March 25, 2011
North Dakota

PSC discusses wind tower failure

KXMCTV Minot, 24 March 2011

Bolt failures are sited as the cause of a wind tower malfunction north of Rugby.

North Dakota Public Service Commission analyst Jerry Lein says the bolts that attach the rotors and blades to the shaft that transfers power did not hold.

Lein says six other wind towers on the wind farm have been shut down to replace bolts.

The wind farm has 71 towers.

The commission is asking for a meeting with the wind project’s developers to discuss the projects safety.

Bolts are inspected every 6 months and an investigation is underway.

Public Service Commissioner Tony Clark says the accident is a reminder of the importance of regulating wind farm maintenance . (Tony Clark/ Public Service Commission) “The legislature has addressed this in expanding our jurisdiction over wind farms and this could have happened just as easily at a small farm as it did on this big farm so this shows the importance of why we have set backs for buildings and our saftey jurisdiction.” The wind tower is owned by Iberdrola Renewable and the Commission is planning to meet with the company in two weeks.

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