Another of the thousands of wind turbines that now dot the Columbia Plateau has collapsed in a wind storm, this one at the Stateline wind farm near Touchet, Washington.
It’s a fairly rare event, but still raises questions about the longevity of region’s burgeoning wind fleet, whether turbines are being run within their operational tolerances and the environmental impact of such accidents, which typically result in the spill of hazardous chemicals.
According to a story in the East Oregonian, the turbine was 10 years old, and the wind farm is operated by NextEra Energy Resources, which planned to clean up spilled fluid today.
A turbine collapse at the Klondike III wind farm in Oregon killed a man in 2007. Much attention has been paid to wind farms’ impact on wildlife, though this recently circulated paper tracks human fatalities.