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Transformer fireworks shut down wind farm  

The Maple Ridge Wind Farm experienced some Fourth of July fireworks at its substation on Rector Road in the town of Martinsburg, causing a temporary shutdown of the facility.

One of the eight or nine small grounding transformers at the substation “malfunctioned explosively” about noon Wednesday, according to PPM Atlantic Renewable’s William M. Moore, who developed the 195-turbine wind farm in the towns of Martinsburg, Harrisburg and Lowville.

“It did shut us down temporarily,” he said. “But it’s not anywhere near as serious as a large transformer.”

No injuries were reported.

Martinsburg firefighters were called to the scene but had to wait for the facility to be shut down before extinguishing the fire, Mr. Moore said. It was out by 2:45 p.m.

The 75 turbines completed last year as part of the wind farm project’s second phase were re-energized by 11 a.m. Thursday, while all 120 Phase I turbines erected in 2005 were brought back on line by 9 a.m. Friday, Mr. Moore said.

Wind farm officials were planning soon to change the transformer that malfunctioned and had a replacement part on hand, he said.

Some mineral oil leaked from the damaged transformer, forcing the wind farm to bring in an environmental cleanup firm Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Moore said.

Officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and National Grid also responded to the scene.

By Steve Virkler

Publication: Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, NY)

Publication Date: 07/07/2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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