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Blown gearboxes take wind turbines off line  

Six of 10 turbines at P.E.I.’s East Point Wind Plant have been shut down to avoid further damage after problems with their gearboxes were discovered during routine inspections.

The three-megawatt, 90-metre turbines are the largest wind turbines in commercial operation in North America, said Vestas Americas, suppliers of the turbines, in a news release Tuesday.

“The technology is still new, and it is a key focus area of ours to continuously develop and improve the reliability of our products,” said president Jens Soby.

Under its agreement with the P.E.I. Energy Corporation, the Crown corporation that owns and operates the wind farm, Vestas, will be responsible for repairs and lost revenue during the outage, including payments to landowners where the turbines are situated.

Replacement gearboxes are now being delivered to the wind plant. The spring weight restriction on Island roads delayed the repairs.

Transport of a large-capacity crane required to remove and replace gearboxes at the top of the turbines was not possible until the restrictions were lifted.

Repairs are expected to be completed by the end of June.

CBC News

6 May 2008

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