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Strong gusts slowing wind turbine repairs  

High winds are making it difficult to repair wind turbines at East Point in Prince Edward Island.

Six of 10 turbines on the site were shut down recently when problems developed in their gearboxes. One turbine has been repaired, but strong winds are making it difficult to work on the other five. The axis of the turbine is about 50 metres above ground, and a special crane had to be transported to the site to assist the work.

The wind farm is owned and operated by a provincial Crown corporation, but the repairs are being fully covered by Vestas, the manufacturer of the turbines. Despite the early trouble with the turbines, which have been operating less than a year, Energy Minister George Webster expressed confidence in the technology.

“They have a 25-year life expectancy easily, with just changing the oil in the gearboxes,” said Webster.

“Once in a while you get a component failure, and we’ve obviously got six of them. The Vestas company that builds these are a very reliable company.”

Webster said the goal is to have the turbines back in operation by the end of June.

CBC News

29 May 2008

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