Turbine blade warranty work makes for heart racing photographs

It is a person! Two of them! Workmen dangle precariously on the tip of a turbine blade as they perform warranty work. Photo by Dr. Joe Shorthouse

MCLEAN’S MOUNTAIN—During the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, Dr. Joe Shorthouse and his wife Marilyn spotted two orange specks high above the landscape, dangling precariously from the tip of one of the massive McLean’s Mountain wind farm turbine blades and snapped the accompanying heart racing photos.

Dr. Shorthouse said they sat mesmerized by the duo for half an hour before carrying on and were eager to share the photos with this newspaper.

When asked about the work late last week, Paul Kaminski, project manager, Northland Power, explained that the workers were performing warranty work on the blade serrations. (Look closely at the photo and one can see that the blades are indeed serrated, like a steak knife).

“This means that some of the serrations did not fully meet General Electric’s (GE) quality specifications and required an additional touch up as part of warranty,” Mr. Kaminski explained.

The blades the workers were operating on measure 50 metres long and are approximately 55 to 65 metres off the ground. Not work for the faint of heart.

While there have been some rumours circulating that GE has taken over operations of the wind farm from Northland Power, which Mr. Kamisnki acknowledged he had also heard, he explained that GE, the turbines’ manufacturer, signed a long-term service agreement to maintain the wind turbines “so that they are available for power generation.” The operations of the McLean’s Mountain Wind Farm, however, are performed by Northland Power under manager Rick Martin.

Photos by Dr. Joe Shorthouse.