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Local residents express safety concerns over wind farm

OCOTILLO, Calif. – Public residents in Ocotillo are speaking out after a recent wind turbine collapse.

Earlier this week people voiced their concern at a county supervisors meeting asking, what can be done to prevent future accidents?

“We are really worried that someone is going to get hurt with a blade falling off. Now, evidently pattern energy calls it a designated fall zone directly underneath the wind turbines, I call it a kill zone,” said Parke Ewing, Ocotillo Resident.

Just below some of these wind turbines are public access roads referred to as BLM roads.

“These trails are what you are supposed to stay on if you’re an off-roader or you’re out here on any kind of motorized vehicle, you’re supposed to stay on these trails,” said Jim Pelley , Ocotillo resident.

Residents who live closest to the turbines say the noise they have to put up with is a disturbance.

“The noise is a thumping, swashing, cracking, sometimes a jet engine sound when they are all running at the same time. It’s extremely distracting,” added Ewing.

Wind turbine 126 had catastrophic failure back on November 21st. The wind facility has be curtailed or taken off line since.

State Senator Ben Hueso of the 40th District wrote a letter to Pattern Energy addressing issues that happened since the opening of the wind farm, asking what preventative protocols are being established to ensure failure of this magnitude doesn’t happen again?

Pattern Energy responded saying in part explaining that the cause of the incident was narrowed to a blade failure that resulted in the blade striking the tower and enhanced inspection protocols are being developed.

“The project doesn’t fit and it shouldn’t be here to begin with. I feel it should be torn down,” exclaimed Pelley.