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Rosebud turbine running

Posted by The NativeEnergy Team on Jan 29, 2010
Tags: carbon projects, wind energy

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Alex Little Soldier Wind Turbine is up and running again after a shutdown last year. It had been overheating, and there was a concern that the gear box was wearing prematurely. According to Ken Haukaas, the Tribe’s economic development advisor, “We didn’t want to risk potentially harming the turbine, so we kept it shut down until we could get an ‘all clear’ from the manufacturer. With a cooling system flush and all new fluids, along with more filtering attachments, the turbine is up and running fine again as of January 20, 2010.” 

While this downtime will reduce the turbine’s total electricity output over the 25-year term of our purchase, we still expect the electricity to produce more offsets than we projected. We were conservative in our projections for the grid emissions profile over time – way lower than the Dept. of Energy’s projections – and it is looking as though the DOE is proving right. To illustrate, we projected that the emissions rate for the electricity displaced by the turbine would decline to 1,531 lbs. CO2 per megawatt hour by the final year of our purchase (2027), and the DOE’s most recent projection for that year is 2310 lbs./MWh, or about 50% more carbon pollution per MWh. From a climate perspective, we hope the DOE proves wrong, but if they’re right, the Rosebud turbine should be even more effective in fighting global warming than we projected.

For our customers, that means those who helped build the Rosebud turbine will have reduced more carbon pollution that they thought when they committed to this great project.

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