160-foot wind turbine blade snaps, dangles from rotor

A 160-foot (50-meter) wind turbine blade broke in rural mid-Michigan, leaving it dangling above a field. The turbine is one of 75 GE 1.6-megawatt turbines located in Tuscola, Bay and Saginaw counties, Michigan. The project began commercial operation in 2012

BLUMFIELD TWP, MI -- The 160-foot blade of a wind turbine broke from its rotor Monday morning in rural Saginaw County and is now left dangling. 

Workers were alerted to the break when the wind turbine went offline Monday morning, June 26, said Bryan Garner, a spokesperson for NextEra Energy Resources.

Investigators believe the break was caused by an equipment malfunction and that it wasn't weather-related, Garner said.

"We believe this was an isolated equipment issue," Garner said. "Blade failures are very rare."

No one was injured in the incident, and the access road on Gera Road near Hack was blocked off to traffic.

Garner said once the malfunction occurred, the wind turbine shut off like it was supposed to.

While one of the blades now dangles from the rotor, another of the three was bent.

At capacity, the wind turbine generates enough power for about 500 homes, Garner said. It is one of 75 at the Tuscola Bay wind farm.

Garner said crews will take the damaged blade down and replace it.


JUN 27 2017
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