The Antrim Wind project is slated for completion by the end of November, despite setbacks caused by a supplier’s bankruptcy and a recent malfunction of the temporary safety lights atop the turbines.
Selectman John Robertson said on Tuesday that representatives for the project confirmed that the temporary lights weren’t working after a resident reported an outage at the Sept 9 Select Board meeting.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires lights on any structure taller than 200 feet to have lights, in order to identify potential hazards to air navigation. Robertson said the company filed the proper paperwork with the FAA following the malfunction and scheduled a repair of the lights for Monday, Sept 16.
The temporary lights will remain on the turbines until permanent lights are installed. According to Robertson, the project missed its original deadline of Aug. 30 because of a problem with sourcing the permanent lights. He said the company that had been contracted to provide the lights went bankrupt over the winter and failed to notify TransAlta until April or May. Robertson acknowledged that there were fairly limited alternative providers.
“It takes quite a long time to get those once you order them,” he said, describing the setback as “one of those things that happens.”
Robertson said that TransAlta paid the Town of Antrim $50,000 for the delay. In the original contract with the town, TransAlta agreed to pay the fee if the turbines weren’t on line within twelve months after the start of construction.
“I think things are back where they’re supposed to be, the lights have been ordered from somewhere else and they’ll be in sometime in the next month,” Robertson said.
Town officials believed the project was on track as of July. Nine turbines will ultimately generate power on Tuttle Hill and Willard Mountain.
A recent Twitter post from energy company TransAlta said the array will be capable of producing 28.8 megawatts of power.
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