November 14, 2007

Too windy for windmills?

It was so windy in Saskatchewan Tuesday, sometimes even the wind generators couldn’t keep up.

SaskPower has 116 giant, three-bladed wind turbines around Swift Current in the southwest that are designed to handle winds up to 95 kilometres per hour.

However, some of the powerful gusts that swept through Saskatchewan throughout the day were stronger than that.

The turbines couldn’t handle the strongest gusts, SaskPower spokesman Larry Christie said.

“The performance was up and down,” he said. “At times, the turbines were shutting off.”

Such intermittent shutdowns are necessary to avoid damage to the equipment, he said.

During the windstorm, power went out in parts of Regina and for about 20 minutes, about 5,000 customers had to do without electricity. However, there’s no reason to suspect the outage was wind-related, Christie said.

Environment Canada issued a wind warning, but many people were finding it to be mostly an inconvenience.

“Terrible, terrible,” said Ed Jelinski, who had planned to walk his dog Everest at the Regina dog park but found the 90-kilometre-an-hour blasts more than he could take.

The winds were expected to die down by Wednesday, Environment Canada said.

CBC News

14 November 2007

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