Many people have been commenting lately on the wind farm along the lakeshore in Lackawanna. But it’s not because the giant windmills are spinning in the breeze.
In fact, the windmills have been practically idle for many weeks. The wind farm, called “Steel Winds” is on the former Bethlehem Steel site. At full capacity, it’s supposed to generate enough power for 6,000 homes.
We asked the manufacturer, Clipper Windpower, what’s happening with the eight wind turbines, and why they’re not working. It seems there’s a problem with the gear boxes and all of them will have to be replaced.
Lackawanna Mayor Norman Polanski says he didn’t know until recently why the wind turbines weren’t functioning. But the city does not lose out financially on its $100,000 per year payment.
“Them just sitting there doing nothing kind of puts a damper on western New York. You got wind but, they don’t turn,” says Polanski.
The repairs may take up to four months to complete. It involves removing the huge blades on all eight of the wind turbines.
The city of Lackawanna is currently in negotiations with the developers, UPC Wind and BQ Energy, for the installation of 13 more windmills.
Erika Brason, Reporter
14 December 2007
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