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After glitch, Georgia Mountain turbines to spin again

The four wind turbines on Georgia Mountain, stationary for a week, are expected to spin back into action in the near future while technicians run safety checks, a company official said Thursday.

A faulty electrical component at the site’s tie-in with power lines caused the turbines to shut down automatically, project manager Martha Staskus told the Burlington Free Press.

“It’s a problem that’s similar to a breaker tripping,” Staskus said, adding that the facility is still in its “break-in period,” and warranty repairs had been anticipated.

Power from the turbines feeds into the grid via Green Mountain Power lines.

Dottie Schnure, spokeswoman for Green Mountain Power, confirmed the switching malfunction took place in equipment operated by Green Mountain Community Wind.

She added that she wasn’t surprised by the outage.

“It’s not unusual in the first six months to a year for any generating plant to have the bugs worked out,” Schnure said.

The four-tower, 10-megawatt array came online late last year.

Burlington Electric Department is contracted to buy the site’s anticipated annual output of about 27 million kilowatt hours – the approximate consumption of 4,200 average Vermont households, according to the project’s website.

The project received a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board in June 2010.

Financial backing for the project came from the Jim Harrison family of Georgia and from David Blittersdorf, founder and CEO of Williston-based AllEarth Renewables.