Josh Crayton, an avid rafter and rock climber, has been repairing wind turbines for five years with Rope Partner, a Santa Cruz, Calif., company. His duties include repairing, cleaning, and painting wind turbines at a variety of locations across the Midwest and as far south as Texas, Peters reports. But extreme weather like high winds leaves Crayton grounded some days. "It's difficult work," he told Peters. "You receive an itinerary, jump on flight and travel to the spot. Assuming all of your materials and bags make it with you, you'll start work the next day."
Employing rock climbers is only one repair method in use. Some repair contratcors use "machinery like cherry pickers to reach the blades," Peters reports, but using workers like Crayton is becoming more popular because there is no need for expensive equipment. "It's far more cost-effective and generally safer, because you have a main line and a safety line," Christyne Mortensen, office manager at Ropeworks Center of Excellence in Reno, Nev., told Peters. "We have easier access and can go anywhere on the turbines." (Read more)