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Mouse fire in Enxco’s Chanarambie wind turbine

Enxco filed an “extraordinary event” report with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission today. Mice got into the electrical equipment, caused an electrical arc and lit the turbine on fire. Mice happen – they get into places we would rather they did not. It is interesting to know a mouse can take out a giant industrial turbine. However, consistent with almost all turbine disaster reports, the wind project managers found out about the problem when a local resident called them.

“At approximately 9:00 AM on December 2, 2013 a local farmer notified the Operations Manager that smoke was observed coming from the access door and the nacelle on turbine #35.”

Citizens with wind company experience know that developers constantly poo-poo any concerns about safety issues. The consistent, and obviously misleading, marketing message is that ‘any time there is ANY operational problem, the SCADA system will automatically shut down the turbine operation and notify the managers’.

Yet, reports of turbine fire, noisy mechanical malfunction, “uncontrolled operation”, and “component liberation”, repeatedly state that the wind company found out about the wreck because a citizen called them. In other cases, the turbine maintenance staff “found the turbine lying on the ground” when they came to work in the morning.

No automatic shut down. No notice from the supposed turbine monitoring system to the company.

Why is that?