KEA’s advanced early warning monitoring system detected a problem with the gear box of Wind Turbine Number One, which is the turbine closest to the Kodiak airport. Our technicians then performed a visual inspection, which revealed a crack in the main gear. This gearbox will need to be replaced. It is located inside the unit’s nacelle (machine head) on the tower 262 feet high above Pillar Mountain.
The unit will be out of power production until spring, when the weather and road conditions up Pillar Mountain are safe to mobilize a crane to perform the necessary work. This type of maintenance was expected to arise, and a plan is in place to replace the gearbox.
The 9 MW Pillar Mountain Wind Farm was built in two phases. The first three 1.5 MW Wind Turbines were installed in 2009, and three more 1.5 MW Wind Turbines and a 3 MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) were added in 2012. Wind Turbine Number One was installed in Phase II.
The estimated number of gallons of diesel saved through operation of the Pillar Mountain Wind Farm since July of 2009 is 10,981,572. In 2016, KEA generated 99.7% of our power with renewable resources. KEA has become an industry leader in integrating high levels of wind power onto an isolated grid.