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Turbine break blamed on manufacturing anomaly  

Credit:  BY NICHOLAS GRENKE, Tribune Staff Writer | Huron Daily Tribune | December 17, 2013 | www.michigansthumb.com ~~

UPPER THUMB – The cause for the wind turbine blade that broke in Chandler Township last month has been found, according to the company that manufactures the blades.

A General Electric spokeswoman released a statement Monday, explaining the cause of the Nov. 8 blade break at the Echo Wind Park was a spar cap-manufacturing irregularity.

GE produced the turbine carbon fiber blade for the DTE Energy, which operates the Echo Wind Park.

“To date, a small percent age of the potentially affected blades that we have reviewed are impacted. Blades that are not impacted are safe to operate,” the statement said.

Shortly after the turbine blade broke, DTE Energy shut down all construction and commercial operation at the wind park until a root cause was found. The park was scheduled to be completed by the end of November, and 60 out of the 70 turbines at the site had been completed at the time of the incident.

DTE Energy said now that the cause has been found, it will slowly bring Echo Park back online as it inspects each blade to make sure no other parts are affected. If they are, they will replaced.

“The park is shut down currently,” DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons told the Tribune. “We will still be looking into this in the new year.”

Simons said DTE Energy will continue to work with GE despite the issues concerning the broken blades. GE is the country’s largest manufacturer of wind turbine parts.

“We still have work to do,” Simons said. “We need to make sure no other blades are at risk to the problem.”

GE said it identified a set of blades that could have been affected by the anomaly, and it is working with customers like DTE Energy to help ensure the reliability of our wind turbines and their safe operation.

The November turbine blade breaking is the second manufacture-related failure to a DTE Energy wind turbine this year. In March, a turbine blade in Sigel Township broke because of a different manufacturing defect, according to GE.

Source:  BY NICHOLAS GRENKE, Tribune Staff Writer | Huron Daily Tribune | December 17, 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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