FENNER, NY - A 113-foot blade fell off a wind turbine at the Fenner wind farm off Bellinger Road in the town of Fenner in Madison County, according to Fenner town officials.
The blade appears to have fallen off at about 9:30 a.m. today, and town officials think it may have been caused by a bolt failure, said Paula Douglas, Fenner town clerk.
Town officials didn't think the wind had anything to do with the incident.
Fenner town officials said it's the same 187-ton windmill - No. 18 of 20 - that collapsed in December 2009. It was replaced with a new wind turbine, Douglas said.
Enel Green Power-North America officials said they are working with the turbine supplier to investigate what happened, but said it's too early to determine the cause. EGP-NA also said there is no threat to the community, and asked that residents keep a safe distance away from the site to allow workers to conduct their assessments.
The 200-foot-plus structure is one of 20 windmills that generate electricity at the Fenner Wind Farm operated by EGP-NA.
The windmills were erected in 2001 atop a hill at a cost of $34 million. At the time, it was the largest wind-energy facility in the Eastern United States, but that's no longer the case.
The wind farm, a landmark and tourist attraction to some, provide enough electricity for 10,000 homes.