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November 5, 2012

Topping off the turbine

Varian's turbine to be topped off today

The last piece of the giant wind turbine being built at the Varian Semiconductors Division of Applied Materials is expected to go up this morning.

Starting at 7 a.m., crews from Baldwin Crane were poised to lift and attach the enormous rotor to the turbine, said Varian’s Director of Facilities, Richard Johnson. When finished, the 2.5 megawatt turbine will stand to a height of more than 460 feet. Varian’s turbine is the largest wind turbine in the Northeast.

”If all goes well, it will be installed by mid-morning, and from that point on, it’s all interconnection,” Johnson said.

After crews finish putting the turbine together, they’ll work to tie it into the power grid. Johnson expects they’ll have that work finished by Nov. 26 at the latest.

After crews finish the wiring, National Grid will inspect the turbine. And Johnson said he expects the wind turbine to start generating electricity by Dec. 1.

Varian expects it to provide roughly a third of the company’s overall power consumption.

Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or sfletcher@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.

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