Cold weather operation of the 550-kW Zond Z-40 FS wind turbines at the 6-MW Green Mountain Power wind plant.
Green Mountain Power also installed New England's seventh wind farm, with eleven 550-kW turbines manufactured by Zond Corporation (now owned by GE Wind), in Searsburg, VT, in 1996. Although installation was completed late in 1996, the turbines produced no power during their first winter due to mechanical failures with blade bolts and gearboxes. After mud season in 1997, all gearboxes were replaced, and the Searsburg wind farm went on line in June 1997. It is a local attraction that has received a significant amount of positive attention from visitors and the media. Green Mountain Power reports that the wind farm continues to perform reasonably well, with availability in the 85% to 95% range.
Finally, a single Vestas V47 660-kw wind turbine was commissioned in Hull, MA, in December, 2001. This turbine, poised next to Hull's High School on the edge of Boston Harbor, is one of the most visible turbines in the country (it can be seen on take-off and landing at Logan Airport). It has operated well and been so well-received that other communities are seeking to emulate it, while Hull plans to add a second turbine in the near future.
History content contributors include Harley Lee of Endless Energy, James Manwell of the University of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Resource Laboratory, and Tom Gray of American Wind Energy Association. Edited by Bob Grace, Sustainable Energy Advantage, LLC.