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‘Faulty blade’ caused turbine collapse in Chatham-Kent, says company

A TerraForm wind turbine collapsed in Chatham-Kent was caused by a faulty blade, according to the company. (Dale Molnar CBC News )

A “single faulty blade” caused a wind turbine in Chatham-Kent to collapse, according to TerraForm Power, the company that operates the wind farm.

The turbine crumpled on Jan. 19, leading to calls from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton to halt other wind projects in the area while “the safety issues of turbines” were investigated.

The wind facility – south of Chatham, Ont. – was temporarily halted, while third-party investigators and a team from Terraform, probed the cause of the collapse.

“The review confirmed that the collapse of a turbine at the facility earlier this year was caused by a single faulty blade. No other similar issues were identified through the review process,” wrote spokesperson Chad Reed in an email to CBC.

He added the entire wind farm returned to service on March 29, but the company will continue to monitor their turbines as part of an ongoing review into its maintenance process.

Minister of Environment & Climate Change, @ChrisBallardMPP: 17 families in Chatham-Kent cannot drink their well water and today, this from one of your local wind turbine projects. I again call for an immediate moratorium on North Kent & Otter Creek wind projects. #onpoli #ckont —@MonteMcNaughton

No one was injured in the collapse, but McNaughton said it still came as a “shock” for people in southwestern Ontario, many of whom live near turbines.

“I’m hoping that the wind companies will monitor their projects more closely to ensure this will never happen again,” he said, adding Ontario’s Ministry of Energy also shares the responsibility of ensuring people are safe from issues with turbines.

“They need to do a better job of monitoring the ones that have been built to ensure families are protected and we don’t see what happened in Raleigh Township happen again.”