Several wind turbines on the Te Apiti site are undergoing major maintenance.
Meridian Energy spokesman Alan Seay said the work was being done under warranty and was part of normal upkeep for the turbines, which were installed less than two years ago.
“It’s not damage, it’s wear and tear the sort of thing you expect with a new plant.” Each turbine is 70m tall and has 35m blades.
“It’s a major job it’s a big piece of equipment.” He said “less than a dozen” of the 55 turbines at the site need replacement parts to be ordered from their Danish manufacturer.
The damage is to “gearboxes mostly, and a couple of blades”, which developed hairline fractures.
Despite the work, Mr Seay said the wind farm had been performing “beyond expectations”.
The company did not know precisely how the farm would fare as the Te Apiti site is windier than any other wind-farm site in the world.
“We weren’t clear exactly what to expect because they are being used in harder conditions than overseas.”
Mr Seay said while the Te Apiti turbines endure a harsh environment, they also generate a lot of power.
When conditions become too windy for the turbines to operate, they shut down.
“They are designed to prevent damage, but any machine that works hard will need maintenance,” said Mr Seay.
“There can be extreme conditions up there.”
He said the maintenance would not cause power cuts and all of the work could be done on site.
By Nick Wilson
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