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Wellington’s Brooklyn wind turbine put out of action by bad weather

The Brooklyn wind turbine was built to harness Wellington’s notorious wind, but it is the recent cold, damp weather that has put it out of action.

The 67-metre tall landmark’s blades haven’t turned since June when it was taken out of service for maintenence.

Meridian Energy spokeswoman Anna Vrede​ said while work was underway, moisture got into the generator and electronics.

“Usually during maintenance, there is still electricity going to the turbine and this helps protect the electronics from moisture [condensation and rain]. However, to undertake these modifications we needed to isolate it completely.”

Vrede said the company was working on repairs and trying to source replacement parts, but they were proving hard to come by because of global supply issues.

“Unfortunately we are unable to advise when it will be up and running.”

The current turbine is the second to have occupied the site on the hill behind Brooklyn. Electricity generated by the turbine is fed into Wellington’s energy network, enough to power about 490 average homes a year.

It was installed in 2016, replacing a smaller unit which first faced Wellington’s wind in 1993. The original was installed by the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ) as part of a feasibility test to see how turbines would perform in local conditions.

The experiment was a success, blazing the trail for wind farms which began to pop up around the country in the new millennium. Another 62 turbines were established at the nearby West Wind windfarm at Terawhiti Station and Mākara which was completed in 2009.

The original turbine began to experience mechanical failures by 2010 and was later replaced following popular public demand.

Meridian inherited the turbine in 1999 when ECNZ was split to form three new power companies.