ALTONA – Noble Environmental Power brought in a basket crane recently to get a closer look at the damage caused to a wind turbine in Altona Wind Park on Jan. 29.
“What they were able to see when they were up there was limited,” said John Bahouth, Noble’s vice president of human resources and communications.
Noble officials were holding a series of meetings this week to discuss possible reasons for the flames.
There was “nothing conclusive yet,” Bahouth said.
Determining the cause of the fire requires gathering large amounts of data, he said, and it can be lengthy process.
“It is important because all disciplines have to weigh in,” he added.
Mechanical, chemical and electrical testing must be completed and analyzed to rule out possible roles in the blaze.
Behouth said they are also considering meteorological factors, as some residents in the area reported lightning flashes before the turbine caught fire.
No final plans had been made for the damaged turbine.
“We are looking at what the next steps are and working with the insurance company. It’s in their hands now,” Bahouth said. “As of now, everything is still speculation.”
This was the second major incident involving wind turbines in the Altona Park. In March 2009, a power outage triggered a fire in a turbine, which collapsed. A second turbine was damaged, as well.
The Public Service Commission found Noble was not at fault in that incident.
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