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The wind farm that withstood Hurricane Sandy

UNITED STATES: A small wind farm withstood Hurricane Sandy after 90 mph winds smashed into the New Jersey coast on Monday.

The Jersey Atlantic wind farm... taken pre-Hurricane Sandy
The Jersey Atlantic wind farm... taken pre-Hurricane Sandy

Three of the Jersey Atlantic project’s five 1.5MW GE SLE turbines were operating again by Friday, said a spokeswoman for Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA).

"The remaining two turbines should be up and running in the next few days," ACUA’s Amy Cook-Menzel told Windpower Monthly. The project, operated by Infigen Energy, is at ACUA’s wastewater treatment plant a few miles from the shore.

Matthew McGowan, Infigen’s asset management and development director, described the turbines as in "good shape".

High water levels may have caused some difficulties with data relay from the substations on site and with the electrical connections, said Infigen.

On Sunday, the turbines had been placed in ‘hurricane mode’. They were electrically locked, taken offline and then powered up using the standby generator that controls the yaw of the nacelles so they could be turned into the winds, which were a sustained 64 mph, probably with much higher gusting, said Infigen.

ACUA had approximately 25,000 additional visits to its webcam (click to view) of the wind project  between Sunday and Tuesday. 

Kamisu and Fukushima

This is not the first time a wind farm has withstood hostile environmental conditions. Last year, the Kamisu near-shore wind farm, located 40 metres off Ibaraki prefecture on Japan's east coast, withstood the country's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

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