Pattern – Faces of Wind Profiles – James Edwards

Pattern Energy Stories

September 29, 2020

James Edwards is Lead Technician at South Kent Wind Farm in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, an hour east of Detroit. James joined Pattern in March of 2019, but was involved in the wind industry for six years prior. As Lead Technician, James oversees field operations, performs inspections and audits, and manages general day-to-day operations for one of Pattern’s largest facilities, which sits just above Lake Erie. The region’s climate is intense, so repairs and maintenance have to be planned around weather whenever possible. “There’s wind, snow, ice. I’ve seen a turbine get hit directly by a tornado,” James said. Lightning can also be an issue, but appropriate safeguards are in place to protect the technicians. “If we see a flash of lightning without warning, we stop what we’re doing and get to a safe spot.” The automotive industry is a big presence in the area. In fact, they’re so close to Detroit that on a clear day the city is visible from atop the turbines. James was a tool and die maker by trade and worked in the industry. “The bottom fell out of auto,” he said. “I started to see wind farms going up right here in my backyard.” James saw wind as a long-term career reality. “It’s renewable, and it’s going to be here a long time.”