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Second blade breaks on MidAmerican wind turbines

The wind turbine blade that broke on or around Sept. 17-18 in Adair County was followed last week by a similar failure in Greene County.

For the second time in a month, a blade has snapped off a 450-foot wind turbine in central Iowa.

The latest failure occurred on or around Oct. 15 to a MidAmerican Energy turbine near Paton in northeast Greene County. The first MidAmerican blade broke on or around Sept. 17 in a cornfield southwest of Stuart in rural Adair County. No injuries were reported in either incident.

Typical wind turbine blades are about 175 feet long and weigh about 18,000 pounds. MidAmerican Energy has more than 3,300 three-blade wind turbines across Iowa with some 10,000 blades.

MidAmerican Energy spokesperson Geoff Greenwood said instances of blades breaking are “a very rare occurrence” and have “occurred approximately a half-dozen times over the past five years.”

The three wind turbines on Perry’s southeast side were built in late 2015 by Marshall Wind Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of De Soto-based RPM Access. It was formed by two other wind turbine developers, Goodwind Energy, a Norwalk subsidiary of Chinese turbine manufacturer HZ Windpower, and Optimum Renewables, a Des Moines firm specializing in prospecting and financing wind-energy projects.