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Transformer repairs still turbine blades

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The West Central Research and Outreach Center's wind turbine could be out of commission until late spring.

A faulty transformer connecting the turbine to power lines could keep the turbine out of operation for four to six weeks, according to Mike Reese, director of the WCROC's Renewable Energy Center.

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The turbine is in good condition, Reese said.

The transformer was picked up for repairs on Thursday. The unit could be repaired sooner, but the timeframe depends on what technicians find upon closer inspection, Reese said.

Buying and installing a a new transformer could take 12 weeks, he said.

"It's a unique-sized transformer so it's best to recondition it," Reese said.

Vestas, the wind turbine supplier and service company, examined the turbine, and Otter Tail Power Company inspected the power line and the connection to the University of Minnesota, Morris campus. The inspections found that the transformer, located at the base of the turbine, was not producing the proper voltage for production of electricity. The repairs have been built into the cost of the turbine operations, Reese said.

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