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Wind turbines shut for inquiry  

Credit:  Matt Smith, The Mercury, www.themercury.com 19 August 2010 ~~

The four wind turbines on the Marine Board building will be shut down until a full investigation has been done by Workplace Standards Tasmania.

Roy Ormerod, general manager of Workplace Standards Tasmania, confirmed yesterday the turbine’s supplier, I Want Energy, had been ordered to turn off the turbines.

Mr Ormerod said the notice was put in place to secure the safety of workers and visitors to the building.

“If someone is up on the roof and the turbines are going there is a risk of someone being hurt,” Mr Ormerod said.

“And that also applies to people going in and out of the building at ground level.”

The turbines were damaged and came to a halt eight days ago only a week after they began generating electricity in 54km/h winds.

Their failure was blamed on a contractor who did not reset the braking mechanisms on the turbines after routine maintenance.

Workplace Standards is looking at three issues surrounding the turbines:

• The structural integrity of all four turbines.

• The repairs to the two damaged turbines.

• And the management plan to ensure human error could not create a similar failure in the future.

Rob Manson, director of I Want Energy, said he was not concerned with the investigation.

“There are definitely no issues with the structural integrity of the turbines,” he said.

In relation to the brakes, Mr Manson said his company would be looking at a lock-out system to restrict people accessing the area.

A spokesperson for Robert Rockefeller, the owner of the building, said Mr Rockefeller was happy to work with Workplace Standards.

“He understands that the notice is a precautionary measure while works are being conducted.”

Mr Manson said “the slight delay has not stopped Mr Rockefeller going ahead with work on the ANZ building”.

Installation of turbines on that building was expected to begin in late September or early October as expected.

Source:  Matt Smith, The Mercury, www.themercury.com 19 August 2010

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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