November 28, 2012

2009 Waverly wind turbine collapse dispute settled for $1.5 million

By Dave DeWitte, Reporter | Nov 27, 2012 |

WAVERLY, Iowa – Waverly’s municipal utility has reached a $1.5 million settlement to compensate it for the collapse of a wind turbine it was having installed in 2009.

The Cannon II wind turbine was being installed on a 246-foot tower in 2009 when the collapse took place. Reconstruction of the turbine cost $1.7 million, according to Waverly Light & Power.

The utility sued, and the case involving multiple defendants and cross-claimants was set for trial in early 2013.

Replacing the wind turbine cost $1.7 million.

In addition to the $1.5 million settlement, a $195,0009 payment to the contractor that had been withheld by Waverly Light & Power was waived.

“We are pleased to recover the costs to rebuild this turbine,” said Waverly Light and Power General Manager Diane Johnson. She praised the hard work of employees and support of the utility’s board for seeing the legal recovery project through to its conclusion, saying it preserves the utility’s commitment to provide renewable energy from local sources.”

Waverly Light & Power officials told the Waterloo Courier after the 2009 construction incident that the wind turbine was being installed by Industrial Contract Services of North Dakota when a gust of wind caused the turbine blades turn prematurely. Everything but the base of the tower collapsed.

“The job on the second turbine ground to a halt after workers for Industrial Contract Services, based in North Dakota, placed a 17-ton rotor assembly atop the 246-foot tower. A blast of wind spun the blades prematurely, according to Waverly Light and Power, and all but the base of the turbine fell to the ground.

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