United States

United States

No hurricane damage to wind turbines

Hurricane Ivan, which devastated parts of the Texas coast, has reportedly left two Gulf Coast projects nearing completion in coastal Kenedy County unscathed. Developers Babcock & Brown (B&B) and Iberdrola are building neighbouring wind projects using Mitsubishi 2.4 MW turbines (Windpower Monthly, July 2008). Iberdrola is installing 84 machines and B&B 118. B&B's Matt Dallas says the hurricane spared the area a direct hit and that no damage was reported, including to equipment on the ground waiting for installation. "For the Mitsubishi machines, I think they are known as the strongest turbines out there. Mitsubishi had told us they are specifically designed to withstand hurricane force winds," says Dallas. Mitsubishi says it considered winds up to 277 kilometres an hour in the design of its 2.4 MW turbines. Hurricane Ivan was a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 178-209 kilometres an hour. Mitsubishi's machines actively yaw to the safest position for the turbine during high winds, rotating to face downwind in very high winds to alleviate load. Should power be lost, the turbine will release the yaw brake so the nacelle follows the downwind direction passively. Iberdrola did not respond to inquiries on how its portion of the project fared.

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