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Wind turbine near Dexter damaged by gunfire  

Credit:  By Kay Fate, The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN, postbulletin.com 13 March 2012 ~~

DEXTER – Two bullets to the radiator motor of a wind turbine in Dexter have resulted in up to $40,000 worth of needed repairs, authorities said.

Mower County Sheriff’s deputies were called about 1:30 p.m. Sunday to the turbine at 21404 770th Ave., where the operations manager of Prairie Star Wind Farm said someone had fired two rounds into the mechanism.

The radiator motor is 260 feet high, on top of the tower in a fiberglass shell, said Sheriff Terese Amazi. The shots were fired from the ground, she said.

The manager said the power generator had gone off-line between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; the computer mainframe said it had gone down because of a loss of oil pressure in the motor.

The repair will involve removing the top portion of the turbine to get to the radiator itself, Amazi said, in order to replace the motor, “to the tune of about $25,000 to $40,000.”

She declined to speculate if the shooting had anything to do with an incident her deputies handled Friday night, when a man was arrested for DWI after deputies received a report of someone shooting from a vehicle.

Prairie Star Wind Farm, which began operating in December 2007, is about 15 miles east of of Austin. The 61 turbines have capacity to generate enough to power about 28,000 homes, the company says. Great River Energy purchases the wind farm’s energy.

Source:  By Kay Fate, The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN, postbulletin.com 13 March 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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