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Breckinridge Road wind turbine repair completed

A wind turbine that had a blade break off and fly into a cornfield east of Enid in early June has been repaired and is running again, but cause of the blade failure still is under investigation.

The damaged turbine had the broken blade replaced, and operation of it resumed Friday, said NextEra Energy spokesman Bryan Garner.

General Electric, the manufacturer of the turbines and turbine blades at the Enid area wind farm, now has the damaged blade and is investigating the cause of the failure, Garner said.

Repair of the turbine involved replacing just the affected blade over a course of several days. Garner said the remaining time was spent ordering and delivering the necessary equipment for the repair.

The blade broke off of the turbine sometime during the night of May 31-June 1.

Average wind speed for May 31 was 12.27 mph, lowering to 8.73 mph June 1, according to the Oklahoma Mesonet weather-recording station at Breckinridge. The Mesonet site reported maximum gusts at 33.11 mph and 33.24 mph May 31 and June 1, respectively.

Landing about 100 yards behind the turbine, the blade crushed a large section of corn upon crashing into the ground. Ken Carpenter, the man who owns the cornfield, declined to comment at the time.

The base of a broken wind turbine blade sits next to the now-repaired wind turbine on NextEra Energy’s Breckinridge wind farm Friday. (Ryan Miller / Enid News & Eagle)

“We’ve never had a catastrophic blade failure like that,” said Regional Wind Site Manager Jeff McIntyre at the time of the incident.

The turbine is one of about 171 on the site, which has rarely seen any mechanical failures, let alone turbines being destroyed since construction of the farm completed, McIntyre said.

At the time of the incident, NextEra Energy workers checked the rest of the wind farm location and continue to monitor the turbines.

The Enid area wind farm isn’t the only NextEra Energy wind farm to experience turbine failures this summer.

A General Electric turbine collapsed at a NextEra Energy wind farm in Nebraska on June 13, North American Windpower reported. Earlier in June, the company also reported a turbine fire at its Endeavor Wind Energy Center in Iowa.

Finally, in late June, a wind turbine at NextEra Energy’s Tuscola Bay Wind Farm in Michigan had a similar blade failure to the Enid area wind turbine that broke, The Associated Press reported.

NextEra Energy purchased the Breckinridge wind farm from TradeWind Energy in August 2014. NextEra Energy’s website said the Breckinridge wind farm generates 98.1 megawatts of energy and covers 10,000 acres, with 57 of its 1.7-megawatt GE XLE turbines capable of providing enough electricity for 29,400 homes.