The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after someone fired a rifle round at a wind turbine.
It happened at the Golden West Wind Energy Center in Calhan, sometime between September 20 and October 23. The turbine that was hit is near the intersection of North Yoder Road and Heaston Road.
The project has been controversial from the start. Deputies are looking for a suspect.
The spinning blades have been the center of controversy; now one became a target. The bullet hit a blade and went into the hub, or the center.
“Where they hit is where there are periodically workers,” said Deputy Scott Brettell with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. “So our primary concern is if this continues, a worker might get hit.”
A NextEra Energy worker noticed it Monday. The turbine is stationary right now. It will stay that way until it’s repaired.
A neighbor tells us his concerns with the wind farm certainly haven’t blown over.
“I’m actually surprised it didn’t happen earlier,” said Zack Phillips. “I think it’s somebody venting frustration that there’s no other outlet. Nobody will listen to the people who live here.”
One woman who has two turbines on her property tells us she is worried for her safety now.
“What if they miss and they hit something that’s innocent, like one of my cows, or when I’m out there feeding my product to my cattle or whatever. It is disturbing, obviously,” said Dianne Hazelton.
The shooting caused between $20,000 and $250,000 in damage, depending on whether they have to replace the blade. The company is in the process of assessing the damage.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 719-390-5555. NextEra Energy is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest.
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