stop, the blades on Bayonne’s wind turbine may once again be moving by the end of the week.
Last week, Lomma Crane & Rigging employees constructed a crane at Fifth Street near Route 440 and took down the blades and generator to get to the bearing that had to be replaced.
When the work is completed, the unit will be lifted back to the top of the turbine and reconnected.
The turbine, the only one in the New York metropolitan area, has been inactive since June. It was shut down after a monitoring company detected vibrations.
No work was done over the weekend, but work continued on Monday, according to Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority Executive Director Tim Boyle.

Weather-dependent repair

The repair was complicated by the very thing that generates power for the machinery: winds.
Boyle explained that the blades and generator could not be taken down until winds were in the single digits in miles per hour. If they were 10 or more miles per hour, the machinery could not be lowered.
After the repairs are done, the same caution will have to be taken.
Officials had hoped that between Thursday, Friday, and Monday all the work would be finished or nearly finished. But further problems developed.
“Different parts of the bearing have to be lined up with other parts of the bearing and it’s taking longer than expected,” Boyle said on Monday, March 7. “It’s taking longer to do because it’s a field environment. The work is being done there, rather than in a factory or laboratory.”
The work is now expected to be completed by Friday, March 11.
But the wind could still be a factor when the generator-and-blades unit is poised to be raised to the top of the turbine.
“The project is truly weather-dependent,” Boyle said. “If the wind picks up, it could cost you the whole day. You never know what’s going to go on.”


“The project is truly weather-dependent. If the wind picks up, it could cost you the whole day. You never know what’s going to go on.” – Tim Boyle

No road closing for project

Workers realized a week and half ago that closing down the Fifth Street entrance to Route 440 was not necessary, as previously thought.
It was not known if the blades and other parts that had to be disassembled would fit into the area on the ground below the turbine.
Renovation work on both the Bayonne Bridge and the 14A New Jersey Turnpike Exchange compounded the need for Fifth Street to be open in that area, so motorists could enter Route 440 in both directions.
“We didn’t need the road to be closed,” Boyle said on March 2. “We came to this determination after reevaluating the site on Feb. 29.”

Joseph Passantino may be reached at

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