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Repairs to P.E.I. wind farm cost $15 million in last several years; More work necessary 

Credit:  Dave Stewart | Posted: 10 May 2024 | saltwire.com ~~

Most of the 10 wind turbines at the Hermanville wind farm are working again following $15 million in repairs during the past several months, says the CEO of the P.E.I. Energy Corporation.

Tyson Bradley said additional money was spent on purchasing parts for the turbines at the wind farm, which is located north of Souris.

“The work (on the remaining turbines) is actually starting right after the long weekend, so we’re spending money to get up to full speed, (but) when you drive by you might see six running,” Bradley said in an interview May 7 in his Charlottetown office. “We’re doing preventative maintenance. … The main things were blades and the shafts.”

Those repairs are expected to be finished in the summer, all with the goal of getting the wind farm operating at full capacity.

Bradley said there were issues with the turbines on the north end of the facility about two years ago, and things gradually got worse with four of them, so the energy corporation had to come up with a plan to get them running again.

The money to pay for the repairs does not come from taxpayers, said Bradley, as the Crown corporation has posted a net profit and surplus on that windfarm of $22 million to date.

“We’re pretty happy with the direction the repairs are taking us,” Bradley said.

There was a situation in December 2023 where two blades were ripped off by wind.

“It was one of the ones that wasn’t working at the time, but we know that wind turbines will have to come down. We’re developing a plan to take that down safely.”

The Hermanville turbines have been operating at reduced capacity for months due to these breakdowns.

It cost the province $60 million to build in 2014.

In an email statement from the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action in September, representative Katie Cudmore wrote that the province has admitted the Hermanville site is “underperforming.”

“The newest fleet of Acciona 116/300 turbines are proving to require the largest amount of maintenance. The issue is the main bearings. One has failed and four others are at risk, and Acciona has limited those turbines to 50 per cent capacity,” Cudmore said.


However, not everyone is optimistic about the wind farm.

Blair Aitken, director of the Eastern P.E.I. Chamber of Commerce, questions the return on investment the wind energy provides.

“It’s always been a concern to me around the transparency of understanding what the return or lack of return has been but it’s not something I’ve done a lot of research on,” Aitken said told SaltWire in an interview.

SaltWire also contacted Alan MacPhee, a member of the Eastern Kings Community Association, who had referred to the wind farm as “a failure” before the standing committee on natural resources and environmental sustainability last September and questioned at the time why the project costs have doubled.

“Last August, the Minister of Energy, (Steven) Myers announced the repairs would cost $10 million. Now, we read that it’s $15 million and another $6 million turbine is not operational,” said on May 10. “That’s more than $20 million. This is typical, being sleight of hand and the incompetence of this minister and P.E.I. energy.”

MacPhee also wonders why the same consultant is being used for this project as on the original one that now needs repairs.

At a glance

Following is a breakdown of work done at the Hermanville wind farm during the last several months:

• $6 million for repairs to six turbines

• $3 million for purchasing two sets of spare blades

• $6 million for fixing the remaining usable turbines

Source:  Dave Stewart | Posted: 10 May 2024 | saltwire.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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