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Orangeville Wind Farm blade repairs almost complete

Blade repairs at the Orangeville Wind Farm are expected to be completed this week, according to General Electric officials.

“Our comprehensive analysis and review of the Orangeville Wind Farm has now concluded, with a very small number of turbines determined to need a replacement blade,” said spokeswoman Lindsay Theile in a prepared statement

“As a result, a group of turbines that had been idled as a precaution, pending the conclusion of the analysis, are now cleared for operation because they were determined to be unaffected,” she continued. “We have confidence in the safe operation of the turbines at the Orangeville Wind Farm.”

Officials did not disclose the exact number needing blade replacements.

“The few turbines that do require a new blade are undergoing blade replacement and testing,” Theile said. “Weather permitting, that process should conclude this week, with operations to commence immediately thereafter.”

The replacement program follows blade failure on Nov. 17, at the wind farm’s 34th tower, near Centerline Road and Route 20A. The blade fell to the ground at the base of the turbine and no injuries were reported.

An analysis revealed the break was caused by a spar cap issue, GE representatives said in December.

A spar cap is located on both sides of the blade. It essentially gives the blade strength, and is made from composite materials.

About 1.5 percent of GE’s total blade population is potentially affected, officials said at the time. The Orangeville Wind Farm is owned by Invenergy and has 58 turbines.