Ruebisa’s wind turbines out of service for two years

The country’s only two wind turbines generating renewable electricity in Wangdue Phodrang’s Ruebisa Gewog are out of service. Wind turbine unit-two has been down since February 2021, while wind turbine unit-one was shut down in September of last year due to high voltage issues. The wind turbines were built as a pilot project in 2016 with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank.

The wind turbine unit-two is hanging by a rope. One of the rotor blades has broken off from its hub in the middle and is seen held together by a rope.

The blades were imported from Osaka in Japan and both the towers are more than 40 metres tall.

The dangling blade is a risk to residents nearby and passersby. People outside Ruebisa also come to see the wind turbines.

The Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) say replacing the turbine with new blades is not advisable as a single blade would cost Nu 40 M.

“Even if we have the money and even if we can buy, now transporting this 16-metre-long wind blade and fixing it here would be quite challenging. So, DGPC feels that we should repair the damaged blade. I think we are already exploring the firms in India and elsewhere,” said Kencho Gyeltshen, Associate Director of Basochhu Hydropower Plant.

Similarly, the wind turbine unit-one was shut down due to high voltage issue between the turbine and power supply grid.

The DGPC is planning to carry out the repair works of wind turbine unit-one soon and is expected to become operational in two months.

“We are expecting to complete the annual maintenance of Basochhu Power Plant by the mid of May and after that we will field our engineers along with engineers from HRDC and Bhutan Automation and also we will consult with BPC on the addition of load that happened way back in September 2022,” said Kencho Gyeltshen.

The wind turbines generated a little over Nu 1 M in 2020. The energy generation decreased after the turbines faced multiple issues since then.

Changa Dorji, Wangdue Phodrang

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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