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Ice plagues northern wind farm; Only 11 of 33 turbines operating  

Credit:  By Matthew Bingley CBC News, www.cbc.ca 12 January 2012 ~~

Cold weather continues to plague a northern New Brunswick wind farm with technical issues.

The intense cold over the past week has caused ice to build up on turbine blades at the Caribou Wind Park near Bathurst.

Only 11 out of 33 turbines are currently running, officials with GDF Suez Energy North America, the company that owns the wind park, confirmed.

Company spokesperson Julie Vitek said the problems continue to occur due to the location’s tendency to attract fog.

When the fog cools, it creates an icy build-up which make the turbines unusable, she said.

“Obviously cold and dry tends to be more healthy for a wind farm” said Vitek.

Workers are currently trying to find a way to melt some of the ice. They will use helicopters to spray the blades with hot water in an attempt to break up some of the ice, she said.

The workers will have to contend with more bad weather on the way, but Vitek expects the issue will be resolved some time next week.

This is not the first time there has been issues with the wind farm. Operations had to be halted multiple times due to ice over the past two years.

Last year, all 33 of the turbines had to be shut-down for over a month.

When the Caribou Wind Park is at peak capacity, it generates enough electricity to power about 30,000 homes.

Source:  By Matthew Bingley CBC News, www.cbc.ca 12 January 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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