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Power company blade repair continues at local project

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP – Algonquin Power officials say the Deerfield Wind Energy Project should be commissioned in a couple more weeks.

Two blades broke on separate turbines in the wind park this fall.

Officials at a recent Huron County Planning Commission meeting discussed the repair issue.

Commission Chairman Clark Brock, who lives near the operation, noted that not all turbines were turning.

Officials also said Algonquin Power personnel were working late hours over the Christmas holiday to get the turbines up and running.

Brock added that they were trying to figure out whether “the blades can be trusted with minor repairs.”

Alison Holditch, an Algonquin spokesperson, said this was not the case.

“The repair integrity is not in question,” she wrote in an email to the Tribune. “The necessary repair is cleared through Vestas’ robust quality process by qualified engineers and once repaired, the blade is safe to operate as normal.”

The two blades broke in half and dangled from their towers near the intersection of Redman and Iseler roads in October.

Lack of adhesive was discovered to be the problem, according to officials from park owner Algonquin of Ontario, Canada, and wind turbine manufacturer Vestas.

Fifty blades in the 72-turbine park shared the flaw.

Algonquin officials have recently clarified that they do not consider the blades to be defective, but that they share a “manufacturing anomaly that required repairs to be made.”

In December, Algonquin officials had said that they expected the operation to be online by year’s end.

Now they are saying it will be a couple more weeks.

“The commissioning activities at Deerfield, including the limited number of blade repairs, are still underway, and are impacted by weather and wind speeds,” Holditch wrote.