On Wednesday, March 16, one of the neighbors of the Rugby Wind Farm located northeast of Rugby heard the sound of a large bang and went to investigate.
“We heard a sound like a jet breaking the sound barrier,” said David Kraft, whose farm is located three miles from the Wind Farm.
Kraft soon learned that the blades from one of the wind towers had come off and landed on the ground with a loud report. “That’s about all I know about it,” he added.
The rotor blades of a wind turbine work somewhat like the wings of an airplane. As air passes over the specially designed blades, “lift” is created. This lift, in turn, sends the blades spinning in a circular motion, which drives an electric generator. When winds reach about eight miles per hour, the rotor is engaged and the wind turbine begins producing power, according to information provided by Iberdrola Renewables, Portland, Ore., in a brochure. What went wrong is yet to be determined.
Suzlon, Pune, Indiaranked as the world’s third leading wind turbine supplier in terms of market share in 2009is the turbine manufacturer for the project.
“The company has been notified of a failure of a rotary assembly, said Jan Johnson, media contact, Iberdrola Renewables. “We are happy to report that there were no deaths or injuries with this incident. Iberdrola Renewables is conducting a thorough investigation and will not be commenting further at this time.”
Neil DeWitt, Iberdrola Plant Manager, Rugby Wind Farm, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Rugby Wind Farm was completed in December of 2009. The dedication for the wind farm was held October 12, 2010.
The wind farm has been shut down until further notice while the company conducts the investigation.