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Feds say they shut down Ocotillo wind farm

OCOTILLO β€“ The federal Bureau of Land Management ordered the wind farm near here to halt operation of its 112 windmills after one collapsed on Sept. 16, the agency stated Friday.

β€œOn Thursday, Sept. 16, the BLM El Centro Field Office received notification a turbine fell within the Ocotillo Wind facility, Imperial Valley, Calif.; the second fallen turbine in the project. There were no injuries. BLM issued a Notice to Stop Operations to the permittee to address public health and safety concerns. No other information is available at this time,” according to an email from Michelle Van Der Linden, public affairs officer for the BLM California Desert District in Palm Springs.

The wind farm has been in operation since 2012 and is operated by Pattern Energy.

Siemens Gamesa, the turbine manufacturer, stated Thursday the facility was shut down


The federal Bureau of Land Management confirmed it ordered the halt of operations at the Ocotillo Wind facility following Sept. 16’s collapse of a 300-foot wind turbine. COURTESY PHOTO JIM PELLEY

in wake of the incident and that it is leading the investigation into the cause of the collapse of the 300-foot-high structure. The firm did not mention the federal order.

Information on when, or if, the facility would resume operations was not available.

The facility generates 265 megawatts of power, all of which is sold to San Diego Gas & Electric, the Pattern website states.

An SDG&E official said the utility did not have immediate comment on how it is replacing that lost power or if the wind farm has been meeting it power-output obligations.