France's first grid-connected turbine, a 200 kW Vestas machine erected in 1991 by local pioneer Jean-Michel Germa, has been given a new lease of life. After 17 years of trouble-free service, owners La Compagnie du Vent lowered the nacelle to the ground, replaced the top section of the trellis tower, repaired a blade damaged by lightning and rebalanced the blades. The turbine is located at Port-la-Nouvelle in the southerly Aude département, where it now stands alongside four Vestas 500 kW machines. Since 1991, La Compagnie du Vent has grown from a team of just three people to 80 staff managing 148 MW in operation or under construction. It is now 56.8% owned by energy giant Suez.