Damaged Turbine Suspends Wind Energy Production

By Rachel Martin
By Megan Trent

April 25, 2012 Updated Apr 25, 2012 at 6:19 PM EDT

Paulding County, Ohio (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – An Ohio wind farm is temporarily shut down following severe damage to one of the turbines.

The wind farm, Timber Road II, sits in Ohio just beyond the Indiana state line between Edgerton, Indiana, and Payne, Ohio.

Around 12:45 Tuesday afternoon, two blades on a turbine were damaged so severely that debris was sent raining down on the field below. No one was injured.

The owners, EDP Renewables, say while the investigation into what damaged the blades is ongoing, at this point it doesn't appear that strong winds were a factor.

A spokesperson for EDP tells Indiana's NewsCenter that all 55 of the wind farm's turbines were immediately shut down following the incident. Some were turned back on Wednesday as part of the investigation, but officials say it's unclear how long that investigation will take.

Robert Silliman of Antwerp, Ohio, was out taking pictures of the broken turbine on Wednesday. He says,"I saw this wreckage scattered quite a ways across the field and I was very surprised that it had gone that far. Of course, we had high winds yesterday."

EDP officials say each turbine is roughly worth $3million, but this turbine is still under warranty by the manufacturer, Vestas. They say Vestas is conducting their own root cause analysis, and is taking every step necessary to make sure similar problems don't arise in the future.

Wind energy is a booming business in some parts of the country, and EDP manages more than two dozen projects in the U.S. The turbines themselves, however, are a source of controversy for some.

Silliman says, "I think it's definitely going to fuel the debate issue and it's going to happen very soon too. When they get more facts I think it's going to make quite a difference as to how people are really going to look at this. I think there are some concerns about safety, because of the distance this wreckage was carried."

Meanwhile, EDP officials say they are committed to finding out what damaged the turbine and will utilize whatever amount of time and resources necessary.

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At least one wind turbine is damaged in Ohio. Officials say they don’t know the cause.

Could the wind be causing problems for wind turbines? Wind turbines are a big controversy around the Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio areas, and one of the biggest issues people have with them is the fear of things like ice flying off the blades, or worse, the blades falling off.

Indiana’s NewsCenter got a call to our news room Tuesday night about turbines with broken blades.

Our crews found the damaged turbine, and people inspecting it near Payne, Ohio. There were several large pieces of the blades on the ground in a field.

One official says only one of the 55 turbines in the county is damaged. They say two of the blades broke off, but they're not sure what caused the damage or if any damage was caused by the blades.

INC is told that all 55 wind turbines have been turned off, and the damaged turbine has been blocked off. Maintenance crews are still looking into the issue. We'll have more details as they become available.




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