Something’s missing at the Eclipse Wind Farm in Adair.
It rarely happens, but one of the blades on a wind turbine broke loose and landed in a field recently.
Officials said they are still trying to figure out what went wrong. The turbine manufacturer is leading an investigation into the accident.
“Wind farms are usually placed in agriculture areas, so they’re out in the rural parts of the states. There are laws that require the wind farms to be set back a distance from residences and occupied buildings,” said Kathleen Law, president of the Iowa Wind Energy Association.
A technician discovered one of the blades down on the ground Friday morning. Each blade is about the size of a football field.
“Things like this are very rare. We have about 4500 megawatts of wind turbine electricity in Iowa, and that’s thousands of turbines in Iowa and this is the first instance I have ever heard of turbine blade coming off in Iowa,” said Law.
Siemens Energy manufactures the blades. They said in a statement to KCCI on Monday that this type of incident has never happened before, and they’re really not sure what caused the blade to snap off.
“I’m unaware of this ever happening in Iowa, so I’m not sure what happened in this instance for sure,” said Law.
A team of experts is working to investigate the problem. The manufacturer said it’s already working to replace the blade for its customer.
“When the wind turbines go up, they’re usually under warranty for a certain period of years and they’re regularly maintained, they’re oiled, …Maintenance technicians work with turbines all the time,” said Law.
Most of the fallen blade has already been removed from that field.
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