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Turbines upgrade up in air  

Credit:  Matt Smith, The Mercury, www.themercury.com.au 5 January 2010 ~~

The improved wind turbines scheduled to replace the troublesome ones on the Marine Board Building are expected to be a few months away because they are still sitting in China.

Keith Drew, architect for the Marine Board Building owner Robert Rockefeller, told the Mercury in October last year the new turbines should be up and running by mid-January.

However, it is understood they are yet to be sent from China.

Four wind turbines were installed on the building near the Hobart waterfront in July last year but two of them failed in August, causing $100,000 worth of damage.

Workplace Standards Tasmania then ordered the two undamaged turbines to be shut down until it was satisfied they were safe.

In November the Mercury reported the installers of the turbines would be in a race against the clock to have them up before a planning permit deadline threatened to have them removed.

A clause in the Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority planning permit stipulated that should the turbines cease running for a continuous period of 180 days or more, they were to be removed.

Workplace Standards general manager Roy Ormerod confirmed yesterday that the turbine-installing company I Want Energy had run the turbines briefly a few weeks ago thereby giving themselves an extra 180 days’ grace but engineer reports to show they were safe had still not been delivered to Workplace Standards.

Hobart City Council aldermen Jeff Briscoe, Peter Sexton and Marti Zucco said yesterday there were still major concerns about the safety of the turbines.

Ald Zucco said he had put in an official request to the Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority to find out if the turbines were actually in breach of the planning scheme.

“The two turbines on the building are not functional. They are turning them on and off just to appease the planning scheme,” he said.

Ald Sexton said both the Sullivans Cove Waterfront Authority and the State Government have serious questions to answer about the turbines.

Keith Drew and I Want Energy director Rob Manson declined to answer questions from the Mercury yesterday.

Source:  Matt Smith, The Mercury, www.themercury.com.au 5 January 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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