OLIVER TOWNSHIP, MI — A wind turbine located in Huron County fell over during a winter storm that brought wind and heavy snow to much of the state, but the cause of the collapse is unclear.
The Exelon Corp. turbine is located near Gagetown and Richardson roads in Oliver Township, according to Huron County Central Dispatch.
Oliver Township Planning Commission Chairman Brion Dickens lives about a third of a mile from the damaged turbine.
"I'm not going to speculate. It was just a mechanical failure," he said Thursday, Feb. 25. "We don't know if it was weather related."
Dickens said the turbine is thought to have fallen over about 5 a.m. Thursday. The nearest home is about 2,200 feet away, he said.
"The zoning ordinance we have in place prevented anything from happening to anybody or anything," Dickens said.
"We're waiting for the turbine owner to get back with us to inform us of their plans," he added.
Kristen Otterness, communications manager for Exelon, sent the following statement to MLive via email Thursday afternoon:
"Early this morning, a wind turbine at Exelon's Harvest I wind project in Elkton, MI came down to the ground. There were no injuries to members of the public or employees.
The area around the turbine is roped off and has been put in a safe, secure condition. We're looking into the cause. We've notified the landowners and the sheriff's office."
That section of the wind park is to be shut down "until company officials can determine that the structural failure is isolated and it's safe to return other turbines back into service," according to a Huron County Sheriff's Office news release.
"Curious onlookers are advised not to enter any of the property near this incident, as it is private property. We have no further information about the incident other than company officials are on scene and actively dealing with this very rare incident," the release continues.
Dickens said the damage to the turbine appeared to be an isolated incident.
"I'm looking at probably 200 other ones that are working just fine," he said.