The subject property consisted of approximately 75,000 acres of land improved with 152 wind-powered generators situated in three northwest-to-southeast linear arrays on western ridges of the Delaware Mountains. Additional support facilities were located in compounds that included a 3,000 square foot maintenance building, a similar sized office, an equipment salvage yard, storage sheds, a covered storage area, a radio tower, and 3,500 gallons of gasoline in above ground storage tanks for fueling field vehicles. The subject property is located in an area characterized by undeveloped land predominantly used for cattle grazing, deer hunting, and localized irrigated agriculture.
The services included review of third party reports and maintenance records, interview with the operator about the service history, and observation of the support facilities and of each of the individual wind turbines. As a result of damage by excessive winds, the majority of the turbines had failed, and repair and maintenance had exceeded the capability of the operator to maintain the power output required by the energy purchaser, the Lower Colorado River Authority; thus, continued operation was doubtful.
At the majority of the non-functional turbines, gearbox wear and damage had resulted in the release of petroleum lubricants to the surrounding area. In most cases where failure had occurred only once, the quantity of lost oil was limited to the capacity of the gearboxes of less than 30-50 gallons. No other suspect conditions were identified. In light of the limited oil volume and area of the affected ground, these lubricant releases were considered to be a de minimis condition and not a recognized environmental condition. Dismantling and removal of the facilities was slated to follow the assessment.