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Another turbine blade breaks in Huron County  

It was the third turbine to break in Huron County in the last 10 months and the second turbine owned by DTE to break down in that time. In March, a turbine blade in Sigel Township broke because of a manufacturing defect, said turbine supplier General Electric, according to a presentation by Buda at a Huron County Planning Commission meeting last month. In addition, a turbine was struck by lightning near Minden City at the Michigan Wind Project 2 in September. The turbine, owned by Exelon Energy also lost a blade and was set to be back online this week.

Credit:  BY NICHOLAS GRENKE, Tribune Staff Writer | Huron Daily Tribune | Published: Friday, November 8, 2013 | www.michigansthumb.com ~~

CHANDLER TOWNSHIP – A wind turbine blade broke at DTE Energy’s new Echo Wind Park near Caseville sometime before 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Part of the turbine blade was on the ground below the structure at noon Friday as DTE Energy’s Dennis Buda was at the turbine checking for safety concerns. DTE stopped other the wind turbines at Echo Wind Park because of concerns after the blade failure.

“My husband said look out the bathroom room window this morning to see it,” said Tracey Powell, who lives about a half mile from the broken turbine. “The DTE guys started getting there around 8:30 a.m.”

Powell said that the broken blade didn’t worry her much.

“They got their work cut out for them, that’s all,” she said. “I’m not a fan of the windmills but they’re here to stay. We got live with them – they’re safe enough away.”

Winds were blowing at 10-15 mph in the area during the past 24 hours according to the National Weather Service.

DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons said that the incident was under investigation Friday morning.

“There were no injuries and no property damage other than the turbine itself,” Simons said.

It was the third turbine to break in Huron County in the last 10 months and the second turbine owned by DTE to break down in that time. In March, a turbine blade in Sigel Township broke because of a manufacturing defect, said turbine supplier General Electric, according to a presentation by Buda at a Huron County Planning Commission meeting last month.

In addition, a turbine was struck by lightning near Minden City at the Michigan Wind Project 2 in September. The turbine, owned by Exelon Energy also lost a blade and was set to be back online this week.

“Well, I would have said that this was a rare occurrence before the first one,” Simons said when asked how often a blade fails. “We want to get to the root cause of this.”

The Echo Wind Park was approved in November 2012 and was set to be completed by the end of this month, according to DTE program manager Michael Serafin. At the Huron County Planning Commission meeting Wednesday, Serafin said that 50 out of the 70 wind turbines at the site were up and running.

Buda said that part of the blade debris was removed Friday. The turbine is on North Farver Road near the intersection of Dunn Road.

Source:  BY NICHOLAS GRENKE, Tribune Staff Writer | Huron Daily Tribune | Published: Friday, November 8, 2013 | www.michigansthumb.com

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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