BAD AXE – County planners heard from a wind turbine representative this week regarding a recent blade failure.
During Wednesday’s Huron County Planning Commission meeting, Blake Shroll, site manager of Big Turtle Wind Farm, told planners Big Turtle II experienced a failure on Tower 14 on Nov. 28.
“We had two pieces of fiber glass fall within 100 feet of the base. No one was injured in the incident and no other property damages had occurred,” Shroll said. “We have done a drone inspection of the damages and conditions that we had to deal with.”
He said the company is also in the process of obtaining equipment and replacement parts to be mobilized to the site.
“There will be a complete inspection done to the damaged blade by the manufacturer once it is down,” he said. “At this point in time, we do not feel we have a serial defect that would affect any other blades.”
Big Turtle will continue the process cautiously, with safety kept in mind, and would update planners with findings of the investigation once it was completed and ready for release.
Planning Chairman Robert McLean told Shroll he received several calls when the incident happened, that the other turbines were still running.
“Yes, they were,” Shroll replied.
“Most of the other companies typically shut things down, to my knowledge,” McLean said.
“No, they don’t,” Shroll responded.
“My only question is how many other turbines,” planner Bob Tenbusch began to ask.
“Mr. Tenbusch, Mr. Tenbusch,” McLean interrupted. “You weren’t recognized (and you need) to be addressed to.”
Tenbusch then raised his hand and McLean called on him.
“How many other turbines have the same blades on it and will the manufacturer of the blade that failed look into whether or not the other blades are OK?” Tenbusch asked Shroll.
“Yes, we have 14 other turbines that have the same manufacturer and that’s part of the procedure,” Shroll said.
In other news, planners iscussed potential wording for the Huron County Master Plan as well as the solar energy facilities ordinance.
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