On the night of April 2, a GE blade broke off at the Wildcat 1 wind farm in Indiana. E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R) North America owns the 200 MW wind farm, which came online in late 2012 and features 125 GE 1.6 MW turbines.
Lindsay Theile, a GE spokesperson, says the company is initiating a root cause analysis of the event. In December 2013, GE had blamed a ‘spar cap manufacturing anomaly’ for blade breaks at the Orangeville Wind Farm in New York and Echo Wind Park in Michigan. However, Theile suggests the Wildcat 1 incident was likely weather related.
"Early signs indicate that lightning was the cause from the severe storm that went through the area," she says, later adding, "[O]ur process is to assign a team to perform a thorough investigation to identify the root cause, take appropriate corrective action and bring the turbine back online as soon as possible. The quality and availability of our wind turbines is of utmost importance to us. With any event such as this, our goal is to focus on resolving it with our customers quickly, safely and effectively."
EC&R North America declined to comment.