Officials with WPD Canada, the company behind the Sumac Ridge wind turbine project near Pontypool, say it could be some time before they know what caused a blade on one of their turbines to break apart Saturday morning.
Jon Clifford, project manager with WPD Canada, said Monday that he’s never seen something like this happen with any of the projects he’s worked on before.
A storm passed through the area on the weekend and there has been speculation about a possible lightning strike to the turbine, but he cautioned against speculation.
“Blades have been struck by lightning in the past, but we can’t say with any certainty what has happened. I think it’s too early to make assumptions as to what it could be,” Clifford said.
Susan Binnie, who has challenged the turbine project in the past, reached out to mykawartha.com Saturday after the incident happened and said neighbours heard a loud noise at the turbine just before 9 a.m.
The turbine is part of the Sumac Ridge project and the turbine with the damaged blade is located in an isolated project field off of Wild Turkey Road. The road was closed on the weekend as a precaution.
Ward 8 Coun. Tracy Richardson said no one was injured in the incident and no buildings were at risk of being struck by falling debris.
On Saturday, Clifford told her “we have closed off the access road and posted signs warning people away from the site. I have been in touch with the landowners in the immediate area as well.
“We will be conducting our investigation into the cause of the issues in the days ahead.”
Richardson, who has property adjacent to a turbine field, said Monday that she will continue to monitor the incident on behalf of her constituents.
“I’ve been in contact with both WPD and Senvion (the turbine manufacturer) and as of today, it’s under investigation. I’ve asked to be kept into the loop as to what caused the damage and what course of action will be in place for repairing the damage to the turbine.”
The project, which was contested by many area residents and by the municipality, began producing power in 2017.
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