A GE 1.7-103 turbine collapsed recently at Alterra Power’s 205MW Shannon wind farm in northern Texas, according to local press reports. The wind farm is less than two years old.
No one was injured and the only damage was to the turbine itself and the ground beneath it. Press photos of the wrecked turbine show only the bottom portion of the tower remaining in place, with the rest of the machine lying crumpled at the tower’s base.
The entire 119-turbine wind farm was temporarily suspended after the crash, but started up several days later, the reports say. A new turbine will be installed to replace the broken one.
The incident comes just weeks after another GE 1.7MW turbine collapsed at NextEra’s Steele Flats wind farm in Nebraska.
Alterra – a Vancouver-based independent renewable-power producer – is investigating the incident. US private-equity group Starwood Energy owns a half-stake in Shannon.
“We are convinced that it’s an extremely rare and isolated incident limited to this turbine, and that’s why we’ve got the other ones back up in operation,” an Alterra spokesman was quoted as saying.
Shannon was completed in late 2015 using GE 1.7-103 turbines, currently the company’s most popular model in the US market. The wind farm was built by EPC contractor Mortensen Construction.
Alterra has rapidly expanded its footprint in the US wind market over the past two years, first buying and completing Shannon and then acquiring the 200MW Flat Top project in Texas.
For Flat Top, due for completion in early 2018, Alterra turned to EPC contractor Blattner and Vestas for its V110-2.0MW turbines – the single most popular model in the US last year.
Alterra claims to have qualified at least 1.2GW of wind capacity for the full production tax credit, and recently acquired a 320MW portfolio of projects in Wyoming.
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