BROWNS MOUNTAIN – It takes more than a few flakes of snow to derail construction at the Glen Dhu wind farm project.
“The only thing that holds us back is the wind,” site supervisor Grant Mason said. “Once we get the snow cleared out, it’s a go again.”
Mason said the storm last weekend took place on a day when construction wasn’t taking place and they could concentrate on snow removal.
He said prior to this storm there was about three feet of snow atop Browns Mountain but they have the heavy equipment on site to move it back.
Getting parts to the site is another point to consider. Mason said shipments of parts from Sheet Harbour to the wind farm were suspended at one point earlier this week due to road conditions.
Once the turbines are up and running blade icing becomes a factor.
Mason said the turbines at Glen Dhu are “the Cadillac of turbines” and have heated blades to prevent icing.
“We have the only heated blades (in the area) that I’m aware of,” he said.
The Dalhousie Mountain wind farm has been dealing with icing issues too, said RMSenergy president Reuben Burge.
“We have certain periods of time when it snows or there’s freezing rain that there’s a decrease in production depending on how much it is.”
Burge said they alter blade settings in an attempt to combat icing when a loss of turbine efficiency is detected.
They are working on their own solution for icing.
“There are 15 different technologies for de-icing and in my opinion they’re dubious. We’re working on heating the blades internally.”
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