SHEFFIELD, VT – An oil leak from a turbine on the Sheffield Wind Project now under construction has been cleaned up, according to a spokesperson for First Wind, the Boston, MA, company developing the project.
Officials are blaming the leak on a mechanical problem. A tube inside a gear box leaked about 55 gallons of oil. The leak was discovered on Saturday.
First Wind sought help from an environmental clean-up group from St. Johnsbury.
The turbine is one of 16 recently installed for the wind project, which is nearing completion.
John Lamontagne with First Wind said that the other 15 turbines have been inspected and no problems were found.
According to reports by Chuck Schwer, head of the state’s spill management program, most of the oil spilled on the turbine itself and the gravel pad around it, but a small amount traveled and some sprayed out about 200 yards. No oil was discovered in water sources.
Each turbine holds about 110 gallons of hydraulic and lubricating oil, according to reports.
Robert Pforzheimer of Sutton, a critic of all wind turbine projects, called the Clipper turbines used by First Wind “junk.”
Lamontagne said that although there have been some mechanical problems with other Clipper turbines installed by First Wind, the company remains confident about the equipment.
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