Engineers continue to work at a leaning turbine near Ferndale.
Aaron Boles, vice-president of communications and investor relations with Capstone Infrastructure, which owns the three-turbine development at Ferndale, said beginning next week, engineers will start to take core samples of the foundation to determine what caused it to tip and to decide what steps can be taken to remedy it.
In early April, it was discovered that the turbine was leaning after electronic communications with it were interrupted and members of a maintenance crew sent to assess the situation noticed it appeared to be leaning.
Engineers sent to the site determined it was leaning and tethers were attached to the turbine and then to bulldozers to stabilize the structure.
Engineers from Capstone, the turbine’s manufacturer Vestas and other consulting engineers have been working at the site.
Tethers had originally been attached to bulldozers, but are now attached to strand jacks, which are embedded into the rock. The tethers, which are attached to the turbine at a collar, were to be highly tensioned on Friday so that the engineers can begin to take core samples of the concrete base of the turbine, Boles said.
“The turbine was already secure with those dozers, but this new system secures the turbine so the foundation can be disturbed,” said Boles. “Once that is finished at the end of this week, next week begins the process of coring, where core samples are retrieved and that will be able to tell the engineers what the problem is.”
Boles said the core samples will help the engineers determine what steps can be taken.
“There are things you can do to fix whatever the problem might be,” said Boles. “It could be injecting something in there, but that is the investigative part.”
The company has said people and structures in the area are safe. The turbine is 115 metres high, while the closest structure is 400 metres away and the closest road is 900 metres from the turbine. Twenty-four hour security has been placed at the site.
“It is even more secure now with the computer-controlled strand jacks and tethers,” said Boles. “The dozers are gone now, and it is so secure now you can freely disturb the foundation to find out what the permanent solution needs to be.”
The leaning turbine was one of the first to achieve commercial operation in Ontario when it started producing power in November 2002. The two other turbines at the site came online in 2006.
Capstone has owned the development since 2013, when it acquired Renewable Energy Developers Inc.
[rest of article available at source]
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